The department’s interdisciplinary research efforts combine elements of structural geology, geochemistry, petrology, paleontology, and geophysics to better understand the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth.

Financial support for our research activities has been provided by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Gas Research Institute, the Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center, and numerous mining and petroleum companies.

Graduate students have the opportunity to customize their coursework to their interests and acquire a broad background in current issues facing geologists and the world. Graduate student research has been supported by the Geological Society of America, the Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America, the Petroleum Research Fund, the Alabama Geological Society, Sigma Xi, and numerous mining and petroleum companies.

Areas of particular specialty include the following:

Structural Geology

  • Tectonics
  • Basin Analysis

Geochemistry and HydrogeologyIMG_0125

  • Tracer Hydrology
  • Geochemistry
  • Aqueous Geochemistry
  • Organic Geochemistry
  • Contaminant Transport
  • Hydrogeology/Numerical Modeling



  • Volcanology
  • Metamorphic Petrology


  • Paleontology/Paleoecology
  • Biomineralization
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Archaeological science


  • Marine Geophysics
  • Tectonophysics
  • Geodesy
  • Gravity and Magnetics






Click here to learn more about our research facilities.