Short Biography

Dr. Richard E. Ernst was born in Philadelphia, USA and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. After finishing undergraduate work at Wesleyan University in 1978, he was attracted north to Canada by geological field research, and he received an MSc from the University of Toronto in 1981, and PhD from Carleton University in 1989. He then worked until 2003 on contracts mainly through the Geological Survey of Canada. At this point he started his own consulting firm “Ernst Geosciences”, and also became an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. 

Dr. Richard Ernst is currently Scientist in Residence at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and is also a guest professor at Tomsk State University (TSU), Siberia, Russia. He is author of nearly 200 refereed scientific publications mostly focused on all aspects of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) including their dramatic flood basalts, plumbing systems of giant dyke swarms, sill provinces and layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions, associated kimberlites, carbonatites and felsic provinces, and links with mineral, metal and hydrocarbon resource exploration, supercontinent breakup, catastrophic environmental/climate change including mass extinction events, and planetary analogues. His comprehensive book on LIPs was published by Cambridge University Press in fall 2014. . He has been co-leader (2003-2013), and leader (since 2013) of the LIPs Commission of IAVCEI. He has been co-leader (2010-2015) and leader (since 2015) of global research teams funded by Industry and associated government grants totaling more than $2.5 million that have led to a dramatic expansion of the LIP record particularly for Precambrian time and a growing targeting role for LIPs in Resource Exploration for a wide range of commodity types.  Another current passion is integration with the sedimentary record to characterize the potentially catastrophic environmental effects of LIPs with implications for understanding controls and feedbacks related to climate change.

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Last Updated: July  9, 2018