Research Expertise and Interest
seismology earthquakes earthquake hazard mitigation earth structure tomography natural hazards
Richard Allen is the Director of the Berkeley Seismology Lab, the Class of 1954 Endowed Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley, and holds a Visiting Faculty position as a member of the Earthquake Team at Google. He is also the Interim Dean for the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences in the College of Letters and Sciences at UC Berkeley.
He is an expert in earthquake alerting systems and deep Earth imaging. He has led development of methodologies to detect earthquakes and issue warnings prior to shaking, using both traditional seismic and GPS sensing networks, as well as the MyShake smartphone seismic network created by his research group. Allen’s lab also uses geophysical sensing networks to image the internal 3D structure of the Earth and constrain the driving forces responsible for earthquakes, volcanoes and other deformation of the Earth’s surface.
His research has been featured in Science, Nature, Scientific American, the New York Times and dozens of other media outlets around the world. His original early warning algorithm was named in Discover Magazine’s top 100 science stories for 2003, and became the backbone for ShakeAlert, the U.S. earthquake early warning system. MyShake was an inspiration for Google's global Android Earthquake Alerts system, which was named one of the greatest innovations in 2020 by Popular Science.
He has a BA from the University of Cambridge, a PhD from Princeton University, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech.