Group Members




Lijun Liu, Principal Investigator, Ph.D. from Caltech







Yaoyi Wang (Fall 2017 – present), Graduate student, B.S. from University of Science & Technology of China

ProjectThe density structure and temporal evolution of cratonic lithosphere






Zebin Cao (Fall 2017 – present), Graduate student, B.S. from Zhejiang University, China

ProjectInvestigating mechanisms for lithospheric deformation






Diandian Peng (Fall 2017 – present), Graduate student, B.S. & M.S. from University of Science & Technology of China

ProjectWestern Pacific subduction and lithospheric response








Liang Liu (2018 – 2021), Postdoctoral scholar

ProjectInvestigating the dynamics of terrane collision and subduction 




Ching Chang (2015 – 2021), Ph.D. Now at ASML, San Francisco.

ThesisUsing landscape evolution models to understand deep mantle dynamics







Zhangang Wang (2018- 2019), Visiting scholar, Associate Professor at Chinese University of Mining & Technology, Beijing.

Project: Constructing a 3D paleogeographic framework for data-oriented geodynamic modeling.





  Yiming Liu (2017-2020), Visiting student, Ph.D. candidate at Chinese Petroleum University, Qingdao.

Project: Understanding the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of East Asia.







Jiashun Hu (Fall 2013 – 2018), Ph.D., Now Assistant Professor at Southern University of Science & Technology, China.

ThesisSubduction dynamics and lithosphere evolution in South America.






Quan Zhou (Fall 2013 – 2018), Ph.D., Now at Facebook, San Francisco

ThesisOrigin of intraplate volcanism within the western United States.






Tiffany Leonard (2013-2015), M.S., Now Science Editor at Compuscript Ltd, Champaignz

ThesisTesting the hypothesis of slab-plume interaction on the 

formation of the Yellowstone hotspot system





Armando Hermosillo (2012-2014), M.S., Now Geologist at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc, Chicago

ThesisSimulating flat-slab subduction underneath South America using 4D numerical simulations







We always welcome motivated students to join our group! For inquiry, please contact Prof. Liu at:



(001) 217-300-0378.