Anastasia Fedotova

Ph.D. candidate, Department of Earth Sciences


Anastasia is a geophysicist who studies the interplay between climate and tectonics under the effect of an evolving cryosphere. Her research focuses on Patagonia, where tectonic forces are building the lofty Andean mountains from within, while climate simultaneously erodes them from the outside, through the action of glaciers. To understand and quantify the erosive power of glaciers, their response to climate forcing and their ultimate effect on mountain building, Anastasia uses seismic reflection imaging methods to illuminate the sedimentary record left behind by 20,000 years of glacier response to climate forcing. She deciphers the glacial evolution from the stratigraphic record preserved in proglacial environments and quantifies time-varying sediment volumes and basin-wide glacial erosion rates from the end of the last ice age to the precipitous warming of the last century. By assessing how glacial erosion rates have changed over millennial, centennial and decadal time scales, as well as over phases of ice advance versus retreat, Anastasia unravels the properties and sensitivities of past glaciers to better inform our understanding of modern ice sheets within the context of ongoing climate change.


Anastasia graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in geology and a minor in geographic information science and technology (GIST). During her time at Texas A&M, she developed a special interest in reflection seismology while taking an introductory geophysics course, which inspired her to pursue undergraduate research in the field and ultimately affected her choice in graduate school program and research direction. At the beginning of her Ph.D., Anastasia spent two unforgettable months in Patagonia acquiring seismic reflection data and collecting sedimentary cores for her work. Outside of school, Anastasia loves spending time with her family, backpacking, rock climbing and pursuing artistic endeavors.