Professor Edward J. Rhodes

Professor of Physical Geography

Ed Rhodes

Room number: F10
Telephone (internal): 7910
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 7910
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 7910

Funding opportunities for postgraduate studentships exist in the areas of chronologies of active tectonics, seismic hazard assessment, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Please contact Ed for further details.


Ed Rhodes graduated in Geology from the University of Oxford (University College), followed by a DPhil from the same institution studying the optical dating of quartz from sediments in 1990. After 6 months as a post-doc in Oxford, he then held a NERC fellowship in the Sub-department of Quaternary Research, University of Cambridge, until taking up a position as Lecturer in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London in 1992.

Following this, Ed was director of the Luminescence Dating Laboratory, RLAHA (Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art), University of Oxford (1998-2003), before taking up a fellowship at the Australian National University. From 2007 he held the positions of Senior Lecturer and subsequently Reader at Manchester Metropolitan University, before taking up a position of Full Professor, University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. Ed held a joint position as Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester 2013-14, before being appointed as Professor of Physical Geography at Sheffield, starting July 2014. He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor of Geology at UCLA.


Research Interests

Palaeoseismology and fault slip-rate studies, Luminescence technical developments, Low temperature thermochronology, Grain tracing and transport rate, Palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, Fluvial and aeolian geomorphology, Grain mixing, surface processes and natural carbon sequestration.

Current Research

Active tectonics, including fault slip rate studies and palaeoseismology – dating ancient earthquake events

Projects are active in the following areas:

New Zealand Marlborough Fault Zone (South Island), with James Dolan (USC, Los Angeles, USA), and Russ Van Dissen and Rob Langridge (GNS, Wellington, NZ). We are determining multiple slip rates and timed slip event magnitudes using innovation post-IR IRSL single grain K-feldspar dating and radiocarbon applied to high resolution geomorphic datasets based on LiDAR. See Zinke et al., (2015, 2016). New collaboration with Barry Parsons and Dave MacKenzie (Oxford, UK), John Elliot (Leeds) and Simon Lamb (Victoria University, Wellington, NZ) is underway looking at the geomorphic effects of the Mw 7.8 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake.

Kazakhstan and China, with Rich Walker, Austin Elliot, Dave MacKenzie, Barry Parsons and Phil England (Oxford, UK), Christoph Gruetzner (Cambridge, UK), James Hollingsworth (Grenoble, France) and Ed Nissen (U of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), in several related projects. I am also involved in three separate projects in China with Jean-Philippe Avouac (Caltech, Pasadena, USA), with John Shaw (Harvard, USA), and with Gilles Peltzer (UCLA, Los Angeles, USA).

Garlock fault, California, with James Dolan (USC, Los Angeles, USA), and Sally McGill (CSUSB, San Bernardino, USA). After several successful SCEC (Southern California Earthquake Center) projects, Ed is collaborating with the same team in new research funded by the NSF.

San Andreas fault, California, with Kate Scharer (USGS, Pasadena), Ray Weldon (U. of Oregon, Eugene, USA), Sean Beamis (U.of Kentucky, USA), Ramon Arrowsmith (ASU, Tempe, USA), Sinan Akciz (CSUF, Fullerton, USA), Doug Yule (CSUN, Northridge, USA), and others, in several projects.

Southern California seismic hazard assessment from blind thrusts is being investigated by dating sediments that relate to developing anticlines in downtown Los Angeles and Ventura, with James Dolan (USC, Los Angeles, USA), John Shaw (Harvard, USA), Lewis Own (U. of Cincinnati).

Denali, Alaska, with Sean Beamis (U. of Kentucky, USA).

Czech Republic history of Quaternary faulting is being investigated in collaboration with Petra Stepancikova (IRSM, Prague) and Tom Rockwell (CSUSD, San Diego, USA).

SE Spain active tectonics are being explored by a team led by Eulalia Marsana (U. of Barcelona, Spain), including work on the Alhama de Murcia Fault and the Carboneras Fault.

Current areas of collaborative development include: Italy, Turkey, India and Morocco. Please contact Ed if you are interested in collaborating, or would like advice about developing chronological control for active tectonics.

Quaternary palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, low temperature thermochonometry, grain mixing and tracing


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