Dr. Robert J. Stern  Professor of Geosciences, UT Dallas


Robert J. Stern is Professor of Geosciences and has served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Dallas since 1982. Most of his scientific career was spent studying modern and ancient plate tectonic processes and products, especially the active Mariana arc system in the Western Pacific and ancient (800-550 million year old) crust exposed in the Arabian-Nubian Shield of Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel. He has made important contributions to the geology of Iran, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Geodynamic contributions include ideas about how new subduction zones form and the evolution of Plate Tectonics. He and his co-authors have published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers; more information can be found on his Google Scholar profile. In addition to being co-director of the Permian Basin Research Lab, he is director of the Global Magmatic and Tectonic Laboratory and Geoscience Studios and is co-director of the Micro-imaging Laboratory, all housed in the UTD Geology Dept. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union and has been Editor-in-Chief of International Geology Review since 2013. More information can be found on his Wikipedia page


Mr. Lowell Waite     Lecturer, UT Dallas

Lowell Waite is a Lecturer within the Department of Geosciences. He has 38 years of previous experience in the oil and gas industry, including 17 years with Mobil Oil and 21 years with Pioneer Natural Resources. While at Mobil, he worked in carbonate research, domestic exploration (Gulf of Mexico and west Texas), and international exploration and field development (Saudi Arabia, Angola, North Africa, Venezuela, and Kazakhstan) including 5 years as co-leader of Mobil’s Carbonate Seminar.  At Pioneer, his main projects included International New Ventures (Tunisia), Gulf of Mexico exploration, South Texas exploration (Edwards reef trend and Eagle Ford shale), Denver Basin exploration, and Permian Basin unconventional shales (Wolfcamp – Spraberry of the Midland Basin). At Pioneer he taught numerous in-house courses and field trips. Recently retired for the oil and gas industry, he looks forward to teaching, advising, and mentoring students in his capacity as co-director of the Permian Basin Research Lab.


Dr. Mortaza Pirouz  Senior Lecturer, UT Dallas

Mortaza Pirouz is currently a Senior Lecturer of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, joining the Department in 2018. His research is mostly focused on the evolution of fold-and-thrust belts and foreland basin systems. He is broadly interested in dynamic systems of the Earth; how the Earth’s crust evolves in response to deformation, surface processes and climate change. He is interested in the functioning of fold-thrust belts and foreland basin systems, in order to understand how mountain ranges and basins form and migrate in time and space; and how climate interacts with deformation and surface processes. To study these problems, he utilizes a multidisciplinary approach including fieldwork, subsurface data, geophysical data (e.g. gravity and reflection seismic), paleomagnetism, geochronology, analogue experiments and numerical simulations. Integration of all these different data sources provides powerful tools for deciphering crustal behavior from an outcrop to continental scale. At the regional scale, he models the flexure of the lithosphere to distinguish mechanics of the lithosphere and dynamics of the collisional zones. At a more local scale, he is interested in modeling structurally complex regions and petroleum reservoirs in 3D/4D.


Dr. Hejun Zhu           Assistant Professor, UT Dallas


Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Majie Fan  Associate Professor, UT Arlington

Majie Fan is an Associate Professor of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research mainly focuses on Cenozoic histories of orogen formation and paleoclimate change using a multidisciplinary approach, and has ongoing projects in the western U.S., western Mexico, and China. Since she moved to Texas in 2011, she has developed an interest in the Paleozoic tectonic setting related to Laurentia-Gondwana collision. She and her co-authors have published more than 45 peer-reviewed scientific papers; more information can be found on her Google Scholar profile.  


Industry Associates

Mr. David Williamson, Founding Member and Vice President of Geoscience, Monadnock Resources

Mr. Tim Reed, Pioneer Natural Resources (Retired)