List of geologists

List of geologists

A geologist is a contributor to the science of geology. Geologists are also known as earth scientists or geoscientists.

The following is a list of famous or notable geologists. Many have received such awards as the Penrose Medal, the Wollaston Medal, or have been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society.

Geoscience specialties represented here include geochemistry, geophysics, geomorphology, glaciology, hydrology, oceanography, mineralogy, petrology, crystallography, paleontology, paleobotany, paleoclimatology, palynology, sedimentology, soil science, stratigraphy, and volcanology. In this list, the person listed is a geologist unless another specialty is noted.

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*Otto Wilhelm Hermann von Abich (1806–1886), German mineralogist
*Louis Agassiz (1807–1873), Swiss-American geologist, work on ice ages, glaciers, Lake Agassiz
*Georgius Agricola (Georg Bauer) (1494–1555), German naturalist and 'Father of Mineralogy', author of De re metallica
*Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605), Italy, Renaissance naturalist
*Claude Allègre (born 1937), prize-winning French geochemist
*Walter Alvarez (born 1940), USA, author of "T. Rex and the Crater of Doom"
*J. Willis Ambrose, first President of Geological Association of Canada
*Roy Chapman Andrews (1884–1960), American explorer and naturalist; Mongolian dinosaurs
*Mary Anning (1799–1847), England, pioneer fossil collector
*Adolphe d'Archiac (1802–1868), prize-winning French paleontologist
*Giovanni Arduino (1714–1795), Italian, first classification of geological time
*Richard Lee Armstrong (1937–1991), American/Canadian geochemist
*Tanya Atwater, California, USA geophysicist, marine geologist, plate tectonics specialist


*Andrew Geddes Bain (1797–1864), South Africa, prepared first detailed geological map of South Africa
*Robert T. Bakker (born 1945), American dinosaur paleontologist; author, "The Dinosaur Heresies"
*Thomas Barger (1909–1986), USA, noted Saudi geologist and CEO of Aramco
*Anthony R. Barringer (born 1925), Canadian/American geophysicist and inventor
*Florence Bascom (1862–1945), USA, first woman geologist at the US Geological Survey
*Robert Bell (1841–1917), considered Canada’s greatest explorer-scientist
*Walter A. Bell (1889–1969), Canadian paleobotanist and stratigrapher
*Etheldred Benett (1776–1845), England, pioneer paleontologist
*Jim Berkland, geologist
*Pierre Berthier (1782–1861), French geologist, discovered the properties of bauxite
*Selwyn G. Blaylock (1879–1945), Canadian chemist and mining executive with Cominco
*Stewart Blusson (born 1939), Canada, co-discoverer of Ekati Diamond Mine
*Bruce Bolt (1930–2005), USA (born Australia), pioneer engineering seismologist in California
*José Bonaparte (bor 1928), Argentine paleontologist, discovered many South American dinosaurs
*Norman L. Bowen (1887–1956), Canada, pioneer experimental petrologist
*J. Harlen Bretz (1882–1981), USA, discovered origin of channeled scablands
*Wallace S. Broecker (born 1931), American paleoclimatologist and chemical oceanographer
*Robert Broom (1866–1951), South African palaeontologist, discovered australopithecine hominid fossils
*Barnum Brown (1873–1963), USA, famous dinosaur hunter and self-taught paleontologist
*Christian Leopold von Buch (1774-1853), German geologist and paleontologist
*William Buckland (1784–1856), England, wrote the first full account of a fossil dinosaur
*B. Clark Burchfiel, USA, MIT structural geologist, currently studying Tibetan plateau


