Rheology of Earth Materials :
Closing the gap between timescales in the laboratory and in the mantle

Team Members


Professor of Physics  @ ULille and Institut Universitaire de France, Project leader of the TimeMan Project

Trained as a materials scientist, Patrick Cordier has worked mostly in the field of mineral physics. His research interests are related to the mechanical properties of solids with a special focus on dislocation theory. Specialist of transmission electron microscopy he has pioneered the application of Large Angle Convergent Beam Electron diffraction to defect characterization in minerals and now Precession Electron Diffraction. Since 1995, he has, with his students, elucidated the slip systems and dislocations of most high-pressure phases of the Earth’s mantle. For that purpose, he has developed and performed high-pressure deformation experiments in the multianvil apparatus (mostly using the large-scale facilities of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut). These experiments have also been applied to materials science studies (silicon, silicon carbide, quasicrystals). Recently, he has developed with Philippe Carrez and PhD students a new approach of plastic deformation under extreme pressure based on multiscale modeling within the ERC funded RheoMan project (2012-2018). This has led to a new understanding of the deformation mechanisms in the mantle at low strain-rates, in particular emphasizing the role played by pure climb creep. Patrick is past President of the Société Francaise de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie (2008-2009) and of  International Mineralogical Association (IMA, 2019-2020). He is visiting professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and a Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He has been elected a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and of the American Geophysical Union, and was awarded the Dana Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2016. Patrick is a member of Academia Europaea, elected in 2022.

ResearcherID: D-2357-2012 - ORCID: 0000-0002-1883-2994 - Scopus Author ID : 7005436365 - Google ScholarCurriculum vitæ - Publications

Philippe CARREZ

Professor of Physics @ ULille

Professor in the Physics Dpt of the University of Lille since 2015, Philippe Carrez is in charge of the numerical modelling of dislocations in mineral phases. His researches focus on the atomic structure of dislocation cores, on the dislocation mobility and on dislocation interactions at the mesoscale. Together with Patrick Cordier, he is involved in the recent development of a multi-scale model of plasticity for mantle minerals under pressure and temperature conditions relevant of the Earth interiors.

ORCID: 0000-0003-1295-9377

Alexandre MUSSI

Lecturer @ ULille

Alexandre Mussi is lecturer in the IUT A Dpt of the University of Lille. He uses the transmission electron tomography technique on dislocations to characterize the fundamental plastic deformation mechanisms of minerals (such as olivine) deformed under mantle conditions, in relationship with numerical modeling. He also uses automated crystal orientation mapping in a transmission electron microscope to characterize plastic deformation mechanisms from complex dislocation microstructures

ORCID: 0000-0003-2093-0144 - Publications - CV


Lecturer @ ULille

Karine Gouriet is a lecturer in the Physics Dpt of the University of Lille. Her research interests cover the numerical modeling of deep Earth mineral plasticity. Karine‘s main responsibility in TimeMan project is to investigate the plasticity of mantle’s minerals like olivine, ferropericlase, bridgmanite,..., using dislocation dynamics.

ORCID: 0000-0003-3148-8849

Pierre HIREL

Lecturer @ ULille

Pierre is a lecturer at the Physics Department of the University of Lille since 2016. After studying physics at the University of Rennes, he modelled the plastic deformation of metals at the atomic scale during his PhD in Poitiers, France. Then, during a first post-doc at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, he investigated the interplay between dislocations and functional properties in technologically relevant materials, such as the perovskites SrTiO3 and KNbO3. In 2012 he joined the RheoMan project and investigated the plastic deformation of bridgmanite, the most abundant mineral in the Earth's lower mantle. Over the years, Pierre also developped Atomsk, a code to produce data files for atomic-scale simulations.

ResearcherID: A-9054-2018  | ORCID: 0000-0002-7488-8466  |  Atomsk


Chercheur qualifié FNRS @ UCLouvain

The overall objective of the research activity of Prof. Hosni Idrissi is a fundamental investigation of the physics of defects dynamics in different classes of inorganic materials including minerals,  nanocrystalline metallic and metallic glass thin films, hybrid multilayers combining crystalline and amorphous systems as well as bulk coarse-grained metals and alloys involving twinning-induced-plasticity (TWIP) and transformation-induced-plasticity (TRIP). The core questions concern the competition or the synergy between the nanoscale elementary mechanisms, which ultimately control the strength and ductility of these materials. The overall research approach is based on the design and use of quantified new nanocharacterization tools including nanomechanical testing methods (lab-on-chip, nanoindentation, etc.) coupled with advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques (aberration corrected high resolution TEM imaging and spectroscopy, electron tomography, orientation and nanostrain mapping in TEM, in-situ TEM nanomechanical testing, etc.) to unravel the mechanisms under interest.

