About me: Hola. I am Marco, an earth scientist (PhD in Geology, 2013) living and working in Oviedo, Spain. I use observational, experimental and computational approaches to study the physical properties of the Earth's solid materials (rock/mineral physics). My goal is to understand the dynamic processes occurring in the Earth's lithosphere (the Earth's outer layer) from the microscopic to the orogenic scale. For example, understanding how rock microstructure and crystal preferred orientation affect the mechanical and elastic properties of rocks, how rocks respond to an applied force (deformation and rheology), and modelling the seismic/elastic properties of solid Earth materials. I have broad expertise in the analysis of the microstructure and texture (CPO) of solid materials using Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) and image analysis. In addition to my core interests, I actively engage with topics such as crustal strength modelling, understanding strain localization at all scales, and the interaction between rock deformation, metamorphism (thermodynamic modelling), and fluids. I enjoy coding and am an advocate of open source and open science so I like to create small projects to promote earth sciences through programming. Occasionally I also try to spread the word about my research interests through short blog posts, my project websites, and a YouTube channel called Earth Science Talks. Some of my research projects can be found here and here. Lastly, I am one of the promoters and organisers of the 7th International Orogenic Lherzholite Meeting to be held in Oviedo in the autumn of 2024 (see https://lherzolite2024.github.io).

Personal details

Full name (name, SURNAME): Marco Antonio LÓPEZ SÁNCHEZ

Work address:
Departamento de Geología
Universidad de Oviedo
Calle Jesús Arias de velasco s/n
33005 Oviedo
Principado de Asturias, Spain
Tel: (34) 985 102 933 (alternative: +34 98510 3000 and then dial the extension 2933)
Room: 2-23A

lopezmarco [to be found at] uniovi [dot] es (main, institutional)
marcoalopez [to be found at] outlook [dot] com (personal)

On the web

Personal website: https://marcoalopez.github.io/
Orcid-ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0261-9267
Scopus author ID: 56320859100
Google scholar: scholar.google
Research-ID: https://www.webofscience.com/wos/author/record/A-4290-2015
Github page: https://github.com/marcoalopez
At Uniovi: link
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marco-Lopez-Sanchez Outreach: @lsmarcoa // Mastodon

Education / Research accreditations

2023 - i3 research activity certification (i3 Programme of the Spanish Research Agency)

2013 - PhD in Geology, cum laude honours, University of Oviedo (Spain)
Thesis: Tectonic analysis of the Vivero fault (Galicia, NW of Spain) (original in Spanish) Advisors: Sergio Llana-Fúnez, Alberto Marcos and Francisco J. Martínez
Topic: Analysis of the microstructure, metamorphism, and age of a fossil crustal-scale shear zone.

2007 - Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in the (interuniversity) program “Exploration, analysis and modelling of basins and orogenic systems” from the University of Oviedo and University of Barcelona
Project advisor: Alberto Marcos

2006 - I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Oviedo in January 2006.


2022 - present - Research associate in the Department of Geology at the University of Oviedo (Spain)

2020 - 2021 - CNRS research associate in Géosciences Montpellier at the Université de Montpellier (2 years, full-time)

2018 - 2020 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Clarín-COFUND postdoctoral researcher in Géosciences Montpellier at the Université de Montpellier, France. (2 years, full-time).

2015 - 2017 - Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geology at the University of Oviedo (Spain). This includes several full and part-time postdoc contracts that add up to a year of experience within this period

2007 - 2013 - PhD candidate, Department of Geology at the University of Oviedo.


2022 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence_Award with the research project proposal OUTCROP Score: 90.4/100

2021 - Margarita Salas Grant PCTI. Two-year contract to develop the project OUTCROP as principal investigator (only 3 projects funded in the call). Budget: 166 000 € (87 000 € salary + 79 000 € for research).

2021 - Margarita Salas joven Grant . Two-year contract to develop the project OUTCROP as principal investigator (10 projects funded in the call). Budget: 104 000 €. Status: rejected in favour of Margarita Salas Grant

2021 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence_Award with the research project proposal START Score: 85.8/100

2017 - Postdoctoral fellowship Clarín-COFUND (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Clarín-COFUND Actions FP7) (2 years)

2017 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence Award with the research project proposal IDEA Score: 88.6/100

2016 - Early Career Scientist’s Travel Award for EGU General Assembly 2016

2007 - Predoctoral fellowship in the Severo Ochoa Program (FICYT, Principality of Asturias, Spain) (4 years)

Scientific activities as a visitor researcher

2022 - IACT-CSIC (Granada, Spain). Duration: 1 week. Goal: Learn how to use Perple_X (thermodynamic modelling) and planning of research project in collaboration with J.A. Padrón-Navarta.

2022 - Geosciences Montpellier (Montpellier, France). Duration: 1 week. Goal: Experimental deformation of Mg alloys in simple shear with in situ EBSD monitoring (collaboration as member of the RhEoVOLUTION project)

2019 - Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement (Grenoble, France)**. Duration: 1.5 months. Goal: Experimental ice deformation (creep) using digital image correlation methods under the supervision of Maurine Montagnat.

2018 - École des Mines de Saint-Étienne (Saint-Étienne, France). Duration: 1 week. Goal: High temperature experimental deformation of magnesium alloys in a channel-die compression rig (collab. R. Quey).


