Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Acoustic waves in Solar Active Regions
The quiet sun: helioseismology of the photosphere and above
Solar flares as trigger mechanisms for solar quakes
Starquakes and solar quakes
MHD and waves

1996 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Alina Donea is a Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics at Monash University and a PhD supervisor in Solar Physics. A coordinator of a Machine Learning Data Application Group in Solar Physics (BSc and Diploma Physics Bucharest University, PhD Mathematics and Astronomy Romanian Academy and Max Planck, Graduate Certificate High Education Monash). She teaches Mathematical Modelling and Advanced Engineering Mathematics, as well as Astrophysics and Visualisation in Mathematics in the School of Mathematics.

Her research field is focused on helioseismology, wave mechanics, acoustics of solar spots, magnetic fields, solar quakes and solar flares. Expert in Helioseismic Holography (a mathematical method which can tell you how loud is the Sun), Alina can detect solar quakes in satellite images from state-of-art instruments. Her recent interest is in modelling magnetic polarity distributions of solar activity from its helioseismic signatures and applying deep learning AI algorithms in the field of machine learning for solar imaging and space weather forcasting.

She is the author of over 60 refereed publications. She was Partner-Investigator in a major NASA research proposal ”Exploring the Physical Relationship Among Photospheric Magnetic Field Changes, Sunspot Motions, and Sunquakes During Solar Eruptions” and a expert  NASA reviewer for the Solar and Heliospheric Physics Supporting Research and Technology Programs.

She is a also a Member of International Astronomical Union, Astronomical Society of Australia, Australian Institute of Physics-Solar Terrestrial and Space Physics, Solar Physics Advisory Board, Associate Editor at the Frontiers Astronomy and Space Sciences and regularly engaged for joint research with institutes in Australia, Europe, USA (Stanford University, High Altitude Observatory, North Western Research Associates in Colorado, New Jersey Institute of Technology)

 Expert in Helioseismic Holography (a mathematical method which can tell you how loud is the Sun),  Alina can detect solar quakes, seismic ripples on the solar surface in satellite images from state-of-art instruments.


Solar physics: study of of wave oscillations, wave dynamics, wave theory,  acoustic and magnetic waves; Interpretations of the full wave field observed at the solar surface in active regions, sunspots and quiet sun; Solar quakes, Acoustic Haloes, Magnetic Solar flares, Chromosphere and Photosphere  hydrodynamics (observations and interpretation, modelling), Seismic waves (generation, simulations of quiet Sun, ), low frequency radio emission from solar jets

Analytic techniques intended for local helioseismology: computational seismic holography, phase-correlation seismic holography, time distance. Others: LTE plasma, vector magnetograms of the photospheric magnetic field, particle acceleration in shocks and solar flares, cosmic ray propagation using Monte Carlo simulations, Green functions.

Mathematical methods, Imaging Tools: Fourier analysis, Numerical Integration Methods, Astro Data Visualization, Laplace methods, Convolutions, Filtering, 1D and 2-D Gaussian functions for imaging, Fourier Transforms, Frequency Spectra, Periodograms, Time series. Solar Images are 2D, so we really want to perform correlation in 2D, Aliasing and Sampling Theorem, Statistics of Noise.


  • 1992, BSc in Physics, Diploma (M.A. Equivalent) in Physics, University of Bucharest, Romania. Speciality nuclear physics and elementary particles. Diploma "Numerical simulations of orbits of particles and photons around stationary, rotational and charged massive black holes"
  • 1999, PhD in Mathematics, co-tutelle Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest and Max Planck Institute of Radioastronomy, Germany
  • 2006, Graduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education, Monash University


  • 2008-present , Senior Lecturer, Lev C, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University ,
  • 2005-- 2007 , Lecturer B, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University ,
  • 2004, Researcher Australian Research Council , Monash University ,
  • 2001-- 2003, Postdoctoral Research fellow, Australian Research Council, Adelaide University, Australia 
  • 1999 -- 2000, Permanent Postion Researcher, Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, 
  • 1999 -- 2000 , Fixed-Term Lecturer, University of Bucharest, 
  • 1997 -- 1999 , Research Assistant, Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy,
  • 1994 -- 1997 , PhD student, Max Planck Institute of Radioastronomy} Bonn, Germany,
  • 1992 -- 1994 , Research Assistant, Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy


2018, Visiting Scientist, High Altitude Observatory and North West Research Associates, NCAR, Colorado (funded) ,
2016, Visiting Scientist, High Altitude Observatory, Colorado (funded) ,
2014, Invited scientist to NASA meeting "Living with a Star, Solar Flare Focus", Boston ,
2014, Visiting Scientist, New Jersey Institute of Technology (fully funded) ,
2014, Visiting Scientist, High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, Colorado (funded) ,
2012, Visiting Scientist, Boulder Colorado, High Altitude Observatory and CORA/NWRA ,
2010, Research visit, Goetenberg Max Plank Institute
2010, Visiting Scientist, Heidelberg University
2009, Visiting Scholar, Bucharest University
2004, 2005, Visiting Scientist, Boulder Colorado, High Altitude Observatory and CORA/NWRA. ,
2004, Visiting Scholar, Cork University, Ireland ,
2002,Visiting Scientist, Bordeaux Observatory, France. ,
2000,Visiting Scientist, Meudon Observatory and Bordeaux Observatory, France. 



Completed Ph.D. Theses (as main and co-supervisor 12 PhD students), over 15 HDR students. Current PhD students: 2


112 publications (papers and abstracts, 45+ refereed) accordingly to the NASA ADS server: Donea and 464 citing papers, 870  total citations, with an h-index of 15 (ISI), i10-index of 19 and a g-index of 25 (sources: ISI and SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) or Google Scholar ).


See a full list at: SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)


Recent work:2020ApJ...901L...9L

Submerged Sources of Transient Acoustic Emission from Solar Flares



1 2005ApJ...630.1168D 92.00009/2005   
 Donea, A.-C.; Lindsey, C. Seismic Emission from the Solar Flares of 2003 October 28 and 29
2 1999ApJ...513L.143D 80.00003/1999      
 Donea, A.-C.; Braun, D. C.; Lindsey, C. Seismic Images of a Solar Flare
3 2003APh....18..377D 66.00001/2003      
 Donea, Alina-C.; Protheroe, R. J. Radiation fields of disk, BLR and torus in quasars and blazars: implications for /γ-ray absorption
4 2004A&A...419...89R 60.00005/2004   
 Reimer, A.; Protheroe, R. J.; Donea, A.-C. M 87 as a misaligned synchrotron-proton blazar
5 1996A&A...316...43D 40.00012/1996            
 Donea, A.-C.; Biermann, P. L. 

The symbiotic system in quasars: black hole, accretion disk and jet.




  • High Altitutde Observatory, North West REsearch  Associates, Colorado
  • *Fully funded member of three NASA panels to review research proposals for the Solar and Heliospheric; NASA REVIEW PANELS: 2011, 2008, 2016: Donea was part of the NASA Solar and Heliospheric Review Panel, with main role to review in each panel 6 research proposals and be part of the ranking process for other 25 proposals. Fully funded NASA trips Melbourne- Washington DC.
  • Partner on the major NASA research proposal "Exploring the Physical Relationship Among Photospheric Magnetic Field Changes, Sunspot Motions, and Sunquakes During Solar Eruptions", New Jersey Institute,US, 2013-2014. This work provides a broad perspective to all proposed studies of active regions with quakes and acoustic haloes and their interaction with magnetic fields.
  • Cornerstone member, UK Leverhmule Science Group on sunquakes, leading the working group on the development of local helioseismology procedures for robust probing of the quiet regions around sunspots and other flaring magnetic structures, 2013
  • Regularly engaged for joint research with collaborators from institutes in Europe (Essex U. and Hull U. UK, Romanian Academy of Science), the US (Stanford, National Centre for Atmospheric Research via High Altitude Observatory , North Western Research Associates, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Colorado University.
  • The NASA teams I currently work with include pioneers and developers of local helioseismology that have complementary expertise spanning a broad range of subjects – such as helioseismic data analysis, MHD theory, forward and inverse modelling of helioseismic data, and numerical simulations.



[2020] invited talk “Australian Space Agency and Space Research”, 5th Asia Oceania Solar Physics meeting, Pune India, Feb 2020.
[2019] invited plenary speaker: “Advances and results in enhancing and developing helioseismic methods for the space weather prediction” , 19th Australian Space Research Conference, Adelaide, 2019.

[2018] invited speaker on the topic: "Waves and solar flare seismology from photosphere to corona", 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Plasma Physics, Kanazawa, Japan, 2018
[2016] Solar Physics Division Meeting of the American Astronomical Society , June, 2016, Boulder Colorado (oral presentation)
[2016] Australian Space Research Conference,September 26-28, 2016, Victoria (oral presentation)
[2016] Invited speaker for 13th Asia Pacific Physics Conference and the (biennial) 22nd Australian Institute of Physics Congress on behalf of the plasma physics program committee (December 2016). declined)
[2016] Keynote talk in the STSP sessions at the AustralianInstitute of Physics Conress ( joint with the Plasma Physics Division of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies [AAPPS]) 2016. Overlap with the NASA travel to Washington DC
[2015] "Seismicity induced by solar and stellar flares: comparison" , SOLARNET III / HELAS VII / SpaceInn Conference, Freiburg, (part funded) August
[2015] "Helioseismology and flares" IAU General Assembly, Honolulu, (Sun and Heliosphere) scientific meeting, August, overlap, declined
[2015] "Helioseismology: present and future" AOGS "Sun and Heliosphere; Solar Atomic Physics and Helioseismology", Singapore, August, overlap declined
[2015] "Acoustic Haloes", 3rd Asia-Pacific Solar Physics Meeting, APSPM, Seoul University, (fully funded), November
[2014] ”Solar activity, Space Weather and Space Climate", Asia and Oceania Geophysics Society (AOGS), Sapporo, August, declined
[2013] "Solar flares and space weather", AOGS-AGU, Brisbane
[2012] "Acoustically active solar flares and space weather ", AOGS-AGU (WPGM) Joint Assembly, Singapore
[2011] "Transients from solar flares", ATUC science meeting "Time Domain Astronomy", Sydney
[ 2011] " Acoustics of the magnetic activity of the Sun“ during the session "Origin of the Solar Magnetism. The Solar Dynamos”, IUGG General Assembly in 2011, Melbourne
[2010] "Solar flares activity " Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC), Brisbane
[2007] "Waves and oscillations in the solar atmosphere: Heating and magnetoseismology. International meeting organised by the International Astronomy Union IAUS 247,Venezuela
[2007] "Sunquakes" SOHO19/GONG Seismology of Magnetic Activity, Melbourne
[2006] "Seismic transients from flares" SOHO-18 , Beyond the Spherical Sun, UK



2003–04 American Astronomical Society, Chretien International Research Grant $16,000
2005 Studies of solar quakes;Computational seismic holography Early Career Research Grant, Monash: $20,000 2008 Magneto-helioseismology, Near Miss Grant Monash: $30,000
2009 Seismically Probing the Magnetic Sun, Faculty of Science, Bridging Research Grant $10,000
2009 Scientific Visitor Scholarship, Heidelberg U, 2,500 euros
2009–14 European COST Grant The violent universe successful, Alina was a non-COST member, with access to funds for travelling and visiting institutes in Europe, $2500
2010 A New Seismology of the Active Sun, Near Miss Grant Monash, $10,000
2012 Kevin Westfold Distinguished Visitor, Award, Monash Univ., collab. with Dr Roussev, U. of Hawaii, $5,000
2013 Monash Advancing Women Research Success Grant, $12,000
2013 NASA collaborator on ”Exploring the Physical Relationship Among Photospheric Magnetic Field Changes, Sunspot Motions, and Sunquakes During Solar Eruptions” $2000, travel money within the US
2014 Kevin Westfold Distinguished Visitor, Award, Monash Univ., collab. with Dr Claire Fullon, Essex U., $5,000 2014 Scientific visitor position with High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, $6,000
2014 Monash Out Study Program, $5,500
2016 Applied Maths Visitor Grant, MOCA and Monash University Award for collaborations with Dr Phil Judge from High altitude Observatories $5,500
2016 Scientific visitor position with the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, $1,700.
2018 Scientific visiting position + 2 visiting scholarships for PhD students National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, $7500.
2018: Donea’s team is invited for 1-month research visit the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado (fully funded trip for herself and two PhD students)
2016: Two of Donea's PhD students (Paraschiv and Lacatus) received prestigious  solar physics awards for excellent research  at the Solar Physics Division Meeting, American Astronomical Society (2016) ($3000 each)
2014: PhD student Chris Hanson was awarded an SPD prize for excellent presentation at the Solar Physics Division Meeting, American Astronomical Society. (Boston, $1000)
1. "Seismology of solar flares’’ in ``Space Science Reviews'', 2013.
2. Invited to write chapter 4 in the book "Holography", 2011


LoC: Major role in the Local Organizing Committee of two international solar physics conferences (2007, 2012) hosted by Monash University.

