Faculty and Staff

Robert Thorson

Dr. Robert Thorson

Department Head (Interim)




Research Interests:

Late Quaternary (including Anthropocene) changes in the New England landscape. Science communication. Environmental History.


Thorson Home

Stone Wall Initiative

Video: Creation Story of UConn Nation

Video: UConn Talks – Robert Thorson


Lisa Park Boush

Dr. Lisa Park Boush

(860) 486-4434



Research Interests
Earth system processes and the reconstruction of past climate history and its impact on coastal and lacustrine ecosystems. Current research – Bahamas / reconstructing high-resolution records of hurricanes, sea level, paleoclimate, and anthropogenically-driven environmental change.

Other research:

Climate and biodiversity related projects in Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi, as well as Eritrea, Kenya, Oman, Indonesia, and western North America. Served for three years (2010-2013) as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and was a Professor of Geosciences at the University of Akron (1995-2014).


Andrew Bush

Dr. Andrew Bush

(860) 486-9385


Research Interests 

Changes in marine paleoecology and biodiversity
The Late Devonian (Frasnian/Famennian) mass extinction
Upper Devonian stratigraphy in the Appalachian Basin
Ecologic gradient analysis of fossil species
Hartford Basin paleontology


Paleobiology Seminar (various topics; EEB 5895/GSCI 6130)
Paleobiology (EEB/GSCI 4120)
Earth History and Global Change (GSCI 3010)
General Ecology – Writing Intensive (EEB 2244W)

Research Website


Tim Byrne

Dr. Tim Byrne

(860) 486-8144


Research Interests:

Marine Geology and Tectonics
Convergent Margin Geology
Structural Geology

Home | Structural Geology & Active Tectonics

Dr. Ben Chilson-Parks


Research Interests:

Igneous petrology, isotope geochemistry, tectonics, subduction zones, formation & evolution of continental lithosphere

I use geochemical and petrological observations to describe the genesis and history of mantle-sourced melts and xenoliths. Most of my work in this topic has focused on the evolution and origins of basaltic volcanism in the southern Andes and kimberlite-hosted mantle xenoliths from the northern Rocky Mountains. I rely on the chemical and isotopic analyses of these samples to characterize the heterogeneities present in the mantle and to resolve the role of subduction in creating and modifying these heterogeneities.

Vernon Cormier

Dr. Vernon Cormier

(860) 486-3547


Research Interests:

Solid earth geophysics, emphasizing deep and three-dimensionally heterogeneous structure of the earth inferred from seismic wavefields.


Effects on the seismic wavefield by descending slabs and fault zones
Solidification of the inner core and its role in driving the geodynamo, viscoelastic and scattering attenuation of waves in heterogeneous media, and numerical modeling of wavefields by parallel computing.


Jean Crespi

Dr. Jean Crespi

(860) 486-0601


Research Interests:

Structural geology and tectonics of arc-continent collisions
Geometry and kinematics of transpression zones
Strain analysis using deformed fossils and strain fringes around rigid objects
Deformation history of low-grade metamorphic rocks

Ran Feng

Dr. Ran Feng


Research Interests:

My research focuses on expanding our knowledge of climate evolution by improving interpretations of proxy records and exploring the capability of coupled Earth system models to simulate past greenhouse climates. I focus on three main themes: 1) exploring forcings and feedbacks that shaped past greenhouse climates, 2) explicit modeling of climate proxies such as δ18O and δD, paleo-forest fire, and atmospheric dust cycling, and 3) application of statistical models to gather spatial information from sparsely located proxy records.


Julie Fosdick

Dr. Julie Fosdick



Research Interests

Tectonics, thermochronology, sedimentary basin analysis

My research focuses on reconstructing ancient phases of mountain building and erosion to understand how tectonics, surface processes, and climate interact to influence the Earth’s dynamic landscapes. Research methods include field mapping and stratigraphy, low-temperature thermochronology, sediment provenance analysis, geochronology, and structural reconstructions. Currently, I have ongoing projects in the Magallanes (Austral) Basin in the Patagonian Andes, the Argentine Precordillera of the southern Central Andes, and the San Andreas Fault System in California.

