Patricia Persaud is an assistant professor of geophysics at Louisiana State University. Her research focuses on building the next generation of earth models for earthquake-hazard purposes, comprised of high-resolution smaller-scale models from explosions embedded in larger-scale models that are improved through 3D full-waveform inversion. Regions where Persaud’s research will have a societal benefit include Southern California and Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, both densely populated areas with a large magnitude earthquake expected in the near future.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Persaud is completing research on human-induced earthquakes in Louisiana, where natural and large earthquakes are infrequent. Earthquakes caused by human activities present a difficult challenge because they frequently occur close to the detection threshold of most monitoring arrays and are therefore hard to detect. She plans to develop a comprehensive earthquake catalog by using state-of-the-art earthquake detection algorithms and continuous earthquake recordings. Assessments of the seismic hazard, the impact of industry activities on groundwater toxicity, and the feasibility of long-term CO2 storage depend on the detection of such earthquakes.
Persaud was a postdoctoral science fellow at Columbia University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston with a BS in geophysics and holds a PhD in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology. She is the distinguished recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and received an Excellence and Innovation Award from LSU College of Science in 2020, in recognition of her outstanding research contributions.