Laura Parisi

Research Scientists


Research Interests

I study Earth structure from crust to the lowermost mantle from seismic imaging. I use seismological observations and seismic wavefield simulations to understand the dynamics of the Earth from local to global scale.

I am currently focussing on rifting systems and I am particularly interested in the tectonic systems that are “collateral” to the rifts (e.g., transform faults and off-rift tectonics). In my research I use broadband seismological data collected with the KAUST pool to study active faults and earth structure. My study areas are the North Tanzanian Divergence (NTD) and northern Saudi Arabia.

I am also interested in: i) crustal and mantle structure of the Arabian Plate and central Mediterranean; ii) heterogeneity and anisotropy in the lowermost mantle; iii) spectral element simulations of seismic wavefield at regional and global scale.

Selected Publications

  • Parisi, L., Stanistreet, I., Njau, J., Schick, K., Toth, N., and Mai, P.M. (2020). Seismological Investigations in the Olduvai Basin and Ngorongoro Volcanic Highlands (Western Flank of the North Tanzanian Divergence). Seismol. Res. Lett. 91, 3286–3303, doi:10.1785/0220200111
  • Ballesio, M., Beck, J., Pandey, A., Parisi, L., von Schwerin, E., and Tempone, R. (2019). Multilevel Monte Carlo acceleration of seismic wave propagation under uncertainty. GEM - International Journal on Geomathematics, 10(1).
  • Parisi, L., A.M.G. Ferreira, and J. Ritsema (2018). S-wave apparent splitting in the Earth's lowermost mantle, J. Geophys. Res. 123, doi: 10.1002/2017JB014394.
  • Parisi, L., and A.M.G. Ferreira (2016). Empirical assessment of the validity limits of the surface wave full ray theory using realistic 3- D Earth models.  Geophys. J. Int. 205, 146–159, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw005.
  • Di Stefano, P., R. Favara, D. Luzio, P. Renda, M. S. Cacciatore, M. Calò, G. Napoli, L. Parisi, S. Todaro, and G. Zarcone (2015). A regional-scale discontinuity in western Sicily revealed by a multidisciplinary approach: A new piece for understanding the geodynamic puzzle of the southern Mediterranean, Tectonics 34, 2067–2085, doi:10.1002/2014TC003759.
  • Parisi, L., Ferreira, A.M.G. & Capdeville, Y., (2015). Validity domain of the Born Approximation for seismic waveform modelling in realistic Earth structure. Geophysical Journal International, 200 (2), 910-916, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu446.   ​
  • Calò, M. and L. Parisi (2014). Evidences of a lithospheric fault zone in the Sicily Channel continental rift (southern Italy) from instrumental seismicity data, Geophys. J. Int. 199(1), 219-225.
  • Calò, M., L. Parisi, and D. Luzio (2013). Lithospheric P- and S-wave velocity models of the Sicilian area using WAM tomography: Procedure and assessments, Geophys. J. Int. 195(1), 625-649.Parisi, L., Ferreira, A.M.G., and Ritsema, J. (2018). Apparent splitting of S waves propagating through an isotropic lowermost mantle, J. Geophys. Res. 123,


  • 2015 PhD, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • 2011 MSc in Earth Sciences, Universita’ degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  • 2008 BSc in Earth Sciences, Universita’ degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Professional Profile

  • 2018 – present: Research Scientist, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2015 – 2017: ECS Representative, EGU, Seismology Division
  • 2015 – 2018: Post-doctoral research fellow, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2010 – 2011: Erasmus Placement, EOST Université de Strasbourg, France


  • Best poster presentation at PGRIP Meeting of the British Geophysical Association, Liverpool (UK), Sep 2014
  • 2nd place Challenge Bowl Italia –SEG, Trieste (Italy), Nov 2011.