Professor Todd A. Ehlers

  • Head of School, Professor (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)


Todd A. Ehlers (Todd Ehlers CV) is a Professor and Head of School at the University of Glasgow, UK (starting Aug. 2023). Before this, he was a Professor and former Department Speaker at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and an Associate Professor and Associate Chair at the University of Michigan, USA. He is an elected member of Academia Europaea (2018), recipient of the EGU Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal (2018), and former Moore Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (2021-2022). While in Germany, Professor Ehlers was the speaker for the German priority research program (SPP 1801) EarthShape: Earth Surface Shaping by Biota (2016-2023), and a former European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Awardee. He has served on numerous USA and German Science Foundation (NSF, DFG) Senate Commissions for the future of Geo- and Earth System Sciences, as well as science review panels for USA National Science Foundation, and DFG. Professor Ehlers is on the Board of Review Editors for Science (2013-present), and former editor in chief for Tectonics (2009-2013), and Earth Science Reviews (2006-2010).

His research interests are in the interactions between climate, tectonics, surface processes, and biota as applied to the evolution of active mountain ranges and sedimentary basins. His research group has a wide range of projects that involve an integration of field observations and geochemical data with physics-based models of landscape evolution, lithospheric deformation, and climate/paleoclimate. The goal of these projects is to quantify the rates of magnitudes of processes that influence the form and evolution of Earth's surface. Emphasis is also placed on understanