I was born in Taksim, Istanbul in 1985 and raised in Bodrum on the Aegean coast – home to some amazing geology. My curiosity in the nature that surrounds us – in my case the Afyon high-pressure metamorphic rocks, Miocene volcanics, and a moderate earthquake here and there – started as a child. My father – a captain – shared his love for the ocean – naming me Derya from daryā (Old Persian drayah), meaning ‘sea’ or ‘ocean’. My mother – a teacher – loved to explore the plants, animals and rocks in the mountains together.

Upon moving to Germany and finishing high school in 2005, I
decided to throw off the bowlines and sail far away from the
safe harbor – destination: Sydney, Australia. After working
and traveling for a year and a half, I started my university
education with Marine Sciences (University of Sydney,
2007), which sparked my interest to continue my undergraduate education in Earth Sciences at the University of Bonn (2008-2010), followed by a semester at the Australian National University (2011), a Master in Physics of Geological Processes (University of Oslo, 2011- 2013), and as a PhD candidate in Earth Sciences (Utrecht University, 2013 – 2017).

After almost 20 years away, it was geology that brought me back on home ground – Turkey. My PhD research focused on unraveling the complex geological history of the subduction- dominated Anatolian orogen combining field geology with a range of methods. Ultimately, this lead to the reconstruction of an ocean – in space and back in time – that was almost entirely lost to subduction.

Besides geology, my interests are hiking, rock climbing and watersports (scuba diving, sailing). I am passionate about (solo)travelling, photography, painting, indulging in diverse cultures and food.

The journey continues…

Download my CV here