Professor Tim Stern whose talk in Whanganui last year was packed out is coming back to talk about the hidden forces shaping the landscape.

Stern will address the Whanganui Science Forum about where and when the next Kaikōura-level earthquake will occur in New Zealand — and whether earthquakes are something we should worry about in Whanganui.

They happen in an east-west line between Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu, and Stern will explain how they are connected to the two volcanoes.

In recent years he has also been investigating Antarctic ice melting and sea level rise. He can say why sea level rise on the west coast of the North Island is less than half of that on the east coast.

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Stern lectures at Victoria University. He has been a fellow of the Royal Society since 2007, and was in the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship earlier this year.

He is especially interested in the forces that have built the mountains of New Zealand's central North and South islands, and the Transantarctic Mountains.

Stern last spoke in Whanganui in February 2017. The temporary venue was too small for the crowd. But forum co-convenor Ella Grant said those who did squeeze in enjoyed his talk despite the heat and crush.

Stern's Whanganui Science Forum talk is on October 30, at 7.30pm in the Whanganui Regional Museum's Davis Lecture Theatre. It will cost $4 for forum members, and $5 for others.