*Stephen E. Calvert, Canadian professor, geologist, oceanographer
*Colin Campbell (born 1931), British petroleum geologist and Peak Oil theorist
*Neil Campbell (1914–1978), Canada, Northwest Territories mineral exploration
*Samuel Warren Carey (born 1911), Australia, developed an Expanding Earth theory
*Petr Cerny, Czech/Canadian mineralogist
*Alexandre-Emile Béguyer de Chancourtois (1820–1886), France, geologist and mineralogist
*George V. Chilingar, USA, distinguished international petroleum geologist
*John J. Clague, Canada, Quaternary and geological hazards expert
*Thomas H. Clark (1893–1996), Canada, co-author of "The Geological Evolution of North America" (1960)
*William Branwhite Clarke (1798–1878), Australia (born England), discovered gold in New South Wales, 1841
*Peter Clift (1966-Present), United Kingdom, Marine geologist, monsoon researcher
*Hans Cloos (1885–1951), prominent German structural geologist
*Simon Conway Morris (born 1951), palaeontologist and writer
*William Conybeare (1787–1857), England, author of "Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales" (1822)
*Isabel Clifton Cookson (1893–1973), prize-winning Australian paleobotanist and palynologist
*Edward Drinker Cope (1840–1897), USA, pioneer dinosaur paleontologist; Bone Wars competitor
*Charles Cotton (1885–1970), New Zealand, geologist and geomorphologist
*Georges Cuvier (1769–1832), France, proponent of catastrophism


*G. Brent Dalrymple, USA, author "The Age of the Earth" (1991), winner National Science Medal, 2005
*James Dwight Dana (1813–1895), USA, author of "System of Mineralogy" (1837)
*Charles Darwin (1809–1882), British naturalist, author of "On the Origin of Species"
*George Mercer Dawson (1849–1901), Canada, pioneer Yukon geologist
*John William Dawson (1820–1899), Canada, pioneer Acadian geologist
*Henry De la Beche (1796–1855), England, first director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain
*Duncan R. Derry (1906–1987), Canadian economic geologist
*Nicolas Desmarest (1725–1815), France, pioneer volcanologist
*William R. Dickinson (born 1930), Arizona, USA, plate tectonics, Colorado Plateau
*Robert S. Dietz (1914–1995), USA, seafloor spreading pioneer
*Ignacy Domeyko (1802-1889), Slavic-Chilean geologist and mineralogist
*Robert John Wilson Douglas (1920–1979), Canadian petroleum geologist
*Aleksis Dreimanis (born 1914), Latvia & Canada, award-winning Quaternary geologist
*Clarence Edward Dutton (1841–1912), USA, author of "Tertiary History of the Grand Canyon District"


*Niles Eldredge (born 1943), American paleontologist; theory of punctuated equilibrium
*Jean-Baptiste Élie de Beaumont (1798–1874), France, prepared first geological map of France
*W. G. Ernst (born 1931), USA, Stanford petrologist and geochemist
*Robert Etheridge, Junior (1847–1920), Australian (born England) paleontologist, longtime curator of the Australian Museum
*Maurice Ewing (1906–1974), USA, pioneering geophysicist and oceanographer


*Barthélemy Faujas de Saint-Fond (1741–1819), France, pioneer volcanologist
*Mikhail A. Fedonkin (born 1946), awarding winning Russian paleontologist
*Walter Frederick Ferrier (1865–1950), Canada, mineral collector
*Chuck Fipke, Canada, co-discoverer of Ekati Diamond Mine
*Richard Fortey (born 1946), England, trilobite paleontologist, author
*Yves O. Fortier (born 1914), Canada, High Arctic explorer
*William Fyfe (born 1927, New Zealand), Canada, geochemist


*Hubert Gabrielse, prize-winning Canadian geologist
*Robert Garrels (1916–1988), American geochemist, revolutionized aqueous geochemistry
*Grove Karl Gilbert (1843–1918), USA, influential Western geologist
*James E. Gill (1901–1980), Canada, McGill University professor, explorer
*Victor Goldschmidt (1888–1947), Norway (born Switzerland), a founder of modern geochemistry
*John Gosse, Canadian geomorphologist
*Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002), American paleontologist and writer
*L. C. Graton (1880–1970), USA, Harvard economic geologist
*Alexander Henry Green (1832–1896), England, surveyed Derbyshire and Yorkshire
*Henry C. Gunning (1901–1991), Canada (born Northern Ireland), British Columbia geologist


