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dr. Alissa Kotowski

Alissa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University. Originally from Boston, MA, she is a first-generation college student who earned her BSc from Boston College in 2014, and then her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019. At UT Austin she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and studied metamorphic rocks from exhumed subduction zones. Her primary interests are in reconstructing structural evolution and rheological properties of ancient plate boundaries, and interrogating mechanisms of steady-state and transient slip in rocks and minerals. She then moved to Montréal, Canada where she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McGill University. At McGill, she started to use nanoindentation experiments to probe mineral plasticity. Now at UU, she leads an active research group that focuses on the flow behavior of solid earth materials including ice and silicate rocks, but with emphasis on initiation and maintenance of subduction plate boundaries on the modern earth and deep in Earth’s history.

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Current Team Members

Members of the "CCD" group are studying flow behavior of solid earth materials, from ice sheets to subduction zones, from modern day to the ancient Earth.  Get to know us here!


Julia Geerinck - UU BSc Thesis 2023 - Major and Trace Element Signatures of Acadian Metamorphism in Garnet-Bearing Rocks from Roxbury, Connecticut, USA

Sofie van Driel - UU BSc Thesis 2023 - Peak Pressure-Temperature of the Low-Temperature metamorphic sole beneath the Semail ophiolite (Oman) from thermodynamic models

Mathijs Sierveld - UU BSc Thesis 2023 - Formation and destruction of the Iapetus Ocean during the Ordovician in the southern Québec Appalachians

* Jan Veenhof - UU BSc Thesis 2023 - Applying a composite rheology flow law to a 2D cross section in the northwestern Greenland ice sheet using a finite element solver [Primary Supervisor: dr. Cedric Thieulot, UU

Anneke Royakkers - UU BSc Thesis 2022 - Geochemical zonation and temperatures of garnet growth during subduction of high-pressure rocks on Kampos Belt, Syros Island, Greece

* Danielle Richard - McGill BSc Thesis 2022 - Effects of Retrogression and Rehydration on Meta-Mafic Rock Deformation during Subduction Infancy: Evidence from the Sub-Ophiolite Metamorphic Rocks of Mont Albert (Gaspé Peninsula, Québec, Canada). [Primary Supervisor: Prof. James Kirkpatrick, McGill]. 


Co-supervised students are shown with an asterisk (*). 

Interested in being part of the team? Reach out!

If you are a BSc or MSc student at Utrecht University, there are opportunities to fund research through the Olaf Schuiling scheme for geochemistry. 

Stay tuned for openings for PhD positions! 

Interested Postdocs may consider Marie Curie mobility grants and should reach out to discuss potential projects. 

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