M. Nafi Toksöz

Professor Emeritus

Contact Info:

Office Phone




Joshua Kastorf 617.253.8028

Prolific geophysicist known for foundational contributions to the field, as well as mentoring generations of future geophysics leaders.

Nafi Toksöz has been on the faculty of the Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department at MIT since 1965. He founded the Earth Resources Laboratory in 1982 and served as its Director until 1998.

Toksöz has made major scientific contributions in many areas of geophysics including: earthquake seismology, rock physics, wave propagation, acoustic logging, applications of massivley parallel computing for seismic processing and modeling, and seismic studies of the Moon during the Apollo program. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 technical papers and is a prolific editor, working on numerous books and serving on editorial boards of scientific journals. Toksöz continues to serve on scientific advisory and review committees for U.S. government agencies, universities, international organizations, and industry.

A dedicated teacher, Toksöz has mentored over 100 graduate students who have gone on to become leaders in industry and academia. In 2013, over 150 alumni and friends established a graduate student fellowship in his honor, the M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship Fund, as a lasting legacy providing financial support to at least one geophysics student each year, in perpetuity, in EAPS.

Recognized for his contributions to science during his career, notable awards include the Harry Fielding Reid Medal of the Seismological Society of America that he received in 2007. He was also the recipient of the Maurice Ewing Medal in 2010, the highest honor awarded by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2010 • Maurice Ewing Medal, Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • 2007 • Harry Fielding Reid Medal, Seismological Society of America
  • 1999 • Honorary Member, Society of Exploration Geophysicists