*Julius von Haast (1824–1887), New Zealand (born Germany), founded Canterbury Museum
*Sir James Hall (1761–1832), Scottish geologist, president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
*James Hall (1811–1898), USA, influential geologist and paleontologist
*W. Brian Harland (1917–2003), England, polar geologist
*Geoffrey Hattersley-Smith (born 1923), England and Canada, polar geologist
*James Edwin Hawley (1897–1965), Canada, studied mineralogy of ore deposits
*Frank Hawthorne (born 1968), Canadian mineralogist and crystallographer
*Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden (1829–1887), USA, pioneer Western geologist
*Bruce Heezen (1924-1977), American geologist who first mapped the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
*Jean de Heinzelin de Braucourt (1920–1998), Belgium geologist, discoverer of the Ishango bone in 1960
*Sue Hendrickson (born 1949), American paleontologist; discoverer of "Sue", the largest "Tyrannosaurus rex" ever found
*Harry Hess (1906–1969), USA geologist and oceanographer
*Henry Hicks (1837 - 1899), FRS, President of the Geological Society.
*Pattillo Higgins (1863–1955), USA, known as the "Prophet of Spindletop"
*Eugene W. Hilgard (1833–1916), USA (born Germany), soil scientist
*Claude Hillaire-Marcel, Canada (born France), Quaternary geologist
*Paul F. Hoffman, USA & Canada, Snowball Earth theorist
*Arthur Holmes (1890–1965), England, author of "Principles of Physical Geology"
*Jack Horner (born 1946), famous American dinosaur paleontologist; MacArthur Fellowship winner
*Kenneth J. Hsu (born 1929), USA (born China), author of "The Mediterranean was a Desert"
*M. King Hubbert (1903–1989), USA, originator of "Peak Oil" theory
*James Hutton (1726–1797), Scottish geologist, "father of modern geology"


*Edward A. Irving (born 1927), Canadian, used paleomagnetism to support continental drift theory


*James A. Jensen (1911–1998), USA, distinguished dinosaur paleontologist and sculptor
*David A. Johnston (1949-1980), USA, volcanologist, killed in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
*Franc Joubin (1911 - 1997), Canada (born USA), discovered Elliot Lake, Ontario uranium district


*Michael John Keen (1935–1991), Atlantic Canada, award-winning marine geoscientist
*Clarence King (1893–1971), USA, first director of the U.S. Geological Survey
*James Kitching (1922–2003), South Africa, Karoo vertebrate palaeontologist
*Sir Albert Ernest Kitson (1868–1937), Australian (born England) economic geologist, mineral exploration in Africa
*Maria Klenova (1898–1976) Russian marine geologist
*Andrew H. Knoll (born 1951), USA, Harvard geologist and paleontologist
*Alan S. Kornacki (born 1952), USA, Harvard meteoriticist and geochemist for Royal Dutch Shell
*Danie G. Krige, South African mining engineer, inventor of kriging
*M. S. Krishnan (geologist)‎ Indian geologist
*Thomas Edvard Krogh, Canada, geochronologist, revolutionized uranium-lead radiometric dating
*William C. Krumbein (1902–1979), USA, distinguished sedimentologist
*Nikolai Kudryavtsev (1893–1971), Russian petroleum geologist


*Andrew Lawson (1861–1952), USA (born Scotland), named San Andreas fault
*Richard Leakey (born 1944), Kenyan paleontologist
*Joseph LeConte (1823–1901), USA, first professor of geology, University of California
*Robert Legget (1904–1994), Canadian non-fiction writer, civil engineer, pedologist
*Inge Lehmann (1888–1993), Danish seismologist, discovered Lehmann discontinuity
*Luna Leopold (1915–2006), eminent American hydrologist
*Xavier Le Pichon (born 1937), French plate tectonics geophysicist
*Waldemar Lindgren (1860–1939), distinguished Swedish-American economic geologist
*Li Shizhen (1518–1593), Ming Dynasty Chinese mineralogist, author of the "Ben Cao Gang Mu" (Compendium of Materia Medica)
*Martin Lister (c. 1638 – 1712), England, pioneer geologist
*William Edmond Logan (1798–1875), Canada, founded Geological Survey of Canada
*Fred Longstaffe, Canada, Provost of University of Western Ontario
*Sir Charles Lyell (1797–1875), Scottish geologist, popularized principle of uniformitarianism


