Dr. Chris Rowan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at Kent State University. He received his Masters Degree in Earth Science from the University of Cambridge and his PhD in Geology from the National Oceanography Centre of the University of Southampton. Afterward, Chris worked as a Research Technician at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. He then served as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Johannesburg, a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at Kent State. Chris is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Chris was born in the United Kingdom and after extensive travel for his postdoctoral training, he moved to Kent State in northeastern Ohio in 2013. There he teaches courses in geophysics, plate tectonics and natural hazards. Chris’s research focuses on understanding the deformation of the earth’s surface, from the building of single mountain ranges over millions of years, to the global motions of tectonic plates over hundreds of millions of years. His main tool is paleomagnetism: the study of ancient signals of the Earth’s magnetic field preserved in rocks as they form. These ‘fossilised compass needles’ are a record of how pieces of crust have moved and spun around on the Earth’s surface over geological time. Chris has studied and sampled rocks around the world, including New Zealand, South Africa and Oman. He is currently studying the geological histories of the Pacific Northwest, including the Cascadia subduction zone and the Appalachian mountains.