Nicholas Christie-Blick

Educated in Britain, and groomed at an American plate boundary, Christie-Blick’s research deals with sedimentation processes, crustal deformation, and deep-time Earth history – currently with emphasis on the geology of the Neoproterozoic Earth. He is known also for his work in seismic and sequence stratigraphy, and the paradox of low-angle normal faulting. Several of those themes came together in a popular Spring Break excursion to Death Valley, California for first- and second-year undergraduates. For 40 years, Christie-Blick also taught courses in sedimentary geology and tectonics, receiving the Best Teacher Award from both graduate and undergraduate students. From 2008-2014, he was an instructor and course chair for Frontiers of Science, an interdisciplinary science course in Columbia's famed Core Curriculum.

Fields of Interest

Sedimentation processes, crustal deformation, and deep-time Earth history


Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1979 (Geology)

B.A., University of Cambridge (King's College), UK, 1974 (Natural Sciences/Geology)

Honors & Awards

Laurence L. Sloss Award (Geological Society of America), 2023.

Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), 2021.

Dr Vikram Sarabhai Chair of the Indian National Science Academy (a speaking tour of Indian universities in February, 2020). Awarded in 2019. Presentation: “Unresolved issues in seismic and sequence stratigraphy.”

Distinguished Alumnus Award, Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005.

2003 Outstanding Paper in the Journal of Sedimentary Research, Stephen F. Pekar, Nicholas Christie-Blick, Kenneth G. Miller, and Michelle A. Kominz, “Quantitative constraints on the origin of stratigraphic architecture at passive continental margins: Oligocene sedimentation in New Jersey, U.S.A.” Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 73, p. 227-245. Awarded in 2005.

Best Teacher Award, selected by undergraduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of Columbia University, 2010; and by graduate students in 1996 and 2008.

Fellow, Geological Society of America, 1995.