Rory Cottrell

Curriculum Vitae




Research Scientist

Tel: 585-275-6025

Hutchison Hall 209C

Fax: 585-244-5689

Dept. Earth & Environmental Sciences

email: rory.cottrell at rochester dot edu

University of Rochester

Academic Career:


            2003-present    Research Scientist, Paleomagnetic Research Group, University of Rochester

            2003-present    Adjunct Lecturer, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

            2000-2003        Postdoctoral Fellow, Paleomagnetic Research Group, University of Rochester

            2001                 Shipboard Paleomagnetist, Ocean Drilling Program Leg 197 (co-propopent),
                                    Motion of the Hawaiian Hotspot: A Paleomagnetic Test

            2000-2003        Laboratory Instructor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

            2000                 Adjunct, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

            2000                 Ph.D. (Geological Sciences) University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

            1999                 Adjunct, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY

            1998                 M.S. (Geological Sciences) University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

            1994                 B.A. (Geophysics) State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, NY


Selected Field Experience:

2001     Shipboard paleomagnetist, Ocean Drilling Program Leg 197

2000     Field Assistant, Expedition to the High Canadian Arctic (Axel Heiberg Island, Ellesmere Island), University of Rochester, Paleomagnetic Research Group

1997     Expedition to Cretaceous Chalk deposits of the Gulf Coast

1996     Field Assistant, Expedition to the High Canadian Arctic (Axel Heiberg Island), University of Rochester, Paleomagnetic Research Group

1994-present Select class related field trips around New York State; EES 101, EES 201

Research Interests:

Paleointensity, Cretaceous paleomagnetism, plate motion and tectonics, hotspot motion, rock magnetism and envirnmental magnetism, experimental design for magnetic measurements


Synergistic Activities:

Professional Societies:

Geological Society of America, member since 1994
American Geophysical Union, member since 1995
Sigma Gamma Epsilon, member since 1995
Sigma Pi Sigma, member since 1993


Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Student Paper Award, Geomagnetism/Paleomagnetism Section, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, 1998

Magna Cum Laude, SUNY Geneseo, 1994

Outstanding Student in Geological Sciences, SUNY Geneseo, 1994

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Nominee for SUNY Geneseo, 1993



Session Chair: American Geophysical Union

Paleomagnetism from the America, R. Cottrell and others, Joint Assembly Meeting, Toronto, Canada, 2009.

Paleomagnetism Applied to Tectonics and the Geodynamo, R Cottrell, University of Rochester; A Smirnov, Yale University, Joint Assembly Meeting, 2006.

The Hawaiian-Emperor Seamounts: New Results and Implications for the Nature of Hot Spots II Posters, D Scholl, Stanford University; R Cottrell, University of Rochester, Fall Meeting, 2002.

Course work:


EES 201 – Evolution of the Earth
This course is intended for students interested in the evolution of the Earth in terms of tectonics, biology, and climate. Historical geology encompasses the 1) dynamic history of the physical Earth: the development of landforms, the rise and fall of ancient seas, movements of continents, and 2) the evolution of life on this planet in response to a changing Earth. In addition, this class focuses on a chronological survey of Earth and life history, emphasizing the evolution as seen in North America.

2008 - present, Fall, Even Years

EES 256 – Paleomagnetism and Global Plate Tectonics
The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to the concepts of paleomagnetism and its application in the study of global plate tectonics. The study of paleomagnetism revolutionized how scientists theorized how lithospheric plates moved – from the simplistic approach of continental drift to the actual mechanism of sea floor spreading and using paleomagnetic poles to demonstrate how lithospheric plates have moved in the past.

2009 - present, Fall, Odd Years

EES 205 – Solid Earth Geophysics
This course is intended for motivated juniors and seniors in the Earth & Environmental Sciences curriculum. Topics covered included composition of the earth; radioactivity and age of the earth; gravity field and rotation; earthquakes and propagation of seismic waves; magnetic field; paleomagnetism; heat generation and heat flow; plate tectonics and convection in the earth.


EES 101 – Introduction to Physical Geology (Laboratory)
This introductory geology class provides a broad overview of the Earth Sciences, from planetary evolution to the interplay of geology and climate. The course is a prerequisite for all undergraduate majors who are considering careers in the Earth and Environmental Sciences, while also satisfying science requirements for other undergraduate majors. A basic introduction to geological processes is supplemented with an emphasis on marine geology and plate tectonics. The course also aims to provide students with a geological background with which they can better evaluate current environmental issues, including potential global warming. The lecture material is supplemented with laboratory exercises that enhance the students' understanding of Earth processes, including mineral and rock identification, river, glacial, desert and coastal landscapes, earthquakes, lunar geology, geologic time, deformation of the Earth's crust and climate change through geologic history.


GSci 101 - Geologic History of Life (SUNY Geneseo)
An introduction to the evolution and development of life on Earth. Topics include the origin of life, development of multicellular organisms, evolution of land plants and animals, dinosaurs, mammals, and the use of paleontology in the interpretation of earth history. (Directed at non-science majors or those desiring a general background in Earth history. Credit may not be applied toward either the Geological Sciences major or the B.S. in Natural Science with PreK-6 provisional certification.)

GSci 100 – Our Geologic Environment (SUNY Geneseo)
This course is intended for non-science majors who have an interest in their physical environment. The course is designed to develop an understanding of the interaction of Earth processes, the environment, and the human population. Topics include Earth materials, natural resources, geologic hazards, environmental change, and global environmental issues.

Selected Publications:

Select Presentations: