John Waldron as Professor Willow



I work in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. My research is mainly on deformed sedimentary rocks of continental margins and orogenic belts (mountain belts).






The image was modified from the startup screen for Pokémon Go, by John Waldron © 2016 Niantic & John W.F. Waldron

Contact Information

Email :

Website :

Phone : (780)492 - 3892

Office : 3-022 Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, University of Alberta

Mailing Address: Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, 1-26 Earth Science Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2E3


How I got here

In the last century...

I was born in Denmark, but grew up entirely in the UK, mainly in the Essex suburbs of London. From about 1968 my parents indulged my enthusiasm for collecting fossils by arranging their summer vacations in classic areas of British geology and paleontology. Attending Cambridge University from 1974, I was subverted from paleontology into studies of orogenic belts by the glamour of the then new theory of plate tectonics. From 1977 to 1981 I worked as a postgraduate student at Edinburgh University, on the geology of the Antalya Complex, southwestern Turkey. In January 1981 I came to Memorial University of Newfoundland where I held a post-doctoral research fellowship (though embarassingly I was only truly 'post' doctoral for 13 days in this position.) From 1981 until 2000 I worked at the Geology Department of Saint Mary's University, Halifax Nova Scotia, where I taught sedimentary and structural geology, field methods, and several different flavours of introductory geology. I ventured into web-based teaching with a course entitled "The Earth:Atlantic Canada Perspective".

...Y2K onward

In the summer of 2000 I moved to a position in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. From 2004-2008, I took on the job of associate chair with responsibility for undergraduate studies.

My research deals with deformed sedimentary rocks from both sedimentary and structural geological perspectives (I have generally resisted being classified as either a sedimentary or a structural geologist, though Ihave sometimes admitted to being a "deformed sedimentologist"). My research interests are in the Caledonian-Appalachian geology of Atlantic Canada and the British Isles, in the Archean Slave province of the Canadian Shield, in sedimentary basins within the Canadian Cordillera, and most recently in the Himalayan foreland basin and foothills of Nepal.

I have a strong interest in the teaching of Earth Science, and especially Field Geology. To that end, I developed an outdoor teaching facility known as the Geoscience Garden at the University of Alberta with the assistance of the University of Alberta teaching and Learning Fund, and a team of collaborators. To learn more about the Geoscience Garden visit the Geoscience Garden web page


My research and teaching development efforts are currently supported by grants from:

  • NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada)
  • TLEF (Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, University of Alberta)

I acknowledge the generous provision of academic licenses by:

  • Petroleum Experts Ltd, for Move software used for 3D structural modelling: The software has a commercial value of £1,872,218.26
  • Schlumberger, for Petrel software used for the interpretation of seismic reflection data:
  • Agisoft, for Photoscan software, used for photogrammetric modelling of outcrops in 3D: