School of Earth and Environment

John Elliott Dr John Elliott

Royal Society University Research Fellow & University Academic Fellow

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 30457
Email address:
Room: 8.22

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics


♦ External webpage:
Google Scholar Profile

2016-present Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF)
2016-present University Academic Fellow (UAF)
Active Tectonics, Earthquakes & Faulting, Seismic Hazard & The Rise of Mountains
Institute of Geophysics & Tectonics, School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds

2014-2016 Post-Doctoral Researcher - Geodesy and Geophysics (NERC)
Centre for the Observation & Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes & Tectonics (COMET+)
& Earthquakes without Frontiers (EwF) - Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards (IRNH)
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, OX1 3AN

2013 (3 month) Stipendiary Lecturer in Earth Sciences, University College, Oxford

2013-2015 Visiting Researcher, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

2009-2014 Post-Doctoral Researcher - Geodesy and Geophysics
National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO/NERC), Earth Sciences, Oxford

2012 (3 month) Post Doctoral Visitor, Tectonics Observatory, Caltech, USA

2006-2011 Undergraduate Tutor - geophysics & seismology for five Oxford University colleges


  • D.Phil, University of Oxford, 2009. Earth Sciences, Geophysics
  • MSci, University of Cambridge, 2005. Geological Sciences 1st Class
  • BA, University of Cambridge, 2004. Natural Sciences 1st Class

PhD Students Co-supervised

2016-present Lin Shen | PhD Co-supervisor - Altyn Tagh Interseismic Deformation.
2016-present Pawan Piromthong | PhD Co-supervisor - Faulting in South-East Asia and InSAR analysis.
2014-present Eleanor Ainscoe | D.Phil Co-supervisor (Oxford) - Active tectonics in regions of shortening.


2006-present Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Research Interests

My research addresses where and how the Earth's crust accommodates and releases tectonic stress. I achieve this through measuring the deformation of the crust using satellite geodesy, and integrating these measurements with seismology, remote sensing and eld studies of active faulting.

I want to understand the relationship between earthquakes, crustal deformation and landscape evolution. In particular, I am interested in addressing the problems of faults and earthquakes a) as a natural hazard and b) as a key mechanism for the growth of mountains and the role they play in shaping the deformation of the continents over geological time. I use the latest Earth Observation technologies that provide big, high resolution datasets over a large spatial extent to make precise measurements of wide-scale active tectonic processes. I want to change the way seismic hazard and risk associated with distributed deformation is assessed as a critical step towards the goal of improving earthquake forecasting for societies living in tectonically active regions. I also want to relate current observations of active tectonics to what is recorded in the longer term geological record to constrain the evolution of the Earth's crust.

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • SOEE5180M & 3221: Module leader for Research Seminars in Geophysics (2017-18).
  • SOEE5510M & 3200: Field instructor for Practical Geophysics in Lanzarote (2017).
  • SOEE5665M & 3530: Lecturer for Global Geophysics - Plate Tectonics (2017).

Undergraduate Final Year Research Projects Supervised

  • 2017 Katherine Woods | How small can we go? - Improving limits to detecting continental earthquakes.
  • 2016 Nadia Duarte da Silva Tavares | Remote O set Measurements of the Kaikoura Earthquake, NZ.
  • 2016 Scott Smith | Using InSAR & Body Wave Seismology of the 2016 Mw 5.9 Menyuan Earthquake.