In review and/or available as a pre-print

Boissonneau G, Tommasi A, Barou F, Lopez-Sanchez MA, Montagnat M. Dynamic recrystallization and mechanical behavior of Mg alloy AZ31: Constraints from tensile tests with in-situ EBSD analysis. Submitted to Acta Materialia. Preprint

Published or in press (citable) peer-reviewed publications










López-Sánchez MA (2007) Estudio geológico de la Falla de Vivero y estructuras asociadas en la región de Guntín (Lugo, NO de la Península Ibérica). Trabajos de Geología 27: 97-157 link

Field Trip guides

Marcos A, Bastida F, Aller J, Fernández FJ, Llana-Fúnez S and Lopez-Sanchez MA (2011) DRT post-conference Fieldtrip Guide: West Asturian Leonese Zone, Cabo Ortegal, Malpica-Lamego Line. Deformation, Rheology and Tectonics (DRT - Oviedo) meeting 42 pp + map. PDF

Meeting proceedings (only talks in the last 3 years)

For a full list of meeting proceedings see here




Peer review and editorial activity

Coding projects

Here are some of my coding projects in no particular order:

GrainSizeTools: A free and open-source Python script for estimating the grain size from thin sections

Introduction to the Python programming language for data analysis in Earth sciences: an introductory course to the Python programming language for data analysis using examples from the earth sciences.

PyRockWave: Python codes for modelling elastic properties and seismic velocities in rocks (in active development!)

Strength envelopes: A set of Jupyter notebooks to generate crust and lithosphere strength envelopes (in development!)

Jupyter4DICe: a series of Jupyter notebooks written in Python for post-processing digital image correlation (DIC) data obtained with the open-source digital image correlation tool DICe

Ternary plots: no-fuss ternary plots in Python (using matplotlib)

You can find more pet projects of mine here

Participation in Research Projects

Own project websites

OUTCROP project


Last research projects

2022 - 2023 OUTCROP project: From the Lower Crust to the mantle: elastic properties, anisotropy, and water content of the Cabo Ortegal complex. Grant agreement ID: SV-PA-21-AYUD/2021/57163. Funded under: Plan de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovacion 2018-2022 Asturias, Programa Margarita Salas. PI: Marco A. Lopez-Sanchez. Host institution: Department of Geology, University of Oviedo. Dates: 12/2021 – 12/2023. Total cost: €166.000 Role: Principal investigator.

2022 - 2026

ASTRACAN project: Analysis of the Bay of Biscay Seismicity and crustal structure at its Southwestern margin (5° to 9°W). Offshore Onshore links between seismic clusters and structures. Grant agreement ID: MCIU-22-PID2021-123116NB-I00. Funded under: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. PIs: G. Fernández-Viejo y S. Llana-Fúnez. Host institution: Department of Geology, University of Oviedo. Dates: 2022 – 2026. Total cost: €203.280 Role: Study the influence of microfracturing on seismic response.

2021 - 2025
ERC Advanced Grant RhEoVOLUTION project: Micro-scale dependent, time- and space-evolving rheologies: the key for generating strain localization in the Earth Grant agreement ID: 882450. Funded under: EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC). PI: Andrea Tommasi. Host institution: CNRS, Geosciences Montpellier. Dates: 11/2020 – 10/2025. Total cost: €2.500.000 Link: https://doi.org/10.3030/882450 Role: One-year full-time CNRS researcher contract as part of the main team (Jan 2021 to Jan 2022). Currently external collaborator.

For a full list of past participation in research projects see here

Selected training courses / workshops

2021 - Advanced workshop on digital image correlation (120 hours) Virtual EBSD 2021 meeting
2019 - 4th Innovative Training Network CREEP workshop (EU-H2020) (5 days) École de physique des Houches, Les Houches, France. For details see here 2016 - Thematic School – Recrystallization Mechanism in Materials (32 hours). Sète, France. Organized by the CNRS "Groupement de Recherche" on Recrystallization (GDR3436). Certificate 2015 - Introduction to R Programming (10 hours). Microsoft edx course (DAT204x). Certificate 2013 - Introduction to computer science and programming using Python (210 hours). Massachusetts Institute of Technology EDX course (MITx - 6.00x). Certificate 2012 - Scanning Electron Microscopy and its applications to analyses of Rocks (30 hours). Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool 2008 - Training course in microtectonics (30 hours). Institut für Geowissenschaften; Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany).


University courses (University of Oviedo)

2022 - 2023: 100 hours of laboratory practice in Structural Geology (60 hours) and Interpretation of Geological Maps (40 hours); Degree in Geology. 20 hours of theory in Geology and its Applications to Engineering; Degree in Mining Engineering.

2009 - 2011: Teaching assistant (pre-doctoral stage) at the University of Oviedo (~130 hours of experience, Degrees in Geology and Mining Engineering).


Introduction to the Python programming language for data analysis in Earth sciences: an introductory course to the Python programming language for data analysis using examples from the earth sciences (in preparation). Website: https://github.com/marcoalopez/Python_course

EBSD data treatment with MTEX at GRD Recrystallization and Grain Growth workshop 2020 (Les Houches, School of Physics, France)

Organisation of R&D activities


Spanish and Galician - mother tongue
English - fluent
French - B1

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