ORCID: 0000-0002-1043-5409

Dominique (Nick) SCHRYVERS

Professor @ EMAT

Dominique (Nick) Schryvers is Full Professor at the research group Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT) of the Department of Physics of the University of Antwerp. His main research topic is the application of advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques to the study of phase transformations in alloys, more specifically in systems displaying martensitic transformations but also diffusional transformations and precipitation mechanisms. In recent years he got more involved in nanocrystalline metallic systems of different origin and in in-situ nanomechanical testing. He has also worked on photographic materials, historic materials, geo- and cosmological materials, composites, soft materials, etc.


ORCID: 0000-0001-9242-7375


Research assistant @ UCLouvain

Michaël Coulombier received the M.S. degree in degree in material science from UClouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) in 2006. He finished his PhD in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen (iMMC) and Prof. Jean-Pierre Raskin (ICTEAM) developing a lab on-chip technique for nano-mechanical characterisation of thin films. Since then he has been a research assistant in iMMC involved in various projects dealing with material science, nanomechanical testing and tribology.

ORCID : 0000-0002-0025-5711

Ihtasham UL HAQ

PhD student @ EMAT

Ihtasham Ul Haq completed his M.S. in Materials Engineering from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Topi, Pakistan. In 2018 he defended a M.S. thesis entitled “Effects of Copper Content and Heat Treatment on the Microstructure, Shape Memory Properties, and Corrosion Behavior of the TiNiCu Ternary Shape Memory Alloys” under the supervision of Dr. Muhammad Imran Khan. In this research work,he used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the surface relief effect in various composition of TiNiCu ternary shape memory alloys. At EMAT his PhD projects deals with the investigation of the nano-scale plasticity/damage mechanisms in Earth's mantle silicates by transmission electron microscopy.



Research director @ CNRS

With a background in mechanical engineering, Olivier Castelnau conducted research on the mechanical behaviour of polar ices during his PhD. In 2006, he began working on mantle minerals after taking a sabbatical leave at IGPP (UC San Diego). Currently, his research focuses on the mechanical behaviour of polycrystalline aggregates, including metallic alloys, refractory materials, ices, and minerals, with various microstructures. He uses and develops mean-field homogenization methods for nonlinear behaviours such as viscoplasticity and elastoviscoplasticity to estimate or predict the overall behaviour of polycrystals with respect to their microstructure and the active deformation mechanisms. He is also strongly involved in x-ray diffraction experiments to analyse the stress field inside materials, in particular through projects with synchrotron sources such as SOLEIL and ESRF. He was also associate researcher at the French neutron source LLB.

ORCID: 0000-0001-7422-294X. Scopus: 7003621193


Research director @ CNRS

After many years at the University of Montpellier (South of France) in the research group of Andrea Tommasi’s, she is now working at the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans (LMV) of the University Clermont Auvergne since March 2022. Her main research topics are the nature and mobility of defects in mantle minerals, in particular in the most abundant mineral of Earth’s upper mantle: Olivine. In the recent years, she has led experimental projects on diffusion of volatiles elements in olivine lattice and olivine grain boundaries, and the fundamental mechanisms of plastic deformation in mono- and poly-crystalline olivine and forsterite. Furthermore, as a geologist, she is particularly interested by the messages provided by natural samples such as peridotites, which are mantle rocks acting as precious windows from the deep Earth’s interior transport to us by magmas. Sylvie is elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America.

ORCID: 0000-0001-5023-4655 -  Recent notable publications


Research scientist @ Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Ralf Dohmen is a research scientist at the Institut of Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. His research interests covers various topics within theoretical and experimental mineralogy/petrology where diffusion is involved. One of his main research interests is to accurately measure diffusion coefficients of elements/isotopes in minerals for different applications. In this context but also for other applications he is using pulsed laser deposition to produce amorphous silicate thin films.

ORCID: 000-0002-5216-3747; ResearcherID: M-2320-2017; Scopus Author ID: 36681117900


Senior research scientist @ EMAT

Nicolas Gauquelin studied Chemistry and Materials science in the University of Rennes, France and graduated from a Masters in Solid state chemistry in 2005, He then did a shared PhD between his University of Rennes and the RWTH Aachen in Germany on Determining the anisotropy of diffusion in La2NiO4+d single crystal for which he graduated in 2010. During his PhD he got in touch with electron microscopy and moved to the Electron Microscopy Center in Canada at Mac Master University in Hamilton for a 3 year postdoctoral stay and learned Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and advanced aberration corrected microscopy on complex oxides. He then moved to EMAT, University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2013 and developped his expertise on structure-property relationship determination at interfaces and EELS study of superlattices at the atomic scale as well as in-situ measurements of phase transitions with biasing, heating, cooling. He has authored or co-authored around 100 publications of which more then 30 in high impact factor journals and a H index of 30 

ORCID: 0000-0002-5555-7055

Jennifer M. JACKSON

Professor @ Caltech

Jennifer Jackson is the William E. Leonhard Professor of Mineral Physics in the Seismological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and an elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America. She received her PhD in Mineral Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Visiting Scientist at the Advanced Photon Source before joining the Caltech faculty in 2007. Jennifer's research primarily focuses on thermoelasticity and melting of planetary materials. She develops experimental techniques to measure these material properties under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. Her research broadly explores the multifaceted roles that dense oxides, silicates, and iron-alloys play in shaping the diversity of landscapes in the deep mantle and at the interface between Earth's mantle and core. 

ORCID : 0000-0001-6224-245X


Postdoctoral researcher @ EMAT and UClouvain

Ankush Kashiwar graduated with a Master degree in Materials Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 2014. During his master’s research under supervision of Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, he focused on 3D microstructural characterization to investigate morphologies and complex arrangement of phases in some Ni and Ti based alloys for aerospace applications. In 2015, he was offered a full-time doctoral scholarship by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to pursue a PhD under supervision of Prof. Christian Kübel and Prof. Horst Hahn at the Department of Materials and Geosciences, Technical University of Darmstadt in close association with Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. He defended his PhD in 2022 and joined Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT) group at the University of Antwerp in association with UCLouvain for his postdoctoral research under supervision of Prof. Hosni Idrissi and Prof. Nick Schryvers. His research is mainly centered around experimental nanomechanics of nanostructured materials including nanocrystalline metals, alloys and minerals to investigate the deformation processes at nano/atomic-scales using in situ or ex situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. His research is also focused on microstructural evolution in a variety of alloys for structural and aerospace applications under thermomechanical processing to investigate crystallographic texture, precipitation, oxidation behavior and grain coarsening mechanisms. His areas of expertise include state-of-the-art in situ TEM nanomechanics, precession electron diffraction-based orientation mapping in TEM as well as aberration-corrected scanning TEM.

ORCID : 0000-0001-7004-9086


Professor @ “Mines Saint-Etienne” in France

Guillaume Kermouche is the head of the “Physics and Mechanics of Materials” group. G. Kermouche received his PhD in Mechanical Science (Tribology, Mechanics of Materials) in 2005 from “Ecole Centrale de Lyon”. Guillaume Kermouche’s main contributions deal with the measurement and the modelling of mechanical properties of materials at the micronscale, and microstructure evolution upon thermomechanical loadings. He contributed to the development of constitutive models dedicated to the plastic flow of silicate glasses at the micron scale, i.e. coupling densification and shear flow upon straining. In the very past few years he developed novel approaches to investigate small-scale mechanical properties under extreme conditions (high strain rate, high temperature, electron irradiation).

ORCID : 0000-0001-6224-245X


Senior research scientist @ EMAT

Andrey Orekhov is a senior research scientist at EMAT in the University of Antwerp. In 2016, he defended his PhD thesis at the University of Eastern Finland. His research was focused on the high-resolution transmission electron microscopy analysis of 1D crystals encapsulated in single-walled carbon nanotubes. He moved to EMAT in 2017 and has since been focusing on technique development for in-situ TEM nano-mechanical analysis of shape memory alloys and amorphous materials, working with Prof. Nick Schryvers and Prof. Hosni Idrissi. His research also includes the development of nanobeam electron diffraction analysis using the 4DSTEM technique in group of Prof. Jo Verbeek.

ORCID : 0000-0002-7517-5484

Vincent TAUPIN

Researcher @ CNRS

Vincent Taupin is CNRS research scientist at the laboratory of study of microstructures and mechanics of materials (LEM3) and adjunct lecturer at Georgia Tech Europe, Metz, France. He is developing dislocation and disclination models for studying the elastic and plastic deformation of crystalline materials. His research focuses on elementary properties of dislocations and grain boundaries at small scale, and on elastoplastic deformation heterogeneities at the grain and polycrystal scales. He is also contributing to the development of spectral numerical methods based on fast Fourier transform algorithms, to approximate differential equations related to crystal plasticity.

ORCID: 0000-0002-2469-0179


Professor @ Case Western Reserve University.

Jim Van Orman is a Professor in the department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in Geochemistry from MIT in 2000, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington before moving to Case Western in 2002. His research focuses primarily on diffusion in minerals at high temperatures and pressures, with applications to geochemistry, cosmochemistry, and creep in Earth's deep mantle. 

ORCID: 0000-0001-8741-0288

Former members of the Team


Former PhD student @ ULille

Timmo Weidner completed his master's degree in Geomaterials and Geochemistry at the LMU Munich in 2020. There he worked on the rheology of the lower mantle using plume uplift signals. During an internship with the TimeMan group at Lille University, he worked on dislocation dynamics in olivine. His PhD was devoted to dislocation electron tomography, with applications and association to continuum mechanics and dislocation dynamics.

Timmo defended his PhD thesis on April 25th 2024

S. Demouchy, A. Mussi, T. Weidner, E. Gardes & P. Cordier (2024) Dislocations in naturally deformed olivine: Example of a mylonitic peridotite. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 346, 107125,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pepi.2023.107125

T. Weidner, V. Taupin, S. Demouchy, K. Gouriet, A. Guitton, P. Cordier & A. Mussi (2024) From Electron Tomography of Dislocations to Field Dislocation Mechanics: Application to Olivine. Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 32, 015004, https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-651X/ad0a42

P. Cordier, K. Gouriet, T. Weidner, J. Van Orman, O. Castelnau, J.M. Jackson & P. Carrez (2023) Periclase deforms slower than bridgmanite under mantle conditions. Nature, 303–307, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05410-9



Former post-doctoral researcher @ ULille

After having completed a Master in Materials Physics and Nanostructure in Poitiers, Jean Furstoss pursued a PhD in between Geoazur and CEMEF (ENSMP) under the supervision of Carole Petit, Clément Ganino (Geoazur), Marc Bernacki and Daniel Pino Muñoz (CEMF). During his thesis entitled « Numerical modeling of microstructural evolution within mantle works » he used and developed finite element and crystal plasticity tools to simulate the deformation and the subsequent microstructural evolutions (grain boundary migration, dynamic recrystallization) within polycristalline olivine. He defended his thesis in november 2020 and joined the team to study grain boundaries in olivine at the atomic scale using molecular dynamics with P. Hirel. He benefited from a joint support of the NuMoGO project of P. Hirel and from the TimeMan project.

Starting April 1st 2024, he begins a 2 years Alexander Von Humboldt fellowship at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Heidelberg University in Germany. He will mainly work in the group of Pr. Lucie Tajcmanova about the modeling of rock deformation experiments and the effect of deviatoric stress on phase equilibrium.

J. Furstoss, S. Demouchy, A. Tommasi, E. Gardés, F. Barou, N. Marino (2024) Quantification of grain boundary mobilities in natural olivine by annealing experiments and full-field modelling. Tectonophysics, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2024.230333

J. Furstoss, P. Hirel, P. Carrez, K. Gouriet, V. Meko-Fotso & P. Cordier (2024) Structures and energies of twist grain boundaries in Mg2SiO4 forsterite. Computational Materials Science, 233, 112768, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.commatsci.2023.112768

J. Furstoss, P. Hirel, P. Carrez, P. Cordier (2022) Complexions and stoichiometry of the 60.8°//[100](011) symmetrical tilt grain boundary in Mg2SiO4 forsterite: A combined empirical potential and first-principles study. American Mineralogist, 107(11), 2034-2043. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2022-8420

P. Hirel, J. Furstoss, P. Carrez (2021) A critical assessment of interatomic potentials for modelling lattice defects in forsterite Mg2SiO4 from 0 to 12 GPa, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 48, 12, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00269-021-01170-6

Valentin DELBECQ

Former PhD student @ ULille

Valentin Delbecq has been trained in Physics at the university of Lille where he graduated in Condensed Matter Physics. His Master project was devoted to the study of ice using molecular dynamics. During his PhD thesis, he modelled the mechanical properties of silicate glasses with the olivine composition at the atomic scale.

Valentin defended his PhD thesis on November 30th 2023

V. Delbecq, P. Carrez & P. Cordier (2024) Rheological properties of Mg2SiO4 glass: A molecular dynamics study. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 619, 122572, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2023.122572

Alex PIP

Former PhD student @ UCLouvain

Alex graduated from the UCLouvain in 2020 as a materials science and chemistry engineer. His Master thesis focused on strain engineering in semiconductor materials including experimental measurement and simulation of strain in micro/nanoscale devices.


