A magnitude 7.6 quake was in full swing! We had no idea what to do. #DIAS2020 #IWD2020 #WomeninResearch #InspiringGirls

“People ask me how did I start out in my field, how someone starts out in Geophysics? Looking back, it is interesting how my life changed because of one exciting but extraordinary night. Back in ‘99 when I was 16, I was having a sleepover at my cousins’ house in Istanbul. It was three am when I was woken up to her guitar shaking beside the couch. I had no idea what was going on but as it became stronger and stronger my cousins and I ran towards the door. The three of us were alone in the house as our families were away. We got so scared that we decided to hug to protect ourselves – not the best solution, but we never experienced an earthquake before. The earth beneath our feet was angry. A magnitude 7.6 quake was in full swing! We had no idea what to do. A few minutes later we heard our neighbours shouting our names, they knew we were alone in the house. Everyone was standing in their pyjamas outside and it was so dark as the electricity was gone. We felt scared but at the same time, it was very exciting! We were lucky. The quake tragically killed thousands of people; however, my career plan was born. My quest for understanding the earth and what is happening beneath our feet began and led me to study Geophysics in Istanbul. After several years, I decided to do a PhD in the Geophysics Section of Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) where I got a unique experience to study the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. DIAS being a world leader in various aspects of geophysics research has some unique projects and I am blessed to have joined an amazing group of scientists. Since then, I have studied volcanoes, worked in the Arctic and travelled the world. I am currently involved in a project assessing geothermal energy potential of Dublin city and I am now leading a small research group… A long way from İstanbul, but the passion that was ignited that night is still burning here in Dublin as it became my new home.”

This post was highlighted by @DIASDublin. DIAS actively supports women in research, and to acknowledge their work we have created this series in the lead up to International Women’s Day.

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) conducts advanced research exploring big questions of the 21st century and beyond. Its research gains insights into Celtic society and its legacy; progresses our understanding of our island, our planet and the universe; and deciphers the underpinning mathematical principles of nature. In 2020 DIAS will mark its 80th Anniversary with a range of public events. Check out our full DIAS 2020 programme! www.dias.ie/dias2020