Matěj Peč

Associate Professor of Geophysics

Contact Info:


Office Phone






Wahida Abed 617.253.5935

Specialist in experimental rock deformation, studying structures on the microscale to understand the processes behind plate tectonics.

Research Interests

In my lab, we explore the fundamental forces behind plate tectonics, investigating various phenomena like melting in the Earth’s mantle and lower crust, as well as how rocks fail under different pressure and temperature conditions. To better understand the mechanisms at work that shape Earth’s rocky shell, we perform high-pressure, high-temperature experiments in the laboratory and compare the results to natural observations and theoretical models. We’re also exploring ways to mitigate climate change through carbon mineralization and storage.

Topics I investigate:

Biographic Sketch

Matěj Peč joined the EAPS faculty in 2017. Peč holds a bachelor’s in geology (2006) and a master’s in structural geology (2008) from the Charles University, Czech Republic, in addition to a master’s earned as an ERASMUS scholar at the Université Montpellier II in France (2007). He went on to complete his PhD in rock mechanics at the Universität Basel, Switzerland, in 2012. During his doctoral studies, Peč also spent time as a visiting scientist at the University of Tromsø, before pursuing a postdoctoral research position in the laboratory of Prof. David L. Kohlstedt at the University of Minnesota.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2022 • Elected Chair, Physical Properties of Earth Materials, American Geophysical Union focus group
  • 2019 • Victor P. Starr Career Development Chair
  • 2012 • Journal of Structural Geology: Student Author of the Year Award

Key Publications

  • Ghaffari, H., Peč, M.,Mittal, T.,Mok, U., Chang, H., Evans, B. (2023) Microscopic Defect Dynamics of a Brittle-to-Ductile Transition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.2305667120

  • Sun, H., Pec, M., (2021) Nanometric flow and earthquake instability. Nature Communications 12, 6779. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26996-0

  • Pec, M., Holtzman, B., Zimmerman M., Kohlstedt D., (2020) Influence of Lithology on Reactive Melt Flow Channelization: Infiltration Instabilities and Dikes. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi: 10.1029/2020GC008937