School of Earth and Environment

Ekbal Hussain Dr Ekbal Hussain

Research Fellow

Email address:

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics


I am a postdoctoral researcher working on the Seismic Cities project investigating earthquake risk and resilience in Santiago, Chile. During my PhD I used satellite radar techniques (InSAR) to study the strain energy accumulation along the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey.

I am passionate about the role of science in international development. We have a responsibility to help the millions of people around the world living in extreme poverty, exposed to natural hazards, and paying the price for climate change.

Find me on Twitter: @ekh_sci
My climate and natural hazards website and blog:


  • PhD, Geophysics and Satellite Geodesy (2016) - University of Leeds
    PhD thesis: Mapping and modelling the spatial variation in strain accumulation along the North Anatolian Fault

  • MSci, Geological Sciences (2012) - University of Cambridge
    Masters thesis: The active tectonics of the Sulaiman fold-and-thrust belt, Western Pakistan

  • MA (Cantab) + BA (Hons), Natural Sciences (2012) - University of Cambridge
    Year 1: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Geology
    Year 2: Geological Sciences, Physical Chemistry
    Year 3: Geological Sciences


  • Postgraduate Researcher Publication Prize, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds - 2017
  • Postgraduate Researcher of the Year, Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics - 2015
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting - 2014
  • Best Poster award, Geology for Global Development conference - 2014
  • Winner: I'm A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here: March 2014
  • Highly Commended Poster award, Geology for Global Development conference - 2013

Teaching Interests

Invited/Public Lectures

I have presented several popular public talks covering topics such as international development, seismic hazard and corruption:

  • The Ignorance Project: What do you 'really' know about the world?
  • Istanbul: On the Brink of a Mega-Disaster
  • Death by Corruption
  • Understanding earthquake cycle deformation: Can we save Istanbul?
  • Hazardous Earth: How our planet is trying to kill us ...

Details on each talk and where I have presented them can be found on my Speakezee profile

I believe that scientists have a responsibility to communicate research to non-scientists. We need to inspire and enthuse young people to become more curious about science and the world around them.
To this end I run outreach activities focused on tectonics, seismic risk and building stability during earthquakes.

I'm A Scientist, get me out of here
I participated (and won) in the June 2014 event of "I'm A Scientist, get me out of here". This is a major, Wellcome Trust funded, science outreach event held over a two week period where young school students can ask a panel of scientists any question they like while the scientists try to answer them.

I was the winning scientist in the Barium Zone, a general science zone aimed at primary school students (ages 7-11).

Radio Presenter: Natural World on Leeds Student Radio
The Natural World is a show on Leeds Student Radio aired regularly during term time on Saturday.
Together with co-presenter Emma Caton, we talk about the latest research news, ideas and events concerning all aspects of the natural world. We cover topics from wildife and ecology to the natural forces that shape our planet such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes etc.


The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as part of its Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Project outline

Seismic Cities is an inter-disciplinary research project funded by NERC. The long-term aim of the project is to address the sustainable cities and communities challenge in urban regions prone to earthquake hazard by increasing resilience to such seismic shocks. We believe that bringing together diverse actors with a focus on a specific “Seismic City” is a powerful mechanism to achieve this.

One of the key aims of this project is to develop a blueprint for the long-term Seismic Cities concept and to test ideas and methodologies in a city that has experienced a large earthquake in recent times, namely Santiago in Chile.

The Seismic Cities research team brings together a wide range of experts from the physical and social sciences from various institutes in the UK and Chile. To find out more, visit our website. We also have strong support from our industry and NGO partners.


Peer reviewed publications:

  • A complete interseismic strain rate history for the North Anatolian Fault, E. Hussain, T.J. Wright, R.J. Walters, D.P.S. Bekaert, R. lloyd, and A. Hooper, submitted
  • Interseismic strain accumulation across the eastern end of the Haiyuan fault (NE Tibetan Plateau) from InSAR measurements, accounting for atmospheric delays, X. Song, Y. Zhou, R.J. Walters, E. Hussain et al., in prep
  • Temporal changes in rock-uplift rates of folds in the foreland of the Tian Shan from geodetic and geologic data (2017), A. Bufe, D.P.S. Bekaert, E. Hussain, B. Bookhagen, D.W. Burbank, J.A. Thompson Jobe, C. Jie, L. Tao, L. Langtao, and W. Gan, GRL, doi: 10.1002/2017GL073627
  • Interseismic strain accumulation across the central North Anatolian Fault from iteratively unwrapped InSAR measurements (2016), E. Hussain, A. Hooper, T.J. Wright, R.J. Walters, and D.P.S. Bekaert, JGR, doi: 10.1002/2016JB013108
  • Geodetic observations of postseismic creep in the decade after the 1999 Izmit earthquake, Turkey: Implications for a shallow slip deficit (2016), E. Hussain, T.J. Wright, R.J. Walters, D. Bekaert, G. Houseman, and A. Hooper, JGR, doi: 10.1002/2015JB012737
  • Evolution and dynamics of a fold-thrust belt: the Sulaiman Range of Pakistan (2015), K. Reynolds, A. Copley, and E. Hussain, GJI, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv005

Non peer reviewed publications:

  • Getting ready for the next big one, feature article in NERC's Planet Earth magazine Summer 2014 edition, web version.
  • Chapter 1: Natural Hazards, in Hazards and the Himalaya. Book used to teach local planners, children and public about natual hazards in Northern India.

Guest blogs: