California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences


Sun, Hongyu

Anna Gülcher

Post Doctoral Scholar in Geophysics

Ph.D, 2022, Earth Sciences (geophysics), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)

California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory
1200 E. California Blvd., MC 252-21
So. Mudd Building, Rm 266
Pasadena, CA 91125

Phone: (626) 395-6950
Fax: (626) 564-0715


I am a computational Earth and planetary scientist. My research focuses on – but is not restricted to – the interior and tectonic processes that shape rocky planets. I aim to put observations from geophysics, space, geology, and geo/cosmo-chemistry in a physics-based framework using numerical modelling techniques. I am experienced in modelling both global-scale mantle convection and regional-scale tectonic/volcanic settings of Earth and Venus.

I am currently focussing on the dynamic processes responsible for tectonic and volcanic structures on the surface of Venus. Our neighbouring planet Venus presents a clear contrast of tectonics with the Earth, despite similar interior structure and composition. A better understanding of the dynamic interior processes at play, and how they link to the planet’s surface, is key for our understanding of the geological evolution of rocky planets (such as Earth), and even their habitability. My long-term goal is to aid the data interpretation of the upcoming space science missions to Venus (e.g., NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI+, and ESA’s EnVision).

You can find more details on my past and current research projects, involvement in planetary missions, outreach activities, as well as other professional service roles, on my personal website.