My research exploits forward-modelling tools commonly used in Earth Sciences to simulate satellite geodynamic processes including heat production and transport, plume activity, faulted surface formation, and non-hydrostatic topography formation.
My research generates synthetic geodetic products (e.g., surface displacement, gravitational acceleration fields) associated with tidal deformation on planetary bodies. From these model results, I provide constraints on internal structure (e.g., ice shell thickness, core extent and rheology, etc.,)
Another branch of my research focuses on characterizing degassing at volcanic systems from airborne measurements. For this work, I am investigating how changes in the biosphere correlate with elevated levels of ambient CO2.
Image of Enceladus outside of Saturn's Inner Ring System
Starting in 2020, I am a Ph.D. Student at the California Institute of Technology. At Caltech, I am investigating how Enceladus, Saturn's second major moon, responds to cyclic tidal loading. Specifically, I am investigating geodynamic processes through forward-modelling techniques and investigating how geodetic observables (i.e., gravitational acceleration, surface displacement) can be used to invert for interior structure at the body.
Colored Magnetic Resonance image of Adult Male Brain
In 2019-2020 I read an M. Sc. course at the University of Oxford in Radiation Biology. My research focus at Oxford was in understanding and characterising the effect of applying radiation at ultra-high dose rates to biological tissue, a method known as FLASH radiotherapy. In addition, I investigated the how this method can be exploited by hospitals and to improve the treatment of cancer in different parts of the body, including the brain, lungs, pancreas, breast, and prostate. The course ended in Fall 2020.
Photo of Gal4-UAS imaging system revealing Larval Central Nervous System
During my time as an undergraduate at the University of Miami, I researched Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae neurobiology and behavioural characteristics. I specifically focused on the organism's ability to respond and adapt to vibrational stimuli, and worked to discover an adaptive neural circuit which stores and deploys stimulus information to coordinate muscle action. For more information about this research, see Berne, Alexander C, et al. 2018 below in Publications.
Berne, Alexander, et al. "Monitoring electron energies during FLASH irradiations." Physics in Medicine & Biology (2020).
Berne, Alexander C, et al.,“ Behavioral pattern transitions and one-way habituation to pulsed mechanical vibration in crawling larvae”, University of Miami (2018).
Berne, Alexander C, Klein, Mason. “Vibration Response: Mapping the Behavioral Response of Fruit Fly Larvae to Mechanical Stimuli”. University of Miami (2016).