School of Earth and Environment

Douglas Paton Prof Douglas Paton

Associate Professor

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35238
Email address:
Room: 9.145b

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience

Link to personal page


Currently, I am the BHP Billiton Lecturer in Structural Geology and my previous academic positions were in the Chevron Centre of Research Excellence at the Colorado School of Mines, GFZ-Potsdam and the University of Edinburgh. I gained my PhD at the University of Edinburgh with John Underhill.


My research interests focus on the structural evolution and deformation of sedimentary basins and more particularly:

  • The interaction of tectonics, structural geology and sedimentology using both 3D sub-surface and 3D outcrop data sets. In particular a) using sedimentology / stratigraphy to understand temporal and spatial variations in faulting and folding, b) changes in sedimentology in response to tectonic variations and c) generation of 3D outcrop models to increase understanding of basin evolution.
  • The development of passive continental margins, and interaction of tectonics, subsidence, sedimentation and sea level fluctuations in controlling margin architecture and evolution.
  • Using integrated basin models to develop better predictive hydrocarbon generation and migration models.
  • Integrating sub-surface and field studies.


An important aspect of teaching is being able to deliver exciting and innovative science education to the wider public audience. Earth Sciences in particular is a wonderful subject to engage people, and in particular children, therefore, I co-founded NESciE - Natural Environment Science Education- to deliver formal and informal Earth Science education to remote communities.


My current teaching commitments at the University of Leeds include first year Dynamic Earth, third year Basin dynamics. I am also teaching on a number of modules on the MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics course and I am involved in supervision of the MSc projects.