About Temblor


Temblor, Inc. is an innovative catastrophe modeling company specializing in seismic hazard and risk assessment. Founded in 2014 by former USGS scientists Ross Stein and Volkan Sevilgen, Temblor’s mission is to raise awareness of seismic risk. We serve the insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked security communities, and mortgage lenders.

Temblor is different from other cat modelers. Our models build on recent published and independently-tested scientific analyses to provide an independent, unbiased, and transparent assessment of risk. Our products include dynamic hazard and loss forecasts after large earthquakes; the first globally consistent insurance loss model; stochastic event sets; and the highest-resolution global site amplification model available today. Additionally, we calculate a building-level Temblor Earthquake Score, which folds in all factors that impact loss into one number for risk pricing and selection.

Temblor provides both its clients and the public with accurate, accessible, and understandable information about earthquakes. Temblor Earthquake News publishes breaking earthquake news, in-depth analyses, and expert reporting on the latest developments in natural hazards research. Our articles are written by scientists, science journalists, and leading international researchers.



Temblor Team


Volkan Sevilgen, M.Sc. — cofounder and CTO
Volkan Sevilgen, CTO and co-founder, leads Temblor’s scientific programming and technology development. Volkan received an M.Sc. in Geophysical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in 2006 following a B.Sc. from ITU in 2003. He worked at the USGS, Menlo Park between 2006 – 2014, where he co-authored, developed and taught the Coulomb 3 earthquake stress and deformation software, and managed a four-year probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for the Balkan countries funded by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. His studies on earthquake hazard and Coulomb stress interaction were published by Nature, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and other distinguished geophysics and seismology journals. He is president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Northern California Chapter


Ross S. Stein, Ph.D.cofounder and CEO
Ross S. Stein is Temblor CEO and cofounder, Adjunct Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, and former USGS Senior Scientist. He was a 2019 Centennial Lecturer of the American Geophysical Union, 2020 Distinguished Lecturer of the Seismological Society of America, and a 2021 College of Fellows Distinguished Lecturer of the American Geophysical Union. A Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Geological Society of America, Stein received the 2012 Gilbert F. White Natural Hazards Award from AGU, gave a 2012 TEDx talk, ‘Defeating Earthquakes,’ and received the 2000 Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS. In 2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Stein was the second most cited author in earthquake science during the preceding decade; he was tenth most cited during 1900-2010. Stein frequently brings insights to the public media interviews, TEDx and public talks, and in IMAX and Discovery Channel films. In 2010, Stein cofounded the Global Earthquake Model (GEM Foundation), chairing its Science Board until 2015. Stein is a member of the Resilient America Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Advisory Council on Catastrophes of Zurich Insurance.

Software Developer


Serkan SevilgenSoftware Developer
Serkan leads Temblor’s API, mobile app, web app, and browser extension development, and its backend server systems. He is a programmer for high-traffic web sites, e-commerce, social media, content management systems (CMS), and analytics. He is a former entrepreneur and worked for Turkey’s largest sports team conglomerates, digital agencies, e-commerce companies. Serkan is skilled in PHP, Python, Node.js, Javascript, R, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Memcached, Nginx, Apache, AWS, and Heroku. He studied Chemistry at Bogazici University and received a B.S. in Design from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.


Jen Schmidt, Ph.D.Editor and Director of Temblor Earthquake News
Jen leads the Temblor News site, manages Temblor’s social media presence, and monitors its analytics. She received her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Lehigh University in 2018, served as Visiting Lecturer at Wellesley College and Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University, and was awarded a 2020 NSF Innovative Postdoctoral Entrepreneurial Research Fellowship with Temblor. Jen has published on landscape evolution and tectonics, and has carried out field work in Tibet, Tajikistan, India, and Norway. She was a 2021 AAAS Mass Media Fellow with the San Luis Obispo Tribune.


Shinji Toda Temblor

Shinji Toda, Ph.D. — Geophysicist and Developer
Shinji is Professor of Earth Sciences at Tohoku University in the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS). Because of its unmatched monitoring networks and high quake rate, Japan is the world’s most important proving ground for seismic innovation and discoveries. Shinji is developing and testing tools with Temblor to capture the change in seismic hazard following large earthquakes.


Andrew Castaldi Strategic Marketing
Andy is principal at ARC AdvisingGroup, and former Senior V.P. for Catastrophe Perils at Swiss Re, where he led modeling and accumulation management for the Americas for two decades. Andy provides Temblor with insights on a variety of complex problems surrounding the economic, regulatory, delivery, and political aspects of natural hazard insurance, reinsurance, and consumer resiliency.


Ali Değer Ozbakir, Ph.D. Geophysicist/Developer
Ali received his Ph.D. from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. His research is focused on the thermal structure and rheology of the lithosphere, continental deformation, crustal stresses, and the connection between the deeper mantle and the near-surface processes. He is also a postdoctoral researcher at Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute of Boğaziçi University.


Hector Gonzalez-Huizar, Ph.D. Seismologist/Developer
Hector received a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso. His research probes the physics of earthquakes—on how they are triggered and interact. He is also a Research Seismologist at the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE), in Mexico, and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Texas El Paso.


Alka Tripathy-Lang, Ph.D. — Editor

Alka received her Ph.D. in Geosciences from Arizona State University in 2011. Her doctoral work focused on thermochronology, geochemistry and remote sensing in the western Himalaya of India. As a postdoc at the Berkeley Geochronology Center, she worked on projects involving the topographic evolution of places like Tibet, Yosemite Valley and the Grand Canyon. She then set out to pursue her passion for science writing and science communication.


Megan Sever Editor
For 13 years, Megan led EARTH, a monthly earth sciences newsmagazine published by the American Geosciences Institute, and is now principal of Gneiss Editing (www.gneissediting.com). She edits and orchestrates many of the Temblor Earthquake News articles, and guides and mentors its writers and researchers in communicating to the public.


Krystal Vasquez Editorial Assistant
Krystal Vasquez is a science writer and Ph.D. candidate at Caltech studying atmospheric chemistry. Her writing has been featured in Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Chemistry World, Inside Science, and more. Krystal helps with story research, layout, and publication.



Advisory Board

Dr. Richard AllenDirector, Berkeley Seismology Lab
Dr. Richard Allen

Director of the Berkeley Seismology Lab

Jeff EllisDirector of Codes and Compliance at Simpson Strong-Tie
Jeff Ellis

Director of Codes and Compliance at Simpson Strong-Tie
Dr. Lucy JonesFounder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society
Dr. Lucy Jones

Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, and Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech
Pascal KarsentiDirector, Research & Technology at Nephila Advisors
Pascal Karsenti

Director, Research & Technology at Nephila Advisors
Dr. Nicholas PinterDirector of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
Dr. Nicholas Pinter

Shlemon Chair in Applied Geosciences, and Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California Davis
Barney SchaubleManaging Partner at Nephila Advisors
Barney Schauble

Managing Partner at Nephila Advisors
Dr. Dag Lohmann
Dr. Dag Lohmann

Cofounder and CEO of catastrophe risk modeling company, KatRisk, LLC.
Peter Bird
Dr. Peter Bird

Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at UCLA


Temblor Earthquake News Externs

Mariah Hoskins holds a Ph.D. in seismology from Lehigh University and is interested in science communication and disaster awareness. She joined Temblor’s externship program in December 2020.

Fionna Samuels is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at Colorado State University. She is interested in the intersection of science and policy. She joined the Temblor externship program in spring 2021.

woman smiling at camera standing in front of palm tree
Davitia James is a geologist from the island of Dominica. She earned her B.S. in Geology from SUNY Geneseo and M.S. in Earth Science from the University of Northern Colorado. She joined Temblor’s externship program in June 2021.


Former TEN Externs


Alka Tripathy-Lang, a freelance science writer, holds a Ph.D. in geoscience. She participated in Temblor's extern program from June to November 2019.
Alka Tripathy-Lang, a freelance science writer, holds a Ph.D. in geoscience. She participated in Temblor’s extern program from June to November 2019.

Melanie Chan
Melanie Chan is a freelance science writer based in Los Angeles, California, and holds an MSc in Neuroscience. She joined Temblor’s externship program in June 2020.
Julie Pierce Onos
Julie Pierce Onos is a freelance writer, consultant and Yale graduate who is interested in writing about how science and business impact our world. Twitter: @JuliePierceOnos. She joined Temblor’s externship program in spring 2020.
Shi En Kim
Shi En Kim leads a double life of a science writer and a graduate student in molecular engineering at the University of Chicago. She joined Temblor’s externship program in May 2020.
Miguel Neves
Miguel Neves is pursuing a Ph.D. in geophysics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and is interested in science communication. He joined Temblor’s externship program in June 2020. Twitter: @Waves2Miguel.
Jeng Hann Chong
Jeng Hann Chong is pursuing a master’s in geophysics at Cal State University Northridge and is interested in science communication. He joined Temblor’s externship program in May 2020.
Vanessa Vieites
Vanessa Vieites is a Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology at Florida International University specializing in Developmental Science with a minor in Quantitative Methods. Vanessa is a freelance science writer and former writing intern for FIU News. She joined the Temblor externship program in the fall of 2020.
Olivia Box is a freelance science writer and a graduate student studying forest ecology at the University of Vermont. She joined Temblor’s program in January 2021.
Akash Kharita is pursuing an integrated masters from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. He is interested in seismology and science communication. His aim is to help in developing awareness about geosciences in his country. He joined the program in August 2020.
Ben Wolman is a graduate of Columbia University, where he recently received his BA in earth science. Ben is interested in science multimedia and outreach, hoping to share stories at the intersection of cities, climate and natural history. He joined Temblor’s externship program in March 2021. Twitter: @bythewolman
Close up photo of person with glasses and a red shirt smiling
Meghomita Das (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in earthquake geology at McGill University. She studies slow slip events in the rock record and is interested in inclusive science and hazard communication. She joined the program in June 2021.
Meghan Zulian is a Ph.D. student in the Ocean Climate lab at UC Davis & Bodega Marine Lab. Her aspirations are to one day work at the intersection of ocean & climate science communication, policy, education, and research. She joined Temblor’s externship program in May 2021.

Kaelie Contreras is pursuing a master’s in geophysics at Penn State University and is interested in seismology, GIS, and science writing. She joined Temblor’s externship program in May 2021.