Helene-Sophie Hilbert (M.Sc.) - Doctoral Researcher

Research Division 4: Dynamics of the Ocean Floor
Research Group: Marine Geodynamics


Telephone: +49 431 600 2325
E-Mail: hhilbert(at)geomar.de


GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
Room 8/C-206, East Shore
Wischhofstr. 1-3
24148 Kiel

Research Profile

My main research is focusing on the back-arc basin and the currently active island arc in the Mariana subduction zone in the north-western Pacific. I am fascinated by these geologic settings, because they are regarded as highly dynamic regions encompassing the oceanic and continental domain. While island arcs are considered as prime location for the growth of continental crust, back-arc basins play a major role in the opening and closure of ocean gateways. To gain information about the structures in the crust and upper mantle, I use ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) that record seismic signals on the seafloor and analyse them by generating a seismic tomography.

I am a marine geophysicist and sailed in five sea-going expeditions and stayed 189 days at sea, collecting geophysical data from the Atlantic, Pacific Ocean and some marginal seas. Furthermore, I gained 107 days of terrestrial field experiences using a broad range of geophysical methods, providing additional understanding for other geophysical methods and insights into continental aspects.

Academics & Education

09/2020 – today


 Doctoral Researcher in the Research Division 4:
 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor, Marine Geodynamics
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

07/2019 - 09/2020


 Scientific Employee in the Research Division 4:
 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor, Marine Geodynamics

 GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

10/2015 - 05/2019



 Master of Science - Geophysics
 Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
 Thesis title: Compressional and shear wave velocity
 structure of shallow gas-bearing sediments in the NW Black 

10/2011 - 10/2015






 Bachelor of Science – Physics of the Earth system –
 Meteorology, Oceanography, and Geophysics
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
 Thesis title: Die Übertragungsfunktion von Geophonen:
 Eigenschaften und Restituierbarkeit. (engl. The transfer
 function of geophones: Properties and restitutability.)

 Prize for outstanding Bachelor thesis of the year by
 the Friends and Supporters of the Geophysics (Verein der
 Freunde und Förderer der Geophysik e.V.)

Student Research Assistance

07/2018 - 10/2018


 Student Research Assistance in the Research Division
 4:  Dynamics of the Ocean Floor, Marine Geodynamics
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

06/2016 - 10/2017


 Student Research Assistance in the Applied
 Geophysics Group
Institute for Geosciences, Kiel
 Engineering Geophysics & Archeogeophysics

10/2014 – 12/2014



 Internship and Student Research Assistance at the
 State Office for Agriculture, Environment and Rural
 Areas of Schleswig-
 Holstein – Geological Service
(Landesamt für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und ländliche Räume
 des Landes Schleswig-Holstein – Geologischer Dienst)
 Research Project: Geopower (INTERREG project)

Scientific Expeditions and Surveys

12/2022-01/2023    GUATOPS: RSS James Cook [GB] - Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean
05/2022-06/2022    MANTA-Ray: RV L'Atalante [FR] - Guadeloupe, Caribbean Sea
01/2021-02/2021    M170 Transformers: E/V Meteor [DE] - Azores, Atlantic Ocean
08/2020-10/2020    SO277 OMAX: R/V Sonne [DE] - Malta, Sicily, Mediterranean Sea
06/2018                  AL512 North Sea Blowouts: R/V Alkor [DE] - North Sea

09/2017                  Geophysical Survey in Aigai, Bergama, and Ainos, Turkey
04/2017                  Geophysical Survey in Vrable, Slovakia (SFB 1266)
10/2016                  Geophysical Survey within the Merseburg Cathedral, Germany
06/2016-07/2016    Geophysical Survey in Kalapodi, Kenchreai, and Sykion, Greece
11/2015                  Geophysical Survey in Ladelund, Germany
11/2015                  Geophysical Survey in Wyk auf Föhr, Germany
07/2013                  Geophysical Survey in Mosfellsbær, Iceland

Further Scientific Activities

2022-today             Ocean Voices Blog: co-founder, editorial board, and author
2021 & 2022           DokTeam Member: representative of the doctoral researchers
09/2019                  European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECOORD) Summer School
                               2019: Subduction Zone Processes
06/2013-06/2014    Co-organiser of the Geophysical Activity Programme (GAP e.V.) in Kiel
04/2024                  First prize in the 'Innovation Challenge - Ideas competition, as part of a study on
                               innovative sustainability solution for the University of Kiel'