Research Website

Michael Hren

Dr. Michael Hren

(860) 486-9511


Research Interests:

Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry
Stable isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic materials.Present research projects include work on long-term changes in atmospheric CO2, isotopic tracing of organic molecular biomarkers, isotopic fractionation during biosynthesis of cell components and degradation in sediments, and identification and stable isotopic analysis of biomarkers in ancient sediments.

Research Website

Lanbo Liu

Dr. Lanbo Liu

(860) 486-1388


Research Interests:

Engineering site characterization;
Wave propagation simulation and imaging;
Environmental and Engineering Geophysics;
Engineering Geology.

Research Website


Will Ouimet

Dr. Will Ouimet

(860) 486-3322


Research Interests:

Erosion Processes
Landform and Landscape Evolution
Earth surface processes
Physical geography
Landscape evolution
Tectonic geomorphology
Fluvial geomorphology
Hillslope processes
Cosmogenic radio nuclides

Research Website

Dr. Tammo Reichgelt


Research Interests:

Paleobotany, Paleoclimate

My research focuses on the interaction between plants and climate in Earth’s past and present. Plants comprise ~80% of the Earth’s biomass, shape their environment, and are shaped by it. Understanding how plants interact with their environment today can help us reconstruct Earth’s terrestrial paleoclimate. I am particularly interested in the evolution of Earth’s terrestrial temperatures, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and ancient precipitation rates. I employ a variety of strategies, ranging from big-data analytics, taxonomy, palynology, isotope chemistry, leaf micro- and macromorphology.

Gary Robbins

Dr. Gary Robbins

(860) 486-2448


Research Interests:

Fate and transport of ground water contamination and ground water supply sustainability.

Current projects:

Using GIS based analyses in evaluating spatial and temporal trends in bedrock well hydraulic characteristics and water qualityEvaluating the occurrence and sources of high levels of manganese in bedrock drinking water wells in ConnecticutAssessing temporal trends in ground water levels in Connecticut in response to global climate change

Evaluating historical trends in salt levels in surface water and ground water in Connecticut

Developing an approach for assessing water resources in fractured crystalline bedrock and impacts of pumping on sustainability

Use of tracer dilution for determining fracture flow characteristics in crytalline bedrock wells.

Clay Tabor

Dr. Clay Tabor


Research Interests:

My research involves the development, application, and evaluation of Earth system models for understanding Earth’s past and future. I take a model-proxy comparison approach to investigate past greenhouse and icehouse climates. I am currently exploring the glacial-interglacial cycles of the past 3 million years and the asteroid impact that led to the end Cretaceous mass extinction 66 million years ago.


Robert Thorson

Dr. Robert Thorson

(860) 486-1396


Research Interests:

Late Pleistocene and Anthropocene evolution of the New England and northern Appalachian landscape

Other Websites:

Personal website

StoneWall Initiative

UConn Talks – Robert Thorson

Pieter Visscher

Dr. Pieter Visscher



Biosignatures, Microbe-mineral interactions, Precipitation and dissolution of carbonates and Mg-silicates,

Volatile carbon compounds, Mechanisms forming extant and extinct (Precambrian) microbialites,

biogeochemistry of sulfur and arsenic, life in biofilms

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Research Faculty

Adam Goldsmith

Dr. Adam Goldsmith


My research is focused on low-temperature (U-Th)/He thermochronology. Specifically, my work is dedicated to improving the accuracy and ease of interpretation of thermochronometric datasets through the study of mineral diffusion kinetics as they relate to factors such as radiation damage/annealing/recrystallization and concentration heterogeneity. 


Christin Donnelly

Christin Donnelly

(860) 486-4432


Program Coordinator

Office: Room 207 Beach Hall

Christin is the point person for the Department of Geosciences.  She is responsible for handling all of the day to day operations within the Center, including advising duties, inquiries about majors, minors, programs of study, masters and PhD programs, assistantships, and fellowships.  She is in the main office of the Center daily M-F.