Robert Riding
DSc, PhD

Research Professor
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA

Emeritus Professor of Geology
Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences,
1621 Cumberland Avenue,
602 Strong Hall,
Knoxville TN 37996-1526

Algal and bacterial carbonates (including stromatolites): their geological history and how they reflect long-term changes in Earth's climate, sea-level, seawater chemistry, and atmospheric composition.

I grew up in the industrial 'Black Country' just west of Birmingham, England. Rocks and fossils were discovered on holidays along the coasts of Somerset and Dorset (yes, the Jurassic!). So I studied geology with my teachers Bill James and Derrick Picken at Holly Lodge Grammar School in Smethwick, and then went on to Sheffield University in Yorkshire. My PhD research with Bob Wagner on Carboniferous reefs (really carbonate mud mounds) in the beautiful Cantabrian Mountains of northern León opened my eyes to calcareous algae (and to Spain). My enthusiasm for reef carbonates deepened during a Postdoc at McGill University in Montreal with Eric Mountjoy and Colin Stearn. I worked on Late Devonian 'algae' (lots of Problematica) in the Ancient Wall reef of Jasper National Park, Alberta. With Colin I also learned to scuba and discovered the joys of present-day reefs at Jamaica, Barbados and Bermuda. Canada was followed by a junior lectureship at Newcastle upon Tyne, back in England, and then a permanent position at Cardiff University in Wales. A visit to Stan Awramik at Santa Barbara in 1985 sparked an emerging interest in stromatolites. Cardiff became the base for travel to ancient and modern carbonates far and wide, mostly algal-bacterial and in reefs. Gotland, Bavaria, Siberia, Hebei, Tuscany, Croatia, Sardinia, Israel, Oslo Region, Carnic Alps, New Mexico, Chihuahua, Exumas, Anti-Atlas, Almería, Majorca, Shandong, Dolomites, Madhya Pradesh, Schwäbische Alb, Jordan, Samarqand, Campbellrand, all stand out, as do ten great PhD students and the friends/collaborators who shared the fun. In 2007, after many years in Wales, I joined the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, beside the Smoky Mountains.

Visiting Positions
2018: Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bengalaru, India
2012: Visiting Professor, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
2009: Visiting Professor, Calabria University, Italy
1998: Visiting Professor, Cluj-Napoca University, Romania
1994 & 2007: Visiting Professor, Granada University, Spain
1992: Humboldt Research Fellow, Tübingen University, Germany
1987: Bass Visiting Scholar, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA
1981: Humboldt Research Fellow, Technical University, Munich, Germany
1977: Visiting Professor, Erlangen University, Germany