Geologists

A geologist is a scientist who specializes in the study of the earth. Geologists analyze the materials that make up the earth, the structure of the earth, and the processes going on under and above the surface of the earth. Geology is also concerned with the history of the earth, how the materials, structures, processes and the organisms have changed over time. It is a field of science that attempts to understand the history of our planet through the examination of the earth’s crust, rocks, minerals, and fossil remains. Geologists need to a strong base in other sciences like physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics also to be able to explain the various phenomena that affect the earth. As compared to other scientists, they are required to spend more time outdoors though laboratory work is also essential to analyze the samples. Geologists try to understand why natural processes like earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc. occur and how man can take precautions to minimize damage from these disasters. They also study and help to locate various types of materials found in earth like petroleum, metals, underground water, etc. which are of use to human beings. Geologists analyze fossil remains of the ancient organisms that once inhabited the earth in order to determine the process of evolution and climate change. This section provides you with biographies and timelines which contain information about the life and works of various famous geologists from all over the world.
More From Geologists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Geologists

 1 
John Muir
(Naturalist)

John Muir
4
Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

 2 
Charles Darwin
(Naturalist known for His Contributions to Evolutionary Biology)

Charles Darwin
8
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 3 
Alfred Wegener
(Polar Researcher)

Alfred Wegener
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: November 1, 1930

In the early 1900s, meteorologist Alfred Wegener did not find too many takers for his theory that all the continents of the world had initially been a single mass named Pangaea and that continental drift had caused them to split apart. Wegener died on his fourth expedition in Greenland.

 4 
Robert Ballard
(Deep Sea Explorer)

Robert Ballard
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Recommended Lists:

 5 
Harrison Schmitt
(Geologist)

Harrison Schmitt
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Rita, New Mexico, United States

 6 
David A. Johnston
(Volcanologist)

David A. Johnston
4
Birthdate: December 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 18, 1980
Recommended Lists:

 7 

Charles Lyell
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1797
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Angus
Died: February 22, 1875

Charles Lyell was a Scottish geologist best remembered for his work Principles of Geology, which explains the origin of the earth. He is also remembered for his pioneering explanation of climate change. A close friend of Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell is also credited with influencing many of Darwin's works pertaining to the theories of evolution.  

You May Like

 8 
Louis Agassiz
(Geologist)

Louis Agassiz
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1807
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montier
Died: December 14, 1873

Louis Agassiz was a biologist and geologist. He was famous as a scholar of Earth's natural history. Born in Switzerland, he completed his education in Europe and emigrated to USA. He was appointed a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University. He later founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology at the Lawrence Scientific School.  

Recommended Lists:

 9 
James Hutton
(Geologist)

James Hutton
4
Birthdate: June 3, 1726
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 26, 1797

The pioneer of modern geology, James Hutton laid down the principle of uniformitarianism in geology. While he was initially interested in chemistry, he had later also studied law and had then moved on to medicine. His iconic Theory of the Earth explained the science behind rock formations.

 10 
Wen Jiabao
(Politician, Geologist, Economist)

Wen Jiabao
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tianjin

Wen Jiabao is a retired Chinese politician who served as the country's head of government from 2003 to 2013. As Premier, Wen Jiabao played a major role in directing Beijing's economic policy. Nicknamed the people's premier, Wen worked towards bettering the lives of migrant workers and farmers rather than focusing on GDP growth in rich coastal areas and large cities.  

Recommended Lists:

 11 
John Wesley Powell
(Explorer, Geologist)

John Wesley Powell
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1834
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mount Morris
Died: September 23, 1902

John Wesley Powell was a geologist and explorer of the American West. He undertook a series of adventures as a young man and later joined the military. He is best known for the three-month-long geographic expedition he undertook down the Green and Colorado rivers. He was made the director of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1881.  

 12 
Douglas Mawson
(Explorer, Geologist)

Douglas Mawson
4
Birthdate: May 5, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Shipley
Died: October 14, 1958

Douglas Mawson was an Australian Antarctic explorer, geologist, and academic. Counted among the most important leaders of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, Mawson was honored with a knighthood in 1914. Best remembered for his contribution to Australian geology, Mawson was featured on the Australian one-hundred-dollar note from 1984 to 1996.

