Research Interests

As a geologist, I am interested in the elucidation of the processes involved in the growth and structuration of the continental lithosphere. To that end, I have studied the history of now-vanished oceans. One of these oceans, the Tethys, formed the present Alpine-Himalayan mountain ranges. From a study of the Tethys, I learned that continental collision can disrupt the colliding continents, thereby creating such diverse structures as large extensional troughs (called rifts) and major strike-slip faults; additionally, the architectural style of the collisional mountain range depends on the size of the vanished ocean. Following up the latter discovery, my group has shown that much of central and north Asia is made up of material offscraped during the closure of another large ocean leading to significant continental growth 600 to 150 million years ago. The architectural style that evolved as a consequence was typical of the oldest pieces of the continental crust formed and structured some 3.5 billion years ago. I have also studied the relationships of rifting to mantle processes from the viewpoint of identifying unequivocal geological fingerprints of the latter, using mainly the East African rifts system as an example.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 15: Geology

Secondary Section

Section 16: Geophysics