Dr. M. Beatrice Magnani is a seismologist whose overarching research theme is the formation, evolution of continents and continental dynamics. Dr. Magnani received her Ph.D. in 2000 in Earth Sciences at the University of Perugia, in Italy, where she worked on the tectonics of the Northern Apennines mountain belt. Shortly after completing her Ph.D., she moved to the U.S. and was a post-doc at Rice University for 5 years. She joined the faculty of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at the University of Memphis in 2006, where she established the Exploration Seismology Program and became involved with the study of intraplate regions. In 2013 she moved to SMU where she is an Associate Professor at the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
Dr. Magnani employs controlled-source seismology to image continents at a wide range of scales and resolutions, from the lithosphere to the near surface. In 2000 she was part of a team that investigated the legacy of Archean and Proterozoic assembly structures in the evolution of the North American continent in the Western U.S., and in 2004 she studied the growth of the South American continent at the southeast Caribbean plate boundary using a combination of offshore and onshore data. More recently she has become interested in the puzzling topic of intraplate deformation and the resulting seismic hazard. In 2008 she started studying the New Madrid seismic zone in the Central U.S. and, together with her colleagues, she designed an innovative application of conventional marine reflection seismology to data acquisition along the Mississippi River. This new method allowed her to map known and unknown faults hidden beneath the river, and to begin unmask the network of faults that have been shaking the Midcontinent in the Quaternary. In addition to intraplate dynamics, Dr. Magnani research interests include the Eastern North American passive margin structure and evolution, induced seismicity, and GIA processes in the Patagonian Andes.