Department of Geosciences

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Faculty and Research

Centers and Labs

Professors and Faculty Lecturers

Aiken, Carlos L. V.

Dr. Aiken's research interest focuses on Global Positioning System (GPS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) applications to geophysics and geology and the production of 3D photorealistic models of geologic outcrops.

Brikowski, Tom H.

Dr. Brikowski's research interest is focused on the development and application of numerical approaches to problems of sub-surface fluid migration and solute or heat transport encountered in geology, hydrology, and environmental engineering. His current emphases include geothermal energy development and future climate impacts on water resource availability.

Ferguson, John F.

Dr. Ferguson's research interests involve a broad range of subjects in seismology, potential fields, tectonics, and the application of numerical modeling, signal processing and inverse modeling techniques.

Geissman, John W.
Department Head

Dr. Geissman's research interests are in the general fields of paleomagnetism, which is the study of geologically meaningful magnetizations in rocks and how such magnetizations can be utilized to solve geologic problems; and rock magnetism, which includes study of how such magnetizations are acquired and stabilized in rocks and how magnetic phases and their petrogenesis relate to processes, including deformation, affecting rocks.

William Griffin
Senior Lecturer I
ROC 2.301A

Google Scholar

Griffin, William R.

Dr. Griffin's research interests are related to alkaline intraplate volcanism, and the sources, processes, mechanisms, and tectonic settings in which it occurs. He is particularly interested in fundamental questions related to mantle plume theory, and alternative hypotheses that are capable of producing intraplate volcanic systems. He utilizes geochemical, radiogenic isotope, and geochronological methods to address problems associated with these systems.

Manton, William I.

Dr. Manton's research interests include tracing lead pollution in the environment by means of isotope ratios, mobilisation of lead from the skeleton during pregnancy and lactation, and geological, and especially geochronological, studies in Central America.

McMechan, George A.
Ida Green Professor
Director, Center of Lithospheric Studies

Professor McMechan's current research emphasizes exploration seismology. Projects include development of software for numerical simulation of scalar, acoustic, elastic, viscoelastic, and poroelastic isotropic and anisotropic responses, and the corresponding inversion, imaging and migration processes.

Oldow, John
Ellison Miles Center for Geological Field Studies

Dr. Oldow is a professor of structural geology and tectonics, specializing in regional tectonics and processes related to active plate margins. His primary research emphasis is deciphering the time- integrated history and three-dimensional geometry and kinematics of transpressional and transtensional basins and deformation belts. His work is strongly field based and utilizes structural and stratigraphic analysis to assess depositional and deformational histories of sedimentary basins. Research tools include analysis of folds, faults, and fractures, assessment of stratigraphic architecture and facies patterns within basins, construction of restorable cross-sections, and development of time integrated 3D structural-stratigraphic models.

Pujana, Ignacio

Dr. Pujana's research interests include stratigraphy, biostratigraphy and paleoenvironmental analysis of Mesozoic successions; with emphasis in southern South America. Additionally, Dr. Pujana has a special interest in radiolarians, foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils.
Senior Lecturer I
ROC 2.301L
Prabin Shilpakar
Ellison Miles Center for Geological Field Studies

Teaching courses: Essentials of field geologic methods, Earthquakes and Volcanoes, and Integrated field research focusing on the application of geological and geophysical tools to address Earth Science projects as part of the Ellison Miles Center for Geological Field Studies. Specializing in quantitative assessment of the uncertainty budget and image resolution of Terrestrial Laser scanner (TLS) data used to image natural surfaces and it applications in analyses of geomorphic processes and active tectonics.

Stern, Robert J.

Mini Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Stern's research interests include volcanism associated with convergent plate margins (subduction zones); how new subduction zones form; how Earth's continental crust is generated and destroyed; when Plate Tectonics started; the geologic evolution of the Middle East (especially the region between Egypt and Iran); the formation of the Gulf of Mexico; and the geology of the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex.

Professors Emeritus

Carter, James L.

My research interests involve five basic areas: Lunar and extraterrestrial resources; upper mantle and lower crustal studies of the earth; geochemical exploration and ore deposits; environmental geochemistry; and K-T boundary and Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs.

Dunn, David E.

My research interests involve rock mechanics, especially the brittle fracture process, polyphase deformation in orogenic cores, thrust belt/foreland interactions, and forensic geology.

Mitterer, Richard

My interests are the present and past carbon cycle of the Earth and global changes throughout Earth history. My current project is the origin of high concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide in sediment cores off the southern coast of Australia.

Pessagno, Jr., Emile

My research during the past three decades has focused on the study of two groups of planktonic microfossils: the Radiolaria and planktonic Foraminifera.

Presnall, Dean C.

My research interests include experimental igneous petrology, and the magmatic evolution of Earth.


Rutford, Robert H.

My research interests have been in the area of glacial geology and geomorphology, primarily in Antarctica. The glacial history of that continent is of particular interest. Current activities focus more on science policy and the interactions between scientists and politicians as the Antarctic Treaty System continues to develop and evolve.

Retired Professors

Nielsen, Kent C.

Quantitative structural geology with additional emphasis on the tectonic implications.

Research Scientists

Denison, Rodger

My research interests include the evolution of the Ouachita foldbelt, application of strontium isotopes to the solution of geologic problems, and the Paleozoic structure and evolution of Oklahoma and Texas.

Robert Finkelman
Lecturer I
ROC 2.301P

Finkelman, Robert

Understanding the physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties of coal and how these properties affect the coal's technological performance, economic byproduct potential, and environmental and health impacts. Understanding the impacts of geologic materials and processes on animal and human health (Medical Geology).

Kirkland, Douglas

Research investigations include the environment of deposition of the Late Permian Castile and Cloud Chief evaporites, the age and cycles of the Early Permian Blain-San Andres evaporites, and the origin of cap rock of salt domes of the Gulf Coastal Province. Strontium isotope ratios of samples of gypsum and anhydrite are playing a critical role in these investigations.

Adjunct Faculty

Beauchamp, Weldon
Adjunct Professor

Bergman, Steven
Adjunct Professor
Principal Regional Geologist, Shell Inc.
Phone: 713-245-7271

3737 Bellaire Blvd, PO Box 481
Houston, TX 77001-0481

Russell K.Davies
Adjunct Professor
972 542-5003
Davies, Russell K.

I am a consulting structural geologist for Rock Deformation Research.  I work primarily with the oil and gas industry on service projects and research related to trap/structural analysis particularly as related to fault characterization and the impact on flow.

Montgomery, Homer

Dr. Montgomery's primary research interest is focused on the paleoecology of vertebrate-bearing Cretaceous strata near and in Big Bend National Park, Texas. A second interest is paleotempestology along the Texas coast.

  • Updated: January 23, 2015