Lisa Grant Ludwig

Picture of Lisa Grant Ludwig
Professor, Population Health and Disease Prevention
Public Health
Chair, Dept. Population Health & Disease Prevention, Population Health and Disease Prevention
Public Health
Ph.D., Caltech, Geology with Geophysics minor
M.S., Caltech, Geology
M.S., Caltech, Environmental Engineering and Science
B.S., Stanford, Applied Environmental Earth Sciences
Phone: (949) 824-2889 / 5491
University of California, Irvine
Anteater Instruction & Research Building (AIRB)
Mail Code: 3957
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
earthquakes, San Andreas fault, disaster resilience, public health, paleoseismology, earthquake policy
Academic Distinctions
NASA 2012 Software of the Year Co-Winner QuakeSim 2.0
Research Abstract
I conduct basic research in pursuit of my overarching goal: to protect society from the potentially devastating effects of earthquakes. My work is problem-focused and aligned with the mission of Public Health as “the fulfillment of society’s interest in assuring the conditions in which people can be healthy” (Institute of Medicine,1988). The audience for my research is multi-disciplinary, and includes scientists, engineers, planners, healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public. Most of my research focuses on fundamental science questions which have broad impacts and policy implications. For example, the San Andreas fault is a major source of seismic hazard and represents a significant risk to vulnerable populations in California. To understand the potential for future large earthquakes, and the impacts of those earthquakes, I have used geologic methods to explore the spatial and temporal rupture characteristics, and the levels of shaking, produced by prior large earthquakes. With NASA-funded collaborators, I have used spaced-based technologies to measure the deformation of the ground surface from recent damaging earthquakes, and developed tools to model disruption from future earthquakes. Using a variety of methods, I have worked with colleagues to understand the seismic vulnerability of lifeline infrastructure, buildings, and affected populations. I have also studied disaster impacts on academic biomedical research communities, and been involved in formulating policy recommendations for multi-hazard disaster resilience of academic research facilities throughout the U.S.

Selected publications provide examples of my multi-disciplinary research interests:
Grant Ludwig, L., Akciz, S. O., Arrowsmith, J R., and Salisbury, J. B. (2019). Reproducibility of San Andreas fault slip rate measurements at Wallace Creek in the Carrizo Plain, CA. Earth and Space Sciences, 6,
Content sharing link
Donnellan, A., Parker, J., Heflin, M., Lyzenga, G., Grant Ludwig, L., Rundle J., Wang, J., and M. Pierce. Fracture Advancing Step Tectonics Observed in the Yuha Desert and Ocotillo, CA Following the 2010 Mw7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah Earthquake. Earth and Space Sciences, Article online 14 Aug, 2018.
Committee on Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of Academic Research Communities (Benjamin, G. C., Benitez, J. G., Cannons, A. C., Deininger, P., Goodwin Jr., B. S., Isakov, A., Grant Ludwig, L., Pawlowski, K., Poland, C. D., Rambo, N., Rock, J. A., Taylor Jr., L., and Vogelweid, C.) National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2017). Strengthening the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community: Protecting the nation’s investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:
Esmaili, O., Grant Ludwig, L., Zareian, F., An Applied Method for General Regional Seismic Loss Assessment – with a case study in Los Angeles County, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Published online 27 April 2017. Doi: 10.1080/13632469.2017.1284699
Link to article:
Baker, N. D. and Grant Ludwig, L., Disaster management as social control, Critical Policy Studies, 12:1, 24-43, Published online 14 Oct 2016, DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2016.1214075
Link to article:
Rundle, J. B., Turcotte, D. L., Donnellan, A., Grant Ludwig, L., Luginbuhl*, M., and Gong, G., Nowcasting Earthquakes, Earth and Space Sciences, 3, doi: 10.1002/2016EA000185 Published online 28 Nov 2016.
Donnellan, A., Grant Ludwig, L., Parker J., Rundle, J. B., Wang, J., Pierce, M., Blewitt, G. and S. Hensley (2015). Potential for a large earthquake near Los Angeles inferred from the 2014 La Habra earthquake. Earth and Space Sciences, 2, 378-385. doi:10.1002/2015EA000113.
Grant Ludwig, L., Brune, J. N., Anooshehpoor, A., Purvance, M. D., Brune, R. J. and Lozos, J, Reconciling precariously balanced rocks with large earthquakes on the San Andreas fault system, Seismological Research Letters, Vol 86, no. 5, Sep/Oct 2015, p1345-1353. doi: 10.1785/0220140239
Noriega, G. R. and Grant Ludwig, L., Social vulnerability assessment for mitigation of local earthquake risk in Los Angeles County, Natural Hazards, doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0301-7, vol. 64, no. 2, pp 1341-1355, Nov. 2012
Grant Ludwig, L. (2015). “Paleoseismology”, in Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd edition, edited by Gerald Schubert, Volume 4: Earthquake Seismology, edited by Hiroo Kanamori, Elsevier, Oxford, 2015, pages 559-579, ISBN 9780444538031,
S. O. Akciz, L. Grant Ludwig, J R. Arrowsmith and O. Zielke*. Century-long average time intervals between earthquake ruptures of the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain, California.Geology, September 2010, v. 38, no. 9; p. 787-790; doi: 10.1130/G30995.1; Data Repository item 2010222.
L. Grant Ludwig, S. O. Akciz, G. R. Noriega*, O. Zielke* and J R. Arrowsmith (2010). Climate-modulated channel incision and rupture history of the San Andreas fault in the Carrizo Plain. Published 21 January 2010 on Science Express, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182837; print version featured on cover; v. 327, 26 February 2010, 1117-1119.
O. Zielke*, J R. Arrowsmith, L. Grant Ludwig, and S. O. Akciz (2010). Slip in the 1857 and earlier large earthquakes along the Carrizo Plain, San Andreas fault, Published 21 January 2010 on Science Express, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182781; print version featured on cover; v. 327, 26 February 2010, 1119-1122.
Grant, L. B., K. J. Mueller, E. M. Gath*, H. Cheng, R. L. Edwards, R. Munro and G. L. Kennedy, Late Quaternary Uplift and Earthquake Potential of the San Joaquin Hills, southern Los Angeles Basin, California, Geology, v. 27, no. 11, p. 1031-1034, 1999
Grant, L. B., Uncharacteristic Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault, Science, v. 272, p.826 - 827, 1996.
Professional Societies
Seismological Society of America
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
American Public Health Association (APHA)
Geological Society of America (GSA)
Other Experience
Member, Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazard Reduction (ACEHR)
Federal Advisory Committee reporting to Director of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 2014—2020
Member, Committee on Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of Academic Research Communities
National Academy of Medicine, Health and Medicine Division, Board on Health Sciences Policy 2016—2017
Member, Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics
Standing Committee of the National Academies Board on Earth Sciences and Resources 2015—2018
Member, Academic Senate Council on Academic Personnel
University of California Irvine 2015—2018
President (President-Elect, Past President)
Seismological Society of America 2013—2016
Founding Director of Public Health Graduate Programs (MPH, Ph.D.)
Program in Public Health 2010—2016
Vice-Chair, Board of Directors
Southern California Earthquake Center 2007—2011
Member, Board on International Scientific Organizations
National Academies Policy and Global Affairs Division 2012—2015
Member, U.S. National Committee to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)
National Academy of Sciences 2003—2011
Member, Executive Committee
California Institute for Hazards Research, University of California MRP 2006—2011
Last updated