Dr. Thanushika Gunatilake


Dr.  Thanushika Gunatilake
Swiss Seismological Service (SED)
ETH Zürich
Dr. Thanushika Gunatilake
NO E 27
Sonneggstrasse 5
8092 Zürich

+41 44 633 75 91

My research focuses on physics-based numerical modeling of fluids-driven earthquake sequences. The role of fluids (e.g., CO2, H2O) either mantle-derived or internally generated by thermal decomposition and dehydration plays a significant role in the temporal and spatial distribution of earthquakes and aftershocks. During my postdoc, I want to extend my knowledge of CO2 generation, propagation, and degassing. The findings of my work will contribute to our understanding of CO2 storage (CCS) and cycles of aftershock sequences.


Since 2022


ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Institut für Geophysik, Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

2019 – 2022

Ph.D. in Earth Science

University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Faculté des sciences. Centre d’hydrogéologie et de géothermie (CHYN). Thesis title: Numerical Modelling of Aftershock Sequences, Volcano-Tectonic Interactions, and Pandemic Propagation.

2017 – 2019 

Master of Science

Rheinisch Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Germany. Institute for Geosciences. Thesis title: Geophysical characterization of a fault zone and its correlation with seismicity in the Talala region, Northwest India, Published in Tectonophysics (2021).

2015 – 2017

Bachelor of Science

Rheinisch Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Germany. Thesis title: Development of a geological model of a landslide near Bonn based on geophysical measurements. Published in Land (2021).

2008 – 2015

High School

Nicolaus-Cusanus-Gymnasium Bonn, Germany. Intensified course: Mathematics and Chemistry.


Work Experience

2019 – 2022

Research assistant

University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Activities in addition to my research: Co - organizing the European Geothermal PhD-day (EGPD) conference; organizing program for Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in deep geothermal systems; played a leading role in three geothermal field trips to Toscana/Elba; teaching experience in numerical modeling and laboratory experiments in applied geology

2017 – 2019

Research assistant

University of Bonn, Germany. Focus: Tutor of Bachelor courses and Independent implementation of measurement campaigns.

2013 – 2019


Medical assistant at the German Red Cross and head of the school sanitation service.



National Building Research Organization, Sri Lanka. Focus: Geophysical analysis on slope stability.



University Children clinic, Bonn. Focus: Paediatric Cardiology.



Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn. Focus: Climate change.


Scientific Achievements


Equality Grant

To attend the JpGU conference in Japan and to visit the Earthquake and Volcano Research Center, Nagoya University (EVRCJ) to present my research results about seismicity, volcanism and the associated impact of geothermal energy exploitation in Japan (2 weeks: 5000 CHF)



Scholarship program at the University of Bonn for a measurement campaign in India with regard to the master’s thesis. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).(6 weeks: 1400 Euro)



Scholarship for a four week internship in a foreign country from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in cooperation with IAESTA. (4 weeks: 700 Euro)




Certificate of Advanced Studies

CAS in deep geothermal systems, Awarded by the University of Neuchâtel.


Certificate of Feflow Modelling

The basics of groundwater modelling and advanced applications.