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Alec Yates

Alec Yates, Victoria University of Wellington

"I am attracted to the problem-solving aspect that comes with conducting research. You are able to question what can and can’t be done, all while engaging in problems that contribute to the understanding of the world we live in.”

Alec originally moved to New Zealand in 2013 to train as a high school teacher, after completing his undergraduate in Computer Science and Mathematics. His focus changed, however, after he experienced the 2013 Cook Straight and Lake Grassmere earthquakes. Having never felt an earthquake before, Alec had not previously considered a career in Earth Science. He decided to transition into Geophysics after realising his fascination with earthquakes was more than a passing interest.

Alec is most interested in research that uses information from seismic waves to solve geophysical problems. For his Master’s at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), he used seismic waves to monitor changes in the rock around White Island volcano. With his supervisors Professor Martha Savage (VUW) and Dr Art Jolly (GNS Science), they were interested in detecting changes in pressure beneath the volcano before eruptions.

Alec is currently working at Victoria University of Wellington as a Research Assistant, under the supervision of Professor Tim Stern. Their research is focused on determining how the Transantarctic Mountains in Antarctica were formed, with their origin still poorly understood.