Dr Andy Parsons

Dr Andy Parsons

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Marine Geoscience

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



My research uses multi-disciplinary analyses of the geological record to investigate the processes that facilitate and control the tectonic evolution of Earth. My research interests include mid-ocean ridges, subduction, orogenesis, rifting, ophiolites, paleomagnetism, petrology, structural and microstructural deformation, the Himalaya and Tethys Ocean(s) and the North American Cordillera.

Currently, I am investigating mamatic flow and crustal accretion processes in the Oman ophiolite. I use paleomagnetic, petrographic and geochemical analyses to constrain the kinematics of magma flow and crystallization processes. This research provides an ocean ridge segment-scale understanding of how oceanic crust forms at fast-spreading ridges, such as the East pacific Rise. I also study the tectonic evolution of the North American Cordillera and the eastern Tethys oceans, through collaboration with external researchers (Geological Survey of Canada, University of Oxford, Université Côte d'Azur) with particular focus on terrane accretion events and subduction zone configurations, through integration of bedrock datasets, plate reconstruction modelling and tomographic imaging of subducted slabs in the deep mantle . 

I enjoy fieldwork in challenging terrain and have worked in a variety of tectonic settings including ophiolites (Oman; Yukon, North American Cordillera ), metamorphic terranes and orogenic cores (Yukon, North American Cordillera; Nepal Himalaya; Norway, Western Gneiss Region) and fold-and-thrust belts (Spanish Pyrenees), continental/island arcs (Yukon, North American Cordillera), strike-slip zones (Karakoram Fault Zone, NW India; Eskişehir Fault Zone, NW Turkey), and passive margins (East Greenland).

I am also involved in research projects that investigate intracrystalline deformation and rheology in geological materials using scanning electron microscopy – electron backscatter diffraction (SEM-EBSD) techniques (collaborations with researchers at iCRAG, University of Leeds, University of Graz, and others).


External Websites:


Google Scholar


PhD – UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS – (awarded Jun 2015)

Previous roles:
Jan 2018-Jul 2021. Postdoctoral Research Assistant, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

- Kinematic plate reconstructions of Mesozoic subduction histories of Tethys
- Integration of seismic tomography with geological datasets to test plate reconstructions for Tethys
2016-2017. Postdoctoral Researcher, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF CANADA (GSC)
- Tectonic processes in accretionary orogens, NW Cordillera, Yukon, Canada
- Subduction zone dynamics, ophiolite petrogenesis and obduction
2010-2011. Geologist, CASP (Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme, UNIV. CAMBRIDGE).
- Structural evolution of NE Greenland continental passive margin
- Integrated field and GIS based study to create structural maps and cross sections

Roles on external bodies

  • Associate Editor for 'Tektonika' (2022-2023)
  • Editorial board member for ‘Geology’ (GSA – 2020 to 2023)
  • Editorial board member for ‘Frontiers in Earth Sciences’ (2021 to present)