SoC: Major role in the Scientific Organizing Committee for five international conferences. The recent SOC contribution are:
"IAU Symposium 335: Space Weather of Heliosphere Processes and Forecasts", July 17-21, (2017)
"The Physics of the Sun. Interior to the Outer Atmosphere", Lanzarote, Spain, 16-20 January (2017)

School of Mathematics, Monash University, Education Committee Meeting (2017-)
Honours Astrophysics Coordinator, Faculty of Science, Monash (2012-2014)
Deputy director Honours Studies, School of Mathematical Sciences (2013-2016)
Member of: Astronomical Society of Australia, Australian National Institute for Theoretical Astro-physics, the International Astronomical Union, American Astronomical Society : Solar Physics Division
Review Editor of the Editorial Board of Stellar and Solar Physics (speciality section of Frontiers in
Astronomy and Space Sciences and Frontiers in Physics) (2014-)
Panel Reviewer for NASA
Referee for ApJ, Solar Physics and other journals


Our solar group  has an internationally leading competence in the fields of helioseismology, magneto–helioseismology and solar quakes. Observationally, the group has access to a vast number of databases. The group utilizes strongly local and national High-Performance Computing facilities.


  • reported in the science media:
  • The Wikipedia site, topic Helioseismology /Holography mentions Donea’s paper on solar flares..
    • I  led the research field of the exploration of multiple seismic emissions from solar flares (detection, multiwavelength analysis, interpretation) since 1998, when Dr Kosovichev and Dr Zharkova, reported the first tsunami-like ripples from a solar flare in a Nature paper. Donea's work established the unique role of magnetic field in the structure of seismic emissions from flares.
    • As a data solar physicist, I also distribute my codes to other universitiies to model and analyze data.
    • In 2007, in response to an invitation from the Director of GONG, the Monash group took part in the GONG solar farside program. National Solar Observatory developed near real time farside holography using GONG+ data for routine space weather purposes. Dr Mark Rast from NSO is one of our collaborators in a NASA and DKIST peoposal.
      • In 2008 - 2018, the far side image software and its stage codes are successfully run at Monash University as part of an Honours research projects (followed by his PhD in the field of seismology). Dr Charlie Lindsey from North WestResearch Associates, Boulder, USA, one of the leading scientists in the research of helioseismology and the application of the helioseismic holography to the farside images of the Sun, collaborated with us on the stage 1 research.


  • In 2013-2014 The continuous collaboration over years has lead to the development of a healthy network of institutions collaborating in the field of helioseismology: High Altitude Observatory New Jersey Institute of Technology, Hull University, Mullard Space Science Laboratory
  • Invitation to write a review  paper on  "Seismology of solar flares’’ in ``Space Science Reviews'', 2013.
  • Quote from the book on seismology of solar flares “Helioseismology, Asteroseismology and MHD Connections”,ed. by Gizon, Cally and Leibacher : “it can be very well argued that the discovery of seismic emission from flares is one of the most important developments in local helioseismology” In the book “Pulsating Stars” book by Catelan and Smith , under the chapter review on “Sunquakes and Starquakes: flare driven Oscillations”, two of CI’s papers are cited as reference papers in the field.
  • Invited to present scientific  results in: Lindsey C., Braun D. C., Gonzalez Hernandez I. and Donea A.-C. Book Chapter, ”Computational Seismic Holography of Acoustic Waves in the Solar Interior” in Holography ed. Joseph Rosen (InTech Online Publications), 91–116 (2011)  Our pioneer team was invited to write this chapter book, reviewing the important applications of helioseismic holography based on mathematical optics, and using acoustic signals for the near and far side of the Sun. The chapter is highly mathematical.
  • Ground-break discovery. I developed an improved technique in “Helioseismic Holography” which was successfully applied to  Gbytes of satellite processed data , which led to the discovery of two giant solar quakes. In 2004  I  contacted collaborators Lindsey and Braun, at NWRA, to confirm the discoveries and interpret the results. I am internationally recognized as the pioneer of  detection of seismic sources that can generate sunquakes .
  •  NASA project: Donea was a partner in the funded NASA project: “Living with a Star: Flare Dynamics in the Lower Solar Atmosphere”, under the topic “Exploring the Physical Relationship among Photospheric Magnetic Field Changes, Sunspot Motions and Sunquakes during Solar Eruptions“ (2013-2016).
  • outstanding discovery of solar jets and their coronal sources, and the link to radio observations and imaging of jets in the paper "Low Altitude Solar Magnetic Reconnection, Type III Solar Radio Bursts, and X-ray Emissions Nature Scientific Report . IF is 4.5, published by Springer Nature Sci Rep. 2018

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research area keywords

  • Acoustic Waves
  • Solar Flares
  • Solar Activity
  • Helioseismic Holography
  • Quiet Sun
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Wave mechanics

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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