Earth Sciences

Faculty List

Professor and Chair of the Department 
S. Finkelstein, M.Phil., PhD 

Professor and Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) 
M. L. Diamond, MSc, M.Sc.Eng., PhD 

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, and Associate Chair (Undergraduate) 
C. Bank, Dipl. Geophys., MSc, PhD 

University Professor 
B. Sherwood-Lollar, BA, PhD, FRSC 

J. R. Desloges (joint appointment with Geography), MSc, PhD, FRSC 
M. L. Diamond, MSc, M.Sc. Eng., PhD 
M. Dittrich, PhD (U of T Scarborough) 
J. Halfar, Dip Geol, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 
K.W.F. Howard, MSc, PhD (U of T Scarborough) 
Q. Liu, MSc, PhD (joint appointment with Physics) 
R. Pysklywec, MSc, PhD 
L. Schoenbohm, BSc, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 

Associate Professors 
B.A. Bergquist, BSc, PhD 
J. Bollmann, Dipl. Geol., Sci. Nat. ETH 
S. A. Cowling, MSc, PhD 
G.S. Henderson, MSc, PhD 
M. Laflamme, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 
A. Swidinsky, MSc, PhD 
U. Wortmann, Dipl. Geo., Dr. Rer. Nat. 

Assistant Professors 
M.O. Anderson, BSc, MSc, PhD 
X. Chu, M.Phil., PhD 
D.D. Gregory, BSc, PhD 
P. Heron, MSc, M. Geophys., PhD (U of T Scarborough) 
S. Lui, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 
C. Kin I Sio, BS, PhD 

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream 
T. Santimano, MSc, PhD 

Status Only Faculty 
M. Head, MSc, PhD (Brock University) 
K. Tait, MSc, PhD, ROM 

Non-tenure Stream Faculty 
N. Bennett, MSc, PhD 
M.A. Hamilton, MSc, PhD 
S. Kamo, MSc, PhD 

Professors Emeriti 
G.M. Anderson, B. Eng, MSc, PhD 
R. C. Bailey, BSc, PhD 
D. Davis, MSc, PhD 
N. Eyles, MSc, PhD (U of T Scarborough) 
F.G. Ferris, BSc, PhD, FRSC 
J. Gittins, MSc, PhD, Sc D (U) 
H.C. Halls, MSc, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 
A.D. Miall, BSc, PhD, D. Sc., FRSC 
B. Milkereit, MSc, PhD 
G. Norris, MA, PhD, FRSC (U) 
P-Y. F. Robin, MSc, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 
D.J. Schulze, MSc, PhD (U of T Mississauga) 
W.M. Schwerdtner, Dipl. Geol., Dr. Rer. Nat. 
E. T. C. Spooner, MA, PhD (U) 
P.H. von Bitter, MA, PhD 
J.A. Westgate, BSc, PhD (S) 


Do you like sciences but have a hard time choosing which one to pursue? Can you picture yourself performing experiments in the lab, or collecting data in the field, or developing and testing models on a computer? Then Earth Sciences is the discipline for you. It is the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales in earth and planetary systems. 

Our department offers various programs:

The three specialist programs – Geology, Environmental Geoscience, and Geophysics (offered in collaboration with the Department of Physics) – give students the skills to enter graduate studies and also allow them to become professional “geoscientists in training” after graduation. The Geology specialist program focuses on processes of the solid planetary bodies, including volcanoes, sedimentary environments, mountain building, the formation of minerals or ores, and Earth through time. The Environmental Geosciences specialist program in addition addresses processes related to groundwater and biochemical activities. The Geophysics specialist program allows students to model physical processes in and on Earth and other planets and to apply non-invasive methods of imaging the subsurface, often in 4D (i.e., space and time); targets may range from archaeological investigations to groundwater imaging and mineral exploration, but also include modeling of mountain-building processes and planetary magnetic fields.

The Geoscience Major program builds on a set of core courses and allows students to select elective courses that match their particular interests. Students have paired this program not just with other science programs but such diverse fields as geography, archaeology, economics, history, political science, or peace and conflict studies. 

The Geoscience Minor program provides an introduction to Earth science topics and thinking. 

The Earth and Environmental Systems Major program takes a holistic approach to understanding how the Earth system works and how it has evolved over tens to millions and billions of years. This requires understanding the dynamics and interactions of all aspects of the system (solid Earth, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere) and provides the larger context at a time when climate change, resource consumption and global pollution weigh heavily on people and societies.

Our programs emphasise hands-on lab and field work. At least one field course is required in each program, and several courses have offered optional one-day to two-week long trips. In recent years courses have travelled to Newfoundland, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, Chile, and New Zealand, and small groups of undergraduates have been involved with field research in Turkey, Peru, Greece and South Africa. These field training opportunities foster the establishment of peer networks, develop team-working skills, afford hands-on learning, and allow for a close collaboration and mentoring experience between individual students and instructors. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of extra and co-curricular opportunities such as study abroad, summer abroad, internships, or working in industry and non-governmental organizations.

More information (including an undergraduate handbook) can be found on the department website Students are encouraged to discuss their plans for program and course selection with the Undergraduate Associate Chair (

Undergraduate/Graduate Administrator: 22 Ursula Franklin Street, room 1066; 416-978-1240;