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Who's Who of Geology


This page lists in alphabetical order over 100 men and women who have made key contributions to the science of geology.

Surname Forename(s) Lived Nationality Area of Expertise
Agassiz John Louis Rudolphe 1807-1873 Swiss Specialised in fossil fish
Airy George Biddell 1801-1892 British Worked on theories of isostasy
Ameghino Florentino 1854-1911 Argentine Described more than 6000 fossil species from South America
Andrews Roy Chapman 1884-1960 US Pioneered dinosaur discoveries in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China
Anning Mary 1799-1848 British Discovered numerous icthyosaur and mother marine reptile fossils at Lyme Bay, England
Atherston William Guybon 1813-1898 South African Pioneered the South African diamond industry
Bailey Edward Battersby, Sir 1881-1965 British Studied the igneous and sedimentary rocks of the Grampians, Scotland
Barrow George 1853-1932 British Studied the processes of regional metamorphisms in Scotland
Becke Friedrich Johann Karl 1855-1931 Czech Developed principles of refraction
Benioff Hugo 1899-1968 US Designed seismology equipment
Berman Tobern Olof 1735-1784 Swedish Studied the formation of rocks and minerals
Bernoulli Daniel 1700-1782 Swiss Developed science of hydrodynamics
Blackett Patrick Maynard Stuart 1897-1974 British Developed science of palaeomagnetism
Boltwood Bertram Borden 1870-1927 US Developed ageing tests for rocks by measuring residual radioactivity
Bouguer Pierre 1698-1758 French Developed measurements for gravitational anomolies
Bowen Norman Levi 1887-1956 Canadian Produced a classic work on the chemistry of igneous rocks
Bowerbank James Scott 1777-1877 British Produced extensive studies of the fossils of the London Clay
Brogger Waldemar Christofer 1851-1940 Norwegian Developed theory of magmatic differentiation
Brongniart Alexandre 1770-1847 French Developed principle of stratification
Broom Robert 1866-1951 British Named two South African dinosaurs and made significant discoveries about mammal-like reptiles
Brown Barnum 1873-1963 US Discovered and named ten North American dinosaurs
Buckland William, Reverend 1784-1856 British Produced a classic work on historical geology
Carnegie Andrew 1835-1919 British Donated dinosaur skeletons and replicas to many world museums
Carpenter William Benjamin 1813-1885 British Investigated the structure of fossil shells
Chamberlin Thomas Chrowder 1843-1928 US Developed theoris for orogeny
Clarke Frank Wigglesworth 1847-1931 US Developed science of geochemistry
Clarke William Branwhite 1798-1878 British Surveyed the geology of New South Wales Australia
Colonna Fabio 1567-1650 Italian First to recognise fossil shark teeth
Conybeare William Daniel 1787-1857 British Co-author of the classic work Outline of the Geology of England and Wales
Cope Edward Drinker 1840-1897 US Discovered or named thirteen North American dinosaurs
Cuvier Chretien Frederic Dagobert (Georges), Baron 1769-1832 French Developed the science of comparative anatomy for the study of fossils
Davis William Morris 1850-1934 US Developed the principle of geomorphology
de Charpentier Jean 1786-1855 Swiss Studied glaciation
de Dolomieu Deodat de Gratet 1750-1801 French Named the Dolomite Alps
de la Beche Henry Thomas 1796-1855 British Founder of the British Geological Survey
de Lamarck Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier 1744-1829 French Developed first theory of evolution
de Saussure Horace Benedict 1740-1799 Swiss Studied the structure of the Alps
Desmarest Nicholas 1725-1815 French Studied basalts and lava flows
Dietz Robert Sinclair 1914-1995 US Studied magnetic anomaly patterns in the Pacific
d'Orbigny Alcide Dessalines 1802-1857 French Described some 18,000 fossils from South America
Dokuchaev Vasily Vasilievich 1840-1903 Russian Deverloped a classification of soil types
Dollo Louis 1857-1931 Belgian Reconstructed the first complete Iguanadon