 13 

Matthew Fontaine Maury
4
Birthdate: January 14, 1806
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Died: February 1, 1873

American astronomer, naval officer, oceanographer and author Matthew Fontaine Maury, who first served the United States Navy and then the Confederacy States Navy, made significant contributions in oceanography. His book Physical Geography of the Sea is counted among the first comprehensive books on oceanography. Navies and merchant marines across the world adopted his uniform system of recording oceanographic data.

 14 

Eugene Merle Shoemaker
4
Birthdate: April 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 18, 1997

Best known for discovering the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet, with his wife, Carolyn, and David H. Levy, Eugene Merle Shoemaker was an American astrogeologist who had also worked with the U.S. Geological Survey. He had been part of NASA’s lunar exploration missions. Following his death, his ashes were transported to the Moon.

Recommended Lists:

 15 

Kathryn D. Sullivan
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, United States

 16 
Milutin Milanković
(Mathematician)

Milutin Milanković
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dalj, Croatia
Died: December 12, 1958
Recommended Lists:

 17 
William Buckland
(Geologist)

William Buckland
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856

 18 
Harry Glicken
(volcanologist)

Harry Glicken
4
Birthdate: March 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: June 3, 1991
Recommended Lists:

 19 
Nicolas Steno
(Scientist)

Nicolas Steno
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1638
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 25, 1686

Nicolas Steno was a 17th-century Danish scientist considered a pioneer in both anatomy and geology. He received training in the classical texts on science and went on to become an expert on fossils and rock formation. Today, he is considered one of the founders of modern stratigraphy and modern geology. He became a Catholic bishop in his later years.  

 20 
Patrick Geddes
(Biologist)

Patrick Geddes
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932

Apart from being a sociologist and biologist, Patrick Geddes was known for his impeccable sense of town planning. While he initially taught botany in Dundee, he later turned to sociology and conducted studies in India, Mexico, and other countries. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.

 21 

Charles Francis Richter
5
Birthdate: April 26, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: near Hamilton, Ohio
Died: September 30, 1985

 22 
Conrad Schlumberger
(Geophysicist)

Conrad Schlumberger
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guebwiller, France
Died: May 9, 1936

Along with his brother, Marcel Schlumberger, Conrad Schlumberger formed one of the most well-known geophysicist duos of Germany. A pioneer in petroleum production, he co-established Schlumberger Ltd., one of the world’s largest oil-field service companies, with Marcel. Their technique of oil exploration offered a cheap alternative than the existing coring methods.

Recommended Lists:

 23 
Shen Kuo
(physicist, cartographer, mathematician, astronomer, poet)

Shen Kuo
3
Birthdate: 1031 AD
Birthplace: Hangzhou, China
Died: 1095 AD

Shen Kuo was an eleventh century Chinese statesman and polymath, best remembered for authoring Mengxi bitan. Initially employed with central government, he had a successful career before he was banished on false charges, a move that allowed him to produce several scholarly books on mathematics, music, astronomy, calendars, cartography, geology, optics and medicine, out of which many were later purged.

 24 
George de Mohrenschildt
(Geologist, known for having befriended Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1962)

George de Mohrenschildt
4
Birthdate: April 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mazyr, Belarus
Died: March 29, 1977

 25 
Vladimir Vernadsky
(Mineralogist)

Vladimir Vernadsky
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: January 6, 1945

Vladimir Vernadsky was a geochemist and mineralogist who is widely regarded as one of the founders of radiogeology, biogeochemistry, and geochemistry. He is also credited with founding the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Vernadsky is best remembered for his book, The Biosphere, which discusses Eduard Suess' work. He won the prestigious Stalin Prize in 1943.

 26 
Harry Hammond Hess
(Geologist, Officer)

Harry Hammond Hess
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 25, 1969
Recommended Lists:

 27 
Inge Lehmann
(Seismologist)

Inge Lehmann
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: February 21, 1993

Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann is remembered for her groundbreaking discovery of the Earth’s solid inner core and molten outer core, using seismic waves. While she initially studied math, she later deviated to seismology, with a focus on ascertaining earthquake epicenters. The William Bowie Medal-winning scientist died at age 104.

 28 
Katia Krafft
(Volcanologists)

Katia Krafft
4
Birthdate: April 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Soultz-Haut-Rhin, France
Died: June 3, 1991
Recommended Lists:

 29 
Iain Stewart
(Geologist, TV Presenter)

Iain Stewart
3
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: East Kilbride, Scotland

Scottish geologist Iain Stewart once revealed in an interview that he initially struggled with the subject. A child actor, he later focused on academics and grew up to be a University of Plymouth professor and the UNESCO geoscience chair. He has also presented many BBC programs and been awarded an MBE.

 30 
Karl Terzaghi
(Mechanical engineer)

Karl Terzaghi
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 25, 1963

The pioneer of soil mechanics, Karl Terzaghi was the son of an army lieutenant-colonel and studied in a military boarding school, where he developed his passion for geography. He eventually graduated as a mechanical engineer. He later also taught at MIT and penned iconic works such as Erdbaumechanik.

Recommended Lists:

 31 
Walter Alvarez
(Geologist widely known for the theory that dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid impact)

Walter Alvarez
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

 32 
Marie Tharp
(Geologist)

Marie Tharp
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
Died: August 23, 2006

 33 
Ian Plimer
(Geologist)

Ian Plimer
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Australian geologist Ian Plimer taught mining geology and earth sciences at institutes such as the University of Adelaide. Apart from publishing over 120 research papers, he has also been a co-editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Geology and has penned the award-winning A Short History of Planet Earth.

 34 
Arthur Holmes
(Geophysicist, Geologist)

Arthur Holmes
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gateshead
Died: September 20, 1965
Recommended Lists:

 35 
Francis Beaufort
(Former Hydrographer known for Beaufort cipher, Beaufort scale)

Francis Beaufort
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1774
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Navan, Ireland
Died: December 17, 1857

Irish-born Francis Beaufort grew up to be a British Royal Navy admiral. He also went down in history as the inventor of the Beaufort wind force scale, which was meant for observing wind force at sea. His personal diaries, written in Beaufort cipher, reveal an incestuous relationship with his sister.

 36 
Clarence King
(Clarence Rivers King)

Clarence King
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Died: December 24, 1901
Recommended Lists:

 37 
John Needham
(Biologist)

John Needham
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1713
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 30, 1781

 38 
William Smith
(paleontologist, civil engineer, geologist)

William Smith
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1769
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Churchill
Died: August 28, 1839

 39 
Henry Fairfield Osborn
(Geologist, Paleontologist)

Henry Fairfield Osborn
3
Birthdate: August 8, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fairfield
Died: September 6, 1935

Henry Fairfield Osborn was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenics advocate. He is best remembered for his association with the American Museum of Natural History where he served as the president for 25 years. Osborn is also remembered for developing his own evolutionary theory which he called the Dawn Man Theory.

 40 
Marcia McNutt
(Geophysicist)

Marcia McNutt
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

 41 
Andrija Mohorovičić
(Meteorologist)

Andrija Mohorovičić
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Opatija
Died: December 18, 1936

 42 
Gideon Mantell
(Obstetrician)

Gideon Mantell
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lewes, England
Died: November 10, 1852

 43 
William Morris Davis
(Geographer, Geologist, Meteorologist)

William Morris Davis
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 5, 1934

 44 

Roderick Murchison
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Muir of Ord, Scotland
Died: October 22, 1871

 45 
Henry Schoolcraft
(Geographer)

Henry Schoolcraft
3
Birthdate: March 28, 1793
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guilderland, New York, United States
Died: December 10, 1864

 46 
M. King Hubbert
(Geologist)

M. King Hubbert
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Saba, Texas, United States
Died: October 11, 1989

 47 
John Tuzo Wilson
(Geophysicist)

John Tuzo Wilson
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada
Died: April 15, 1993

Best known for his work on plate tectonics, John Tuzo Wilson was the son of a Scottish immigrant and had become the first Canadian to earn a degree in geophysics. Following his service in World War II, he began teaching geophysics. The Wilson Mountains in Antarctica was named after him.

 48 
Walter Munk
(Oceanographer)

Walter Munk
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 8, 2019

 49 
Franz Nopcsa von Felso-Szilvas
(Geologist, Paleontologist and Albanologist)

Franz Nopcsa von Felso-Szilvas
3
Birthdate: May 3, 1877
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deva, Romania
Died: April 25, 1933

 50 

Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1832
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Died: August 12, 1901

Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld was a Finland-Swedish geologist, aristocrat, Arctic explorer, and mineralogist. He is best remembered for leading the Vega Expedition of 1878–1880, the first Arctic expedition to steer through the Northeast Passage. The expedition is regarded as one of the greatest achievements in Swedish science history.