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Jan Tullis

Royce Family Professor in Teaching Excellence:
Geological Sciences
Phone: +1 401 863 1921
Phone 2: +1 401 863 2240

My research involves experimental investigations of the deformation mechanisms, microstructures, and rheology of crustal rocks. My goal is to infer details of the thermomechanical history from the microstructures and crystallographic preferred orientations preserved in naturally deformed rocks, and to provide fundamental mechanical data for modeling crustal and upper mantle deformation under various conditions.


I received an AB in geology from Carleton College in 1965 and a PhD with distinction in geology from UCLA in 1971. I joined the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University as a research assistant in 1970, became assistant professor (research) in 1971, tenured in 1979, and full professor in 1989. I have chaired the Department's Undergraduate Program committee almost continually since 1981, and am committed to providing concentration, personal, and career counseling to Brown undergraduates. I am also a strong supporter of women and minorities in the sciences and am involved with Brown's Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group.


My experimental investigations of the deformation mechanisms, microstructures, and rheology of crustal rocks have been conducted over a wide range of conditions, equivalent to those from the shallow to the deep crust and upper mantle, and including deformation processes from brittle fracturing to cataclastic flow to dislocation creep to melt or fluid–enhanced diffusion creep and grain boundary sliding. In addition I have investigated the influence of the chemical environment on deformation and the mutual interactions of deformation, phase changes, and fluid distribution.


Recent Awards:
Faculty Advising Fellow

Royce Family Professorship in Distinguished Teaching

Daily Jolt (student blog): GEOL 0220 as one of 5 best science courses at Brown

Royce Faculty Fellow

Brown University Presidential Citation

GSA Structural Geology & Tectonics Division Career Contribution Award

Karen Romer Award for Undergrad Advising and Mentoring

Sheridan Center Faculty Fellow

Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning

Association of Women Geoscientist's Outstanding Educator Award


American Geophysical Union (Fellow)
Geological Society of America (Fellow)
Mineralogical Society of America (Fellow)
National Association of Geology Teachers


I am passionately interested in all aspects of education, including teaching, mentoring, advising, and learning. I participated in a Project Kaleidoscope Summer Institute on teaching geology, and recently I was one of the organizers of an NSF-sponsored summer workshop on Teaching Structural Geology in the 21st Century. At Brown I have been active in Brown's Sheridan Center for the Advancement of College Teaching from its inception, giving presentations, participating in workshops and discussions, serving as the Geo Department faculty liaison and serving as the Faculty Fellow for Physical Sciences. I enjoy interacting closely with the graduate and undergraduate TAs who work with me in courses I teach, and have learned a great deal about effective education from them. I have served as a freshman and sophomore advisor for many years, and have served as the Geo Department's main undergraduate concentration advisor for almost 30 years. I have served on a number of University committees on teaching and advising, including some devoted to science literacy (Brown has no distribution requirements) and to attracting and retaining women and minority students in science courses and concentrations. I have served on the Advisory Board and as a Geoscience Affinity Group faculty mentor for WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) since its inception in 1992. I served as the Geo Department mentor for the NEBHE Minority Doctoral Scholars program, and recently was part of a year-long study group considering how to improve the success of minority students in science courses.

Courses Taught:
GEOL 0220: Physical Processes in Geology
GEOL 1450: Structural Geology
GISP: Strategies for Successful Science Communication


Former Graduate Students:
Linda Chernak, Ph.D. '11 (co-advised with Greg Hirth)
Sharon Mosher, Sc.M. '75
Christopher Potter, Sc.M. '76
Betty France, Sc.M. '77
Denice Best Stavenger, Sc.M. '77
Glenmore Shelton, III, Ph.D. '81
Andreas Kronenberg (co-advised w/R. Yund), Ph.D. '83
Felicia Kegel Bechtel, Sc.M. '85
Lisa Dell'Angelo, Ph.D. '87
Gregory Hirth, Ph.D. '91
Gayle Gleason, Ph.D. '94
Alice Post, Ph.D. '98
Caleb Holyoke, III, Ph.D. '05

Elisabetta Mariani
Jun Muto
Michael Stipp

Funded Research

Recent Funding:
NSF Collaborative Grant: The effects of carbonic fluids on dislocation creep of quartz

Web Links

Curriculum Vitae

Download Jan Tullis's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format