JSG Happenings

DeFord Lecture Series

DeFord Lecture Series Speaker Schedule

The DeFord (Technical Sessions) lecture series has been a requirement and a tradition for all graduate students since the late 1940s. Once the official venue for disseminating DGS graduate student research, the DeFord Lecture series is now the forum for lectures by distinguished visitors and members of our community. Faculty and researchers from the Jackson School have invited prestigious researchers from around the world to present a lecture in this series. This is made possible only through a series of endowments.

The list below shows all scheduled talks this semester. If you would like to meet with any of the speakers, please contact them or their hosts directly.

Talks are given from 4-5PM in JGB 2.324 (Boyd Auditorium) with cookies and coffee provided at 3:30PM.

Click here to submit a name for the DeFord lecture series

DeFord Lecture Series Speaker Schedule Fall 2017

Date Speaker/Affiliation Field/Title Hosts (if applicable) Lectureship (if applicable)
Sept. 7  Whitney Behr

UT Austin

Mechanics and kinematics of deformation at plate boundaries, wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Geomorphic expression of young, active faults, and remnants of deep-seated ductile shear zones exhumed from greater depth  N/A N/A
Sept. 14 Steve Jacobsen

Northwestern University

Interdisciplinary capabilities to work on deep-Earth questions with seismologists, mineral physicists, petrologists, geochemists; Earth’s Deep Water Cycle Afu Lin The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Distinguished Centennial Lecturer
Sept. 21 Frederik Simons


Leader in the application of geophysical and mathematical methods to the study of earth dynamics working on fields from seismology to global change and glaciology Thorsten Becker The Edwin Allday Lectureship
Sept. 28 Mark Richards

UC Berkeley

Mantle convection and large-scale dynamics of the Earth’s interior; Internal dynamics of Venus, Mars, and the Moon; Rotational dynamics and gravity fields of the terrestrial planets; History and dynamics of global plate motions; Geological causes of mass extinction John Lassiter The Virgil E. and Mildred L. Barnes Distinguished Lecturer in Geology
Oct. 5 Thomas Carr

Carthage College

What now, Tyrannosaurus? The next frontier in vertebrate paleontology

Integration of ontogenic and phylogenetic data in paleontology, phylogeny and historical biogeography of Laurasian dinosaurs, and the craniofacial anatomy of archosaurs

Andrew Parisi The Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series
 Oct. 12  David Gochis

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Responsible for the development of the National Water Model that forecasts river flows for 2.67 million rivers across the continental United States. A great speaker and an expert in hydrological science, atmospheric sciences, and environmental science.  Liang Yang The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Distinguished Centennial Lecturer
Oct. 19 Amy Hardberger

St. Mary’s University

Associate Dean for the School of Law,  registered professional geoscientist, served as an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund prior to joining the faculty at St. Mary’s School of Law. Interests include land use planning, International water law and Texas environmental law.  Jack Sharp  The Fred L. and Frances J. Oliver Lectureship in Texas Hydrology and Water Resources
Oct. 26 Daniel Fisher

University of Michigan

Paleobiology, extinction of mastodons and mammoths, elucidated by compositional (isotopic and elemental) time series sampled from tusks and teeth. Recent work extending the presence of humans in the New World to 130,000 ybp. Research impact across all of archaeology and anthropology. Tim Rowe  Clara Jones Langston Centennial Lectureship in Vertebrate Paleontology
Nov. 2 Brian Schubert

University of Louisiana Lafayette

Incorporating the effects of atmospheric CO2 into terrestrial paleoclimate reconstruction

Plants and their remains as records of climate; high latitude forests in the Eocene; experiments on how plants respond to changes in atmospheric composition; climate, hydrology and geobiology.

