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Rupert Sutherland

Professor of tectonics and geophysics, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington

My main interests are in tectonic processes (earthquakes, plate motions) and geophysical exploration of Zealandia. I am involved in diverse research at all scales. Drilling into the Alpine fault investigates microscopic to mountain scales, whereas ocean drilling is at continent scale. I have worked on crustal-scale projects using geophysical methods, and on the processes of subduction zone initiation and sedimentary basin formation. I have also worked on the history of global plate motions and how and why they have changed. These various studies have also led to secondary interests in geomorphology, climate change, and natural physical resources.


  • –present
    Professor of tectonics and geophysics, Victoria University of Wellington


  • 1995 
    University of Otago, NZ, PhD Geoscience


Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand