skip to content

Department of Earth Sciences



Current Research

Observations and models of active and ancient tectonics. 

My work focuses on observing and understanding the deformation and evolution of the Earth's crust and upper mantle, covering length-scales from individual crystals to entire deformation belts, and timescales from seconds to billions of years. I use a combination of field observations, seismology, geodesy, metamorphic and igneous petrology, and numerical modelling. I am particularly interested in constraining the sizes and origins of the forces driving tectonics, and investigating the material properties of the crust and upper mantle. Between them, these quantities play a first-order role in controlling important features of the world around us, such as the locations and characteristics of earthquakes, and the sizes and shapes and evolution through time of mountain ranges and depressions. I take a global view of this topic, and work in a wide range of areas in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and South America.


Key publications: 

A complete publication list, and pdf copies of papers, can be found at:

Professor of Tectonics
Dr Alex  Copley

Contact Details

Email address: 
Bullard Labs
Madingley Rise,
Madingley Road,
+44 (0) 1223 748937