Dan Breecker N/A
Nov. 9 Hrvoje Measki

University of Zagreb, Croatia

Karst geomorphological characteristics, general development of karst areas in Croatia with emphasis on the Dinarides; overview of the present state of karst aquifers in Croatia Masa Prodanovic and Jack Sharp The Fred L. and Frances J. Oliver Lectureship in Texas Hydrology and Water Resources
Nov. 16 Kitty Milliken

UT Austin

Mudrocks (shales, mudstones) at the Scale of Grains and Pores: Current Understanding

Petrographic and geochemical methods to decipher histories of chemical and mechanical modification in sedimentary rocks

 N/A AAPG Distinguished Lecturer
Nov. 30 Ashley Matheny

UT Austin

Eco-hydrologic research, land-surface and numerical modeling, and civil engineering; understanding and modeling transpiration from forested ecosystems N/A N/A
Dec. 7  Julie Castillo-Rogez

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Rise of an Astrobiological Target: What Dawn Found at Dwarf Planet Ceres

Planetary scientist specializing in water-rich objects from a modeling and experimental perspectives applied to the formulation, design, and planning of planetary missions. Project Scientist for the Dawn mission at Ceres.

 Marc Hesse  The Virgil E. and Mildred L. Barnes Distinguished Lecturer in Geology

DeFord Lecture Series Speaker Schedule Spring 2018

Date Speaker/Affiliation Field/Title Hosts (if applicable) Lectureship (if applicable)
Jan. 25 Maureen Long


Structural seismologist and geodynamicist Thorsten Becker The Edwin Allday Lectureship
Feb. 1 Kate Huntington

University of Washington

Tectonics, climate, and erosion; tectonic geomorphology; paleoclimate to geochemistry. Also will present a summary of recent town hall meetings on the “Future Direction in Tectonics”. Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati and David Mohrig The Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series
Feb. 8 Maria Mutti

University of  Potsdam

Carbonate sedimentology and Earth history; Processes controlling carbonate production; Biosphere response to critical intervals of climate change; Applied Sedimentology; Carbonate reservoir surface 3D analog studies Rowan Martindale and William Foster The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Centennial Lectureship in Petroleum Geology 
Feb. 15 Heiner Igel

Munich University

Earth’s Rock and Roll: Understanding rotational ground motions

Development and application of computational methods to simulate and invert seismic wave propagation. Earthquake scenario simulations and aspects of shaking hazard in seismically active regions. External forcing of seismic events.

Marc Hesse The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Centennial Lectureship in Geological Sciences
Feb. 22 Kathryn Stack Morgan

NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Sedimentary geology, Stratigraphy, Martian sedimentary deposits, Orbital image-based geologic mapping, Mars-Earth analogs Tim Goudge The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Centennial Lectureship in Geological Sciences
Mar. 1 Giulio Di Toro

University of Manchester

Earthquake mechanics; is the mind behind the most powerful and versatile rotary shear machine worldwide: SHIVA that is used to study friction in rocks Nicola Tisato The Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series
 Mar. 8  Yajing Liu

McGill University

Fault mechanics, stress and strain accumulation in the seismic cycle, and fault slip behaviors such as slow-slip events. Developed numerical methods for modeling seismic-cycle and slow-slip event development over tectonic timescales, as well as to address EQ triggering by fluid injection James Biemiller, Dennis Tong, and Luc Lavier  N/A
Mar. 22 Kayla Iacovino

Arizona State University

Volcanology, Experimental Petrology, Volatiles in Magmas Jaime Barnes, Jim Gardner N/A
Mar. 29 Claudio Faccenna

Universita di Roma TRE

 Geologist with strong geodynamics skills, expert on central Mediterranean, orogeny, and links between mantle convection and surface deformation; dynamic topography; subduction  Thorsten Becker  The Edwin Allday Lectureship
Apr. 5 Kristin Bergmann


sedimentology and stratigraphy, stable isotope geochemistry of carbonates including clumped isotope thermometry, and geobiology; records of environmental change Charlie Kerans, Rowan Martindale N/A


Tim Bralower

Penn State

K-Pg boundary layer, nano fossil evolution. Micropaleontology, paleoceanography, marine geology, paleobiology Sean Gulick, Rowan Martindale, Julia Clarke The Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series
 April 19  Wendy Mao


Uses extreme environments to answer key questions about Earth and planetary interiors and to provide guidance for the design of new materials for energy-related applications.  Afu Lin and Marc Hesse  The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Centennial Lectureship in Geological Sciences
April 26 Randy Koster


Large-scale land surface modeling; Effects of land surface processes on climate variability and subseasonal prediction Liang Zhang The Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series
 May 3  W. Ashley Griffith

Ohio State University

 Structural geology and geomechanics, with an emphasis on the behavior of fractures in the earth’s crust.  Nicola Tisato  N/A