Andrija Mohorovičić, c.1880]
*William Maclure (1763–1840), published first geologic map of USA (1809)
*J. Ross Mackay (born 1915), Canadian permafrost geologist
*Othniel Charles Marsh (1831–1899), USA, pioneer dinosaur paleontologist; Bone Wars competitor
*Sir Douglas Mawson (1882–1958), Australian Antarctic explorer
*Sir Frederick McCoy (c. 1817 – 1899), British and Australian palaeontologist and museum director
*Dan McKenzie (born 1942), UK geophysicist, plate tectonics pioneer
*Digby McLaren (1919–2004), Canadian paleontologist
*Giuseppe Mercalli (1850–1914), Italian seismologist and volcanologist, developed Mercalli scale for measuring earthquakes
*Hans Merensky (1871–1952), South African economic geologist, discovered major diamond, platinum, chrome and copper deposits, including the Merensky Reef
*John C. Merriam (1869–1945), USA, vertebrate paleontologist, studied fossils from La Brea Tar Pits
*Waman Bapuji Metre (1906–1970), India, petroleum geologist
*Gerard V. Middleton (born 1931), Canada, sedimentologist
*Andrija Mohorovičić (1857–1936), Croatian meteorologist and seismologist, discovered Mohorovicic Discontinuity
*Friedrich Mohs (1773–1839), Germany, devised Mohs' scale of mineral hardness
*James Monger, Canadian Cordillera geologist
*W. Jason Morgan (born 1935), American plate tectonics pioneer
*Eric W. Mountjoy, Canadian sedimentologist and petrologist
*Roderick Murchison (1792–1871), Scotland, author of "The Silurian System" (1839)
*Emiliano Mutti (born 1933), Italian petroleum geologist


*Anthony J. Naldrett, Canadian (born England) nickel ore geologist
*E. R. Ward Neale (born 1923), Atlantic Canada geologist
*John Strong Newberry (1822–1892), USA, pioneer Western geologist and explorer
*Stephen Robert Nockolds (1909-1990), FRS and Murchison Medallist, petrologist.
*Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792–1866), Finland and Russia, mineralogist


*Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), American geologist and paleontologist
*John Ostrom (1928–2005), American dinosaur paleontologist, discovered warm-blooded Deinonychus
*David Dale Owen (1807-1860), American, first state geologist of Indiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas


*Joseph Pardee (1871–1960), USA, channeled scablands
*Clair Cameron Patterson (1922–1995), USA, geochemist, fought lead poisoning
*R.A.F. Penrose, Jr. (1863–1931), USA, mining geologist, Penrose Medal
*John Phillips (1800–1874), Yorkshire geologist
*John Arthur Phillips, (1822-1887), FRS, Cornish geologist, metallurgist and mining engineer.
*Vladimir Porfiriev (1899–1982), Russian petroleum geologist
*Henry W. Posamentier (Born 1948), USA, petroleum geologist petroleum geologist
*John Wesley Powell (1834–1902), USA, ex-soldier who mapped the Colorado River, second director of the USGS.
*Raymond A. Price (born 1933) Canadian structural and tectonic geologist
*Raphael Pumpelly (1837–1923), USA, geologist and explorer


*Frederick Leslie Ransome (1868–1935), USA (born England), prolific USGS economic geologist
*David M. Raup, USA, mass-extinction paleontologist; author of "Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?"
*Charles Richter (1900–1985), American seismologist, devised Richter magnitude scale for earthquakes
*Ferdinand von Richthofen (1833–1905), German geologist and geographer
*Andrés Manuel del Río (1764-1849), Spanish–Mexican mineralogist, discoverer of vanadium
*Ralph J. Roberts (1911–2007), American geologist
*Stanley Keith Runcorn (1922-1995), British-American geophysicist and plate tectonics pioneer.

*Donald F. Sangster, Canada, prize-winning lead-zinc economic geologist
*Harrison Schmitt (born 1935), USA, Apollo 17 moonwalker
*Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873), England, proposed Devonian and Cambrian periods
*Nicholas Shackleton (1937–2006), British geologist and climatologist
*Shen Kuo (1031–1095), Chinese polymath scientist, magnetic compass pioneer, geomorphology theory
*Eugene Merle Shoemaker (1928–1997), USA, meteoriticist, co-discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy
*George Gaylord Simpson (1902–1984), USA, eminent paleontologist
*William Smith (1769–1839), father of English Geology
*Su Song (1020–1101), Chinese naturalist and polymath, author of treatise on metallurgy and mineralogy
*Flaxman Charles John Spurrell (1842–1915), English archaeologist, geologist and photographer
*Charles Steen (1919–2006), USA, discovered uranium near Moab, Utah
*Max Steineke, USA, geologist chiefly responsible for the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s
*Charles R. Stelck (born 1917), Canada, petroleum geologist, emeritus professor
*Nicolas Steno (1638–1686), Denmark, pioneer in early-modern geology
*Iain Stewart, UK, presenter of several television series on geology in the UK.
*Clifford H. Stockwell, Canadian structural geologist, Geological Survey of Canada
*David Strangway, Canada, geophysicist and university administrator
*Eduard Suess (1831–1914), Austria (born England), named Gondwanaland


*Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), French paleontologist and philosopher, co-discovered Peking man
*Karl von Terzaghi (October 2, 1883 – October 25, 1963), geologist and civil engineer, called the "father of soil mechanics".
*Marie Tharp (1920–2006), co-discoverer of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge
*Lonnie Thompson (born 1948), USA, glaciologist and ice-core climatologist
*Raymond Thorsteinsson (born c. 1930), Canada, prize-winning Arctic geologist
*Phillip Tobias (born 1925), South African palaeoanthropologist, homo habilis pioneer
*Otto Martin Torell (1828–1900), chief of the Geological Survey of Sweden
*Joseph Tyrrell (1858–1957), Canadian paleontologist, namesake of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology


*Warren Upham (1850–1934), USA, studied glacial Lake Agassiz


*Charles-Louis-Joseph-Xavier de la Vallée-Poussin (1827–1903), Belgian geologist and minerologist
*Jan Veizer, Canadian isotope geochemist
*Felix Andries Vening Meinesz (1887–1966), Dutch geophysicist and gravimetric geodesist
*Vladimir Vernadsky (1863–1945), pioneer Russian geochemist and biogeochemist
*Fred Vine (born 1939), British marine geologist, geophysicist, plate tectonics pioneer


*Lawrence Wager (1904-1965), British geologist and explorer, discovered the Skaergaard intrusion
*Charles Doolittle Walcott (1850–1927), American paleontologist, discovered Burgess Shale fossils
*Roger G. Walker, prize-winning Canadian sedimentologist, emeritus professor
*Alfred Wegener (1880–1930), German meteorologist, continental drift pioneer
*Abraham Werner (c. 1749 – 1817), Germany, proponent of Neptunism
*Josiah Whitney (1819–1896), chief of the California Geological Survey; Mt. Whitney
*Harold Williams (born 1934), Atlantic Canada geologist
*Howel Williams (1898–1980), American (born England) volcanologist
*John Williamson (1907–1958), discovered the Williamson diamond mine, Tanzania
*J. Tuzo Wilson (1908–1993), Canadian geophysicist and plate tectonics geologist
*Newton Horace Winchell (1839–1914), USA, geology of Minnesota
*William Henry Wright (1876–1951), Canadian prospector and newspaper publisher, discovered Kirkland Lake gold district


*Ivan Yefremov (1907-1972), Soviet paleontologist and originator of taphonomy

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