Faculty Emeriti

Cathy J. Busby

Professor Emerita on Return To Active Duty
Ph.D., Princeton University (1983)

A field-based geologist, doing research in sedimentology, volcanology, and structural geology, in convergent margin and rift tectonic settings. Her work is mainly sponsored by the National Science Foundation, but has also been supported by the geothermal, mineral and petroleum industries, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Most recently, she has become involved in oceanographic research, serving as Co-Chief Scientist on International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 350 to the Izu-Bonin arc (2014). Cathy currently holds three NSF awards, including the Baja Basins Research Experience for Undergraduates site. She is an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer (2014-2015), and she teaches short courses and field workshops on sedimentary tectonics, deepwater sedimentation, and volcanic-volcaniclastic geology.


Richard Cowen portrait

Richard Cowen
email: richard "at" blueoakfarm.com

Richard Cowen

Senior Lecturer Emeritus
University of California Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, 1993
Ph.D., Cambridge (1966)

Functional and anatomical reconstruction of fossil invertebrates; the interrelationship between geology and people. Projects include work on trilobite eyes, algal symbiosis in fossils, and analysis of the human impact of a historic earthquake in the area. See also CV, books, publications, and courses.


Howard Day portrait

Howard W. Day
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
office: 2234 Earth and Physical Sciences
phone: (530) 752-2882
email: hwday@ucdavis.edu

Howard W. Day

Professor Emeritus
2011 Charles P. Nash Prize, UC Davis
Ph.D., Brown (1971)

Metamorphic petrology and mineralogy; tectonic evolution of metamorphic belts; thermodynamics and phase equilibria; petrology of granites. Recent projects include: prehnite-pumpellyite and greenschist facies metamorphism in the Sierra Nevada; low blueschist facies metamorphism in the Coast Ranges; U-Pb and fission track geochronology of zircon in the Sierra Nevada; tectonic and metamorphic evolution of the Qinling and Tianshan orogenic belts, China.


John Dewey

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of London (1960)

Basic interests and knowledge are in structural geology and tectonics from the small-scale materials science of deformed rocks to the large-scale origin of topography and structures. Ongoing field-based research is on the rock fabrics and structures of transpression and transtension especially in California, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland and Newfoundland. Evolving interests are in the neotectonics of California and Nevada in the relationship among faulting,topography, and sediment provenance, yield and distribution. Derivative interests are in the geohazard of volcanoes, earthquakes and landslides.

James Doyle portrait placeholder

James A. Doyle
office: 5349 Storer Hall
phone: (530) 752-7591
email: jadoyle@ucdavis.edu

James A. Doyle

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Harvard University (1971)

Research deals primarily with the origin and early evolution of angiosperms. His oldest interest is in Cretaceous fossil pollen and leaves and their implications for the evolution, geographic spread, and original ecology of angiosperms. More recently his research has emphasized phylogenetic analyses of relationships between angiosperms and other seed plants and among living primitive angiosperm groups, based on morphological, molecular, and fossil evidence. Doyle has worked on phylogeny, evolution, and biogeography of several living plant groups, especially the tropical family Annonaceae, the largest family of primitive angiosperms. His current main project aims to integrate Early Cretaceous fossils into the predominantly molecular phylogeny of living primitive angiosperms and to evaluate implications of the results for morphological evolution.

Eldridge Moores portrait

Eldridge M. Moores
Structural Geology and Tectonics
office: 2211A Earth and Physical Sciences
phone: (530) 752-0352
email: emmoores@ucdavis.edu

Eldridge M. Moores

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
2013 Distinguished emeritus award
Ph.D., Princeton (1963)

Interests lie in tectonics, structural geology, and petrology;  ophiolites and their significance, the tectonics of Alpine-type mountain belts, Cordilleran tectonics, Precambrian tectonics, and K-12 education and public awareness of Earth Science. His field experience has included work and/or field excursions in about 60 countries including all seven continents.  Moores is relatively fluent, if rusty, in Modern Greek, German, and French, and can survive in Italian and Spanish.  Moores is the author or co-author of over 130 publications, including two textbooks (with R. J. Twiss), entitled Tectonics, and Structural Geology (2nd Ed),  monographs, and books for a popular audience.  He is prominently featured in John McPhee's books Assembling California and Annals of the Former World.   Moores was Editor of Geology from 1981-87, and Science Editor of GSA Today from 1991-95. Moores was 1996 President of the Geological Society of America and 2004-2008, Vice President of the International Union of Geological Sciences.

Jeffrey F. Mount

Professor Emeritus
UC Davis Distinguished Public Service Award, 2005
Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz (1980) 

Fluvial geomorphology, ecogeomorphology, river and water resource analysis. Research emphasis on the geomorphology and ecology of rivers and streams, their response to changes in land use/land cover and flow regulation, and their restoration and assessment. Projects include restoration of river floodplains, management of levee systems in floodplain/estuary systems, re-operation of hydropower systems to improve aquatic ecosystems and adapt to climate change, and restoration of spring fed streams and meadow systems. Outreach includes assisting agencies and non-profits in assessment and formulation of river management policies.

Sarah Roeske portrait

Sarah M. Roeske
Structural Geology and Tectonics; Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
office: 1109 Earth and Physical Sciences
phone: (530) 752-4933
email: smroeske@ucdavis.edu

Sarah M. Roeske

Research Geologist Emerita
Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz (1988)

Structural geology and metamorphic petrology. Combine detailed macrostructural analysis in the field with microstructural studies, metamorphic petrology, and geochronology, in order to solve tectonic problems. Current research topics include the tectonic evolution of convergent margins in Alaska and Argentina, with a focus on determining type, age and relative significance of different periods of fault movements. Related problems include uplift of high P/low T metamorphic rocks and role of strike-slip faults at convergent margins.

James R. Rustad

Professor Emeritus
UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow, 2005-2006
Ph.D., Minnesota (1992) 

Interfacial and mineral surface geochemistry; mineralogy; mineral physics. Research is focused on computational chemical models of interfacial structure as well as surface charging, sorption, dissolution, and precipitation phenomena at oxide-water interfaces. Computational methods are also applied to problems in mineralogy and in aqueous and silicate melt geochemistry, including physics of hydrated minerals, ligand exchange and electron transfer reactions.

Peter Schiffman

Professor Emeritus and Research Geologist Emeritus
Ph.D., Stanford (1978)

Alteration petrology and mineralogy of active and fossil hydrothermal systems in terrestrial and submarine settings. Participation in Iceland Deep Drilling Project and the Surtsey Volcano Drilling Project

Recent publications

Donald Turcotte portrait

Donald L. Turcotte
office: 2211A Earth and Physical Sciences
phone: (530) 752-6808
email: dlturcotte@ucdavis.edu

Donald L. Turcotte

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Caltech (1958)

Application of dynamical systems to geological problems, including crustal deformation, seismicity, topography, forest fires. Geodynamics, including mantle convection and the forces that drive the plates and result in seismicity, volcanism, and mountain building at the earth's surface. Planetary geology and geophysics, especially the interpretation of data returned from various planetary missions.

UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences

Robert J. Twiss

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Princeton (1971)

General research interests include the mechanisms and mechanics of rock deformation and the interpretation of associated structures. Recent research involves the inference of rotational components of deformation from inversion of seismic first-motion data and fault-slip data, using micropolar continuum theory; and the use of fault systematics to infer large-scale brittle deformation. Earlier research interests include paleopiezometry, which is the use of the microstructures of ductilely deformed mineral grains to infer the paleostresses associated with deformation; and the systematics of fold geometry. Twiss co-authored the textbooks Structural Geology, 2nd Edition (Twiss and Moores, W.H. Freeman & Co., 2007) and Tectonics (Moores and Twiss; Waveland Press, 2014).

Robert Zierenberg portrait

Robert A. Zierenberg
Geochemistry; Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology; Earth-Surface Processes
office: 3125 Earth and Physical Sciences
phone: (530) 752-1863
email: razierenberg@ucdavis.edu

Robert A. Zierenberg

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Wisconsin (1983)
GeochemistryIgneous and Metamorphic PetrologyEarth-Surface Processes

Aqueous geochemistry; stable isotope geochemistry; economic geology. Research has focused on water/rock interaction in active and ancient hydrothermal systems, including the "black smokers" on the mid-ocean ridges. Research topics include the geology and geochemistry of sulfide deposits and hydrothermal alteration in seafloor hydrothermal systems and on-land analogs. Hydrothermal activity at sediment-covered portions of the northern Juan de Fuca Ridge and southern Gorda Ridge seafloor spreading centers have been a long term research interest, including participation in Legs 139 and169 of the Ocean Drilling Program. The Iceland Deep Drilling Project is providing new opportunities to investigate water/rock interaction in the deep, high-temperature roots of hydrothermal systems. Other interests include the environmental effects of mining, particularly the generation of acid mine drainage, mercury contamination in Clear Lake related to the abandoned Sulphur Bank Hg mine, the geochemical and biological cycling of sulfur, and sulfur isotope geochemistry.