Phone: +41 44 632 69 51
Sean Willett has been full Professor at the Institute of Geology of the ETH-Zurich since August of 2006.
Prof. Willett was born in 1960 in California, USA. He received Bachelors of Sciences in both Geology and Geophysics and his PhD in 1988 from the University of Utah. Following this, he received a Killam post-doctoral fellowship and an NSERC International fellowship to support post-doctoral work at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. From 1994 to 2006, he worked as an Assistant and Associate Professor, first at the Pennsylvania State University, then at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Prof. Willett conducts research on physical processes at, and near, the Earths surface. His research is particularly focused on how climatic and erosional processes affect the structure, evolution and sediment transport in mountain belts. Most of his research involves application of numerical models, but also includes field experiments and applications of low-temperature, isotopic dating. Problems of interest include the mechanics of mountain-building, the role of erosion on mountain belt structure, tectonic controls on the formation of sedimentary basins, landscape evolution by fluvial and glacial erosion processes and the impact of climate change on erosion and sediment transport. He has published papers on many of the world’s active mountain belts including the Himalaya, the Alps, the Andes, Taiwan and the Olympic mountains of the US Pacific northwest.
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