Former post-doctoral researcher @ UCLouvain

After a master degree in mechanical engineering co-delivered by the ENISE, EMSE and Université Jean Monnet (Saint Etienne, France), Paul Baral pursued a PhD at Ecole Centrale de Lyon under the supervision of Jean-Luc Loubet (ECL), Guillaume Kermouche (EMSE) and Jean-Michel Bergheau (ENISE). He worked on the development of innovative methods to measure materials’ mechanical properties at the nano and micro-scales using nanoindentation. He defended his thesis in November 2018 and spent 2 years as postdoctoral researcher at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), working with Thomas Pardoen, Hosni Idrissi and Michaël Coulombier on the nanomechanical characterization of thin films. He participated in the mechanical characterization of a-olivine thin films using nanoindentation and lab-on-chip techniques. He is now associate professor at the EMSE, Saint Etienne, France. He works on the experimental monitoring of resin infusion within bio-fibers and its implications on the mechanical properties of the composite material.

ORCID : 0000-0002-8586-0733; Scopus Author ID: 57194535159

P. Baral, A. Orekhov, R. Dohmen, M. Coulombier, J.-P. Raskin, P. Cordier H. Idrissi & T. Pardoen (2021) Rheological properties of amorphous olivine thin films measured by nanoindentation. Acta Materialia, 219, 117257,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2021.117257


Former post-doctoral researcher @ ULille

After graduating (Master) in quantum physics at the Faculté des Sciences of Tunis (Tunisia), Sami Mahmoud has prepared his PhD at the Université de Montréal (Quebec, Canada) under the supervision of Prof. N. Mousseau. He defended his thesis entitled “Numerical study of point defects diffusion in nickel-based alloys” in May 2019. In TimeMan, Sami Mahmoud used the activation-relaxation technique to model point defects diffusion in minerals. He is presently Chargé de cours in the Physics Department of the Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

ORCID: 0000-0003-0903-6221

S. Mahmoud, P. Carrez, M. Landeiro Dos Reis, N. Mousseau & P. Cordier (2021) Diffusion mechanism of bound Schottky defect in magnesium oxide. Physical Review Materials, 5, 033609. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.033609


Former Post-doctoral researcher @ ULille

After a master degree in physics and materials science from Université Poitiers, Marie Landeiro pursued a PhD at SRMP CEA Saclay, under the supervision of Laurent Proville, on the dislocation mobility in metals. Using numerical simulations, They developed a multi scale model to study the dislocation propagation in a distribution of vacancy-clusters over time, under stress and temperature. During her stay in Lille, Marie worked on the interaction between dislocation and vacancy in magnesium oxide. In February 2021 she moved to Laboratoire des sciences de l'ingénieur pour l'environnement (LASIE) in La Rochelle to study interactions between hydrogen and vacancies in nickel. Since September 2021, Marie has held a position of Associate Professor (Maîtresse de Conférences) à La Rochelle Université.

M. Landeiro Dos Reis, P. Carrez & P. Cordier (2021) On the interaction dislocation/vacancy in magnesium oxide: Insights from atomistic simulations and elasticity theory. Physical Review Materials, 5, 063602. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.063602

S. Mahmoud, P. Carrez, M. Landeiro Dos Reis, N. Mousseau & P. Cordier (2021) Diffusion mechanism of bound Schottky defect in magnesium oxide. Physical Review Materials, 5, 033609. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.033609


Former Post-doctoral researcher @EMAT

Using advanced Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) techniques and micro/nano-mechanical testing to investigate elementary mechanisms controlling the plastic deformation and the failure of different small-scale materials.

ORCID: 0000-0003-1351-2147

V. Samae, P. Cordier, S. Demouchy, C. Bollinger, J. Gasc, S. Koizumi, A. Mussi, D. Schryvers & H. Idrissi (2021) Stress-induced amorphization triggers deformation in the lithospheric mantle. Nature 591, 82–86. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03238-3

H. Idrissi, V. Samaee, G. Lumbeeck, T. van der Werf, T. Pardoen, D. Schryvers & P. Cordier (2020) In Situ Quantitative Tensile Testing of Antigorite in a Transmission Electron Microscope. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125, e2019JB018383. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JB018383


Former Master student  @ ULille

Project title: "Electron tomography of dislocations in beam-sensitive materials"

A. Mussi, J. Gallet, O. Castelnau & P. Cordier (2021) Application of electron tomography of dislocations in beam-sensitive quartz to the determination of strain components. Tectonophysics, 803, 228754. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2021.228754

Michel Bertrand MAMA TOULOU

Former Master student  @ ULille

Project title: "Atomic scale modeling of grain boundaries in oxydes with complex crystal chemistry"