Douglass Earl 1862-1931 US Discovered Dinosaur National Monument in Utah USA and 7 dinosaur skeletons
Du Toit James Alexander Logie 1878-1948 South African Studied continental drift
Dutton Clarence Edward 1841-1912 US Introduced the term isostasy
Elie de Beaumont Leonce 1798-1874 French Developed the idea of period of orogency
Ewing Maurice 1906-1974 US Developed offshore seismic reflection profiling
Gaudry Albert 1827-1908 French Described the fossils of Greece
Geikie Archibald 1835-1924 British Studied glacial and fluvial erosion
Gesner Conrad 1516-1565 German Compiled the first catalogue of fossils
Gilbert Grove Karl 1843-1918 US Developed the theory of crustal isostatic compensation
Glinka Konstantin Dimitrievich 1867-1927 Russian Developed Dokuchaev's work on soil types
Goethe Johann Wolfgang 1749-1832 German Pioneered morphology, the study of the form of an organism
Goldschmidt Victor Moritz 1888-1947 Norwegian Developed basic techniques for geochemistry
Gutenberg Beno 1889-1960 German Discovered the seismic discontinuity between the mantle and core
Hall James 1761-1832 British Pioneer of experimental petrology
Hauy Abbe Renee-Just 1743-1822 French One of the founders of modern crystallography
Heezen Bruce Charles 1924-1977 US Studied oceanic axial ridge systems
Hennig Edwin (Willi) 1913-1976 German Excavated dinosaur fossils from German East Africa
Hess Harry Hammond 1906-1969 US Introduced the concept of sea-floor spreading
Holmes Arthur 1890-1965 British Developed radiometric dating techniques
Hooke Robert 1635-1703 British Studied gravity fossils geomagnetism crystallography and earthquakes
Hutton James 1726-1797 British Developed principle of uniformitarianism
Huxley Thomas H 1825-1895 British Showed similarities between dinosaurs and birds
Knorr Georg Wolfgang 1705-1761 German Artist who contributed to the first catalogue of fossils containing colour illustrations
Kuenen Philip Henry 1902-1972 Dutch One of the founders of modern sedimentology
Lacroix Alfred 1863-1948 French Vulcanologist who described the phenomenon 'nuee ardente'
Lartet Edouard-Armand 1801-1871 French Pioneered methodical excavation principles for fossils
Le Pochon Xavier 1937- French First to recognise the six major tectonic plates
Lehmann Inge 1888-1993 Danish Proved by study of S-waves that the Earth's core is solid
Lehmann Johann Gottlob 1719-1767 German Worked on the stratigraphy of mountain rocks
Libby Willard Frank 1908-1980 US Introduced Carbon-14 dating
Linnaeus Karl 1707-1778 Swedish Introduced two name convention for species and laid the groundwork for taxonomic classification
Lindgren Waldemar 1860-1936 Swedish Introduced a classification of ore deposits according to their genesis
Lonsdale William 1774-1871 British Established the Devonian system
Love Augustus Edward Hugh 1853-1940 US Established that two types of surface seismic wave existed
Lydekker Richard 1849-1915 British Produced the classic work - A Manual of Palaeontology - for the British Museum
Lyell Charles, Sir 1797-1875 British Author of the classic work Principles of Geology
Mantell Gideon Algernon 1790-1852 British Discoverer of the dinosaur Iguanadon
Marsh Othniel Charles 1831-1899 US Discovered or named twenty five North American dinosaurs
Matuyama Monotori 1884-1958 Japanese Proposed that the Earth's magnetic field undergoes periodic reversals
Mercalli Giuseppe 1815-1914 Italian Developed scale of earthquake intensity
Mercati Michele 1541-1593 Italian Catalogued the Vatican's collection of fossils, minerals and prehistoric tools
Michell John 1724-1793 British Showed how to determine the epicentre of an earthquake
Miller William Hallowes 1801-1880 British Developed a classification system for crystallography based on axes
Milne John 1850-1913 British Worked on seismology and the recording of distant earthquakes
Mohorovicic Andrija 1857-1936 Croatian Discovered the seismic discontinuity between the crust and mantle
Mohs Friedrich 1773-1839 German Developed the decimal scale for the hardness of minerals
Murchison Roderick Impey 1792-1871 British Helped classify the Silurian Devonian and Permian systems
Neel Louise Eugene Felix 1904- French Discovered remnant palaeomagnetism in rocks
Nicol William 1768-1851 British Invented the calcite prism used in polarising microscopes
Niggli Paul 1888-1953 Swiss Introduced the use of phase diagrams in petrology
Oldham Richard Dixon 1858-1936 British Helped develop the interpretation of S-waves and P-waves
Oppel Alfred 1831-1865 German Developed principle of zones within strata and the term index fossils
Osborn Henry Fairfield 1857-1935 US Developed the concept of adaptive radiation
Owen Richard 1804-1892 British Coined the name dinosaur and founded the Natural History Museum in London
Palissy Bernard 1510-1589 French Studied the marine fossils of the Ardeche region of France
Peale Charles Willson 1741-1827 US Described the mastodon fossils of the United States
Penck Albrecht 1858-1945 German Worked on Quaternary glacial land-forms
Penck Walther 1888-1923 German Worked on the structure of mountain ranges especially the Alps
Pratt John Henry 1811-1871 British Developed a model for isostatic anomalies in the lithosphere
Proust Joseph Louis 1754-1826 French Worked on the characteristics of elements and chemicals
Richter Charles Francis 1900-1985 US Developed the scale for measuring the magnitude of earthquakes
Romer Alfred Sherwood 1894-1973 US Specialised in the evolution of vertebrates
Runcorn Stanley Keith 1922-1995 British Proved that North America and Europe were once joined
Scheuchzer Johann Jacob 1672-1733 Swiss Worked on fossil fish and plants
Schindewolf Otto H 1896-1971 German Made extensive studies of ammonites and their evolutionary history
Sedgwick Adam 1785-1873 British Developed the stratigraphy of North Wales
Seeley Harry Govier 1839-1909 British Named nine dinosaurs and introduced the orders Ornithischia and Saurischia
Shoemaker Eugene Merle 1928-1997 US Developed the science of astrogeology
Simpson George Gaylord 1902-1984 US Specialised in mammalian evolution
Smith William 1769-1839 British Pioneer of stratigraphy
Sorby Henry Clifton 1926-1908 British Developed the study of rocks using thin sections
Sowerby John 1757-1822 British Illustrator who described many British fossils and contributed to the classic work, British Mineralogy
Sowerby James De Carle 1787-1871 British Son of James, he completed his father's work on the Mineral Conchology of Great Britain
Srutt John William, Lord Rayleigh 1842-1919 British Studied radioactivity in rocks
Stenson Niels 1638-1687 Danish Described the stratigraphy of Tuscany
Stile Wilhelm Hans 1876-1976 German Worked in the field of orogeny
Suess Eduard 1831-1914 Austrian Published the classic work Das Antlitz der Erde (Face of the Earth)
Taylor Frank Bursley 1860-1939 US Glaciologist and developed theory of continental drift
Twenhofel William Henry 1875-1957 US Published the classic work Treatise on Sedimentation
van Beneden Pierre-Joseph 1809-1894 Belgian Catalogued and prepared the Bernissart Iguanadons
Vening-Meinesz Felix Andries 1887-1966 Dutch Discovered large negative gravity anomalies over the Java Trench
Vogt Johan Hermann Lie 1858-1932 Norwegian Produced important work on differentiation in cooling magmas
von Humboldt Friedrich Heinrich Alexander 1769-1859 German Contributed to the study of volcanoes
Walsch Johann Emmanuel 1724-1778 German Wrote the first catalogue of fossils to include colour illustrations
Wegener Alfred 1880-1930 German Developed the principle of continental drift
Werner Abraham Gottlob 1750-1817 German Developed a system of mineral classification based on external characteristics
Whewell William 1794-1866 British Introduced the term uniformitarianism
Wiechert Emil 1861-1928 German Developed the seismograph to distinguish between P & S-waves
Wollaston William Hyde 1766-1828 British Discovered the minerals Palladium and Rhodium
Woodward Sir Arthur Smith 1864-1944 British Produced major works on Argentine dinosaurs

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