Research into the sedimentary and tectonic evolution of active and collisional plate margins form the focus of my research efforts. Current fields of specific interest include land-ocean interactions in the marginal seas of Asia, especially the Arabian Sea and the South China Sea. I am also working on associated syn-orogenic sedimentation in the Himalaya and am developing single grain geochemical techniques to link clastic provenance studies with thermochronologic methods in order to reconstruct orogenic erosion histories. Reconstruction of Asian monsoon intensity over millennial and million year time scales is an important objective with the goal of understand its influence on orogenic erosion. The role that erosion and weathering have in controlling long term development of global climate and how south and SE Asia have influenced the climate system is a particular topic of interest.

    I am further interested in the role than erosion plays in controlling the thickness and volume of the continental crust and how excess crustal material is returned to the upper mantle via fluvial transport and subsequent mass recycling into subduction zones.

    Most recently I have developed interests in understanding environmental change driven by climate change in Asia since the Last Glacial Maximum and the potential impacts on early human societies.

Interests and Current Projects



Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, UK, 1991. "Mesozoic/Cenozoic sedimentation and tectonics of the southern Greek Neotethys (Argolis Peninsula)."

D.Sc. University of Oxford , Earth Sciences, 2014

M.A., University of Oxford , Geology, 1993.

B.A., University of Oxford , 1987. First class honours in Geology. Awarded Worcester College


Professional History

2004-2012  Kilgour Professor of Geology, University of Aberdeen, UK

1998-Present Research Affiliate, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

2005-Present  Visiting professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute for Oceanology, Guangzhou, China

2004-Present Visiting Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

2005-2007 Humboldt visiting professor, Universität Bremen, Germany

1999-2004 Associate Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

1995-1999 Assistant Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

1993-1995 Staff Scientist, Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University, USA

1990-1993  Royal Society of Edinburgh / BP Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Edinburgh, UK


Honours and Awards

2019-2021, Visiting Research Professor, University of Hong Kong

2019-Present, Visiting faculty, Jackson School of Geoscience, University of Texas at Austin

2018-2021, Visiting professor, Yunnan University, Kunming, China

2017, Best oral presentation. Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS), San Antonio

2016-2018, Hongguo Professorial Fellowship, Nanjing Normal University, China

2013-2014, OceanLeadership (IODP) Distinguished Lecturer

2009-2011, Fellow, Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Germany

2008, ECORD (IODP) Distinguished Lecturer

2008, Fellow, Geological Society of America

2005, Appointed as visiting professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou

2005, Murchison Fund, Geological Society of London, UK

2005–2007, Humboldt Foundation Fellow, Universität Bremen, Germany

2004, Invited visiting lecturer, University of Tokyo, Japan

2003, Invited visiting lecturer, National Central University and Academica Sinica, Taiwan

2001, Swiney Trust invited visiting lecturer, University of Edinburgh, UK

1987, Worcester College, University of Oxford, Prize for Excellence


External Service

Editor in Chief, Geological Magazine (2017-Present)

Associate Editor, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 2020-Present

External Examiner, University of Derby, UK, 2020-2023

Panel Member, US Advisory Committee on Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC), 2019-Present

Editorial Board, Sedimentology Editor, Journal of the Geological Society, London, 2016-2019.

Chair of the Geological Society of America, South Central Section, 2015-2016

Chair of the Geological Society of America, Penrose Meeting Committee, 2012-2014

Editorial Board, International Geological Review, 2013-Present

Editorial Board, Lithosphere, 2014-2016

Co-leader of IGCP 581 Project “Evolution of Asian River Systems”, 2009-Present.

Editorial board, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, Himalayan Geology

Co-Chief Editor, Marine Geophysical Researches , 2001-2010

Associate Editor, Geology,1998-2000, and 2003-2006

Co-leader of IGCP Project 476 “Impact of Asian Cenozoic tectonic on monsoon evolution and global cooling", 2003-2007

Panel member, Ocean Drilling Program JOIDES ISSEP panel, 2000-2003


Professional Service

Reviewer for Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

GSA Penrose Conferences and Field Forums Committee, 2011-Present

Scientific Steering Committee for the Energy, Environment and Climate Directorate of the Deep Carbon Observatory, 2011-2013.

Member of NERC proposal review college 2005–2008, and 2009-Present.

Committee member, IODP Proposal evaluation panel, 2013-Present

Committee member, IODP site survey panel, 2010-2012.