Alison R Duvall

Brief Bio

I am a geologist who integrates the broad fields of surface processes, structural geology, and tectonics to tackle a host of questions relating to landscape evolution. I seek to resolve tectonic deformation, faulting and mountain uplift histories in active mountain belts using the erosion record. I am passionate about human resilience to geohazards, especially landslide related events in subduction zones.


Our research team explores these topics at field sites around the world, including New Zealand, Chile and the Himalaya/Tibetan Plateau, and in locations closer to home, such as the Cascadia subduction zone, Seattle and the Puget Lowland, the Wallowa Mountains of NE Oregon and central Idaho. I received the 2016 AGU Luna B. Leopold Award (Earth Surface Processes early career award) for “contributions to fluvial, hillslope, and tectonic geomorphology that have fundamentally advanced understanding of landscape dynamics across a wide range of scales” and delivered the 2016 Sharp Lecture in San Francisco at the AGU annual meeting as part of this honor.

Check out this youtube video for a bit more about what I study



2011                Ph.D. in Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

                        Dissertation: The Tectonic Evolution of the Tibetan Plateau: Insights from the Deformation and Erosion History of Northern                                Tibet and the Surrounding Region (Supervisor: Professor Marin K. Clark)


2003              M.S. in Geology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California

                        Thesis: Bedrock Channel Response to Variability in Rock Strength and Rock-Uplift Rate in the Santa Ynez Mountains, California

                        (Supervisor: Professor Douglas W. Burbank)


2000              B.S. in Geological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

                        Summa Cum Laude


2020 – present    Associate Professor, University of Washington

2013 – 2020        Assistant Professor, University of Washington

2012 – 2013         Assistant Professor (NTT), University of Washington

2011 – 2012         CIRES Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder

2006 – 2011        Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, University of Michigan

2003 – 2006       Geologist, United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

2001 – 2003       Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, UC – Santa Barbara, CA