Subsurface, Surface & Life

Program lead: Dr. Peter Flemings

By studying past and present states of the Earth’s surface and environment, faculty in this research area seek to (1) understand the evolution of organisms and how developing ecosystems affect the environment, (2) understand how the transport of fluids, solutes, and solids both at and near the Earth’s surface evolve its form, and (3) develop tools and methods that image and quantify properties of Earth’s near surface. Faculty expertise includes geophysics, tools from biology, and geochemical/ geochronological methods that utilize field work, experimentation, remote sensing analyses, and numerical models with an eye toward reconstructing past Earth states and predicting future change. Please check out the Geophysics, Soft Rock and UT Paleontology seminar series.

SSL Course List for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

Description of Immersion Courses

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Christopher J. Bell is a vertebrate paleontologist (N. American small mammal biochronology & bio-stratigraphy), systematics of squamate reptiles and turtles, history of science.

Ginny Catania
Ginny Catania studies the natural and climate-forced variability of Earth’s ice sheets using in-situ and remotely-sensed observations.

Julia Clarke
Julia A. Clarke investigates the evolution of morphology, systematic biology, vertebrate paleontology (birds, dinosaurs), avian anatomy and the evolution of flight.

Flemings P
Peter B. Flemings studies stratigraphy, basin analysis, basin-scale fluid flow, pore pressures in seafloor sediments, oil and gas migration, methane hydrates.

Fomel Res
Sergey Fomel has expertise in computational & exploration geophysics, seismic imaging & data analysis, wave propagation, inverse problems, geophysical estimation.

Timothy Goudge
Timothy A. Goudge uses remote sensing to study the record of surface processes on Mars, Earth, and other planetary bodies.

Brian Horton
Brian K. Horton studies the tectonics of sedimentary basins, mountain building, sediment provenance, nonmarine depositional processes.

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Joel P. Johnson is a geomorphologist who combines field work, experiments and modeling to understand processes and patterns of erosion and sediment transport.

Charles Kerans works on carbonate sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems (reservoir & basin), seismic interpretation & stratigraphy, paleo-karst analysis, carbonate diagenesis.

Malkowski Field
Matthew Malkowski studies how siliciclastic depositional systems respond to and record external forcings such as climate, tectonics, sea level change, and human impacts.

Mao Research Image
Shujuan Mao (starting Fall 2024) conducts 4-dimensional seismological analysis to understand hydrological processes, geothermal energy exploitation, carbon capture & storage, and volcanic activities.

Rowan C. Martindale studies reefs, invertebrate paleoecology, fossilization, mass extinctions & carbon cycle perturbations in deep time (primarily the Triassic & Jurassic).

David Mohrig works at the intersection of sedimentary geology & geomorphology to understand depositional landscapes from the deep ocean to continental interiors.

Cornel C
Cornel Olariu studies clastic sedimentology, stratigraphy, depositional environments, basin analysis.

Rowe Res
Timothy B. Rowe is a vertebrate paleontologist (incl Synapsida and Dinosauria) working on evolution & development of the skeleton, phylogenetic systematics, DigiMorph.

Mrinal K. Sen‘s expertise is seismic wave propagation including anisotropy, geophysical inverse problems, earthquakes and earth structure, petroleum exploration.

Kylespikes Res
Kyle T. Spikes does exploration geophysics, in particular rock physics applications & seismic inversion techniques for reservoir characterization.

Scott W. Tinker studies global energy supply & demand, technology administration, multidisciplinary reservoir characterization, carbonate sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy.

Nicola Tisato investigates physical properties of rocks & minerals, focuses on seismic wave propagation in solids and fluids, investigates (as a caver) the genesis of speleothems.