Dr Michael Ellis

Dr Michael EllisHead of Climate change

Location: Keyworth

Tel: 0115 936 3356

E-mail Dr Michael Ellis


  • 2008–present: Head of Climate Change Science, British Geological Survey, UK
  • 2005–2008 Program Director, National Science Foundation, USA
  • 2003–2005 Professor, CERI, University of Memphis, USA
  • 2002–Visiting Professor, ETH Zentrum, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1993–2003 Associate Research Professor, CERI, University of Memphis.
  • 1990–1993 Research Assistant Professor, CERI, University of Memphis.
  • 1987–1990 Research Associate, Center for Neotectonic Studies, University of Nevada, Reno
  • 1985–1987 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Geology (1985/6) and Department of Mathematics (1986/7), University of Minnesota

Research interests

  • Climate change and the environmental impacts of climate change.
  • Earth surface processes.
  • Active tectonics and tectonic geomorphology
  • The Anthropocene


  • Science leadership
  • Science community development
  • Earth surface processes in the context of climate change and active tectonics

Professional association

  • 2010–2012: AGU EOS Editorial Advisory Board
  • 2010–present: Member of AGU Council Leadership Team: Science Initiative Team
  • 2010–present: American Geophysical Union (AGU) Council Member
  • 2009–present: Research Committee Member, British Society for Geomorphology
  • 2009–10: Earth System Modellling, Strategy, Advisory Group Member (NERC, UK)
  • 2008–2012: Founder and Chair, Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Focus Group, AGU
  • 2008–201: External Advisory Board member, National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics (USA)
  • 2007: Panel member of TOPO-EUROPE
  • 2007: Panel member of: European Science Foundation, National Oceanographic Partnership Program, Coastal Effects of a Diminished-Ice Arctic Ocean
  • 2003–5: National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, Steering Committee Member
  • 2003–4: Panel member of National Science Foundation, Tectonics program
  • 2002–05: Associate Editor, JGR, Surface Earth
  • 1997–2000: Member of Editorial Board of: Geology
  • 1997: Panel member of NASA, Office of Mission to Planet Earth
  • 1996–-98: Associate Editor, JGR, Solid Earth
  • 1995–present: Member of Editorial Board of Basin Research

Published outputs

Key Papers

ZALASIEWICZ, J., WILLIAMS, M., HAYWOORD, A. AND ELLIS, M., Introduction: The Anthropocene – A new epoch of geological time? Transactions of the Royal Society London, Series A, 2011

DENSMORE, A. L. , YONG, L., RICHARDSON, N. J., RONGJUN, Z., ELLIS, M., YI, Z., , 2010, The role of Late Quaternary upper-crustal faults in the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Bulletin Seismological Society of America, 100 (5B). 2700-2712

ELLIS, M. A. AND DENSMORE, A. L., First-order topography over blind thrusts, GSA, Penrose Special Volume, 398, 251-266, 2006

SMALLEY, R., ELLIS, M. A., J. PAUL AND VAN ARSDALE, R. B., Space geodetic evidence for rapid strain rates in the New Madrid region, central USA, Nature 435, 1088-90, 2005

DENSMORE, A. D., ELLIS, M. A., AND ANDERSON, R. S., Landslides and the evolution of normal-fault bounded mountains, Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, 15,203-15,220, 1998

ELLIS, M. AND KING, G. Structural control of flank volcanism in continental rifts, Science, v. 253, p. 839-842, 1991

KING, G. C. P. AND ELLIS, M. A. The origin of large local uplift in extensional regions. Nature, 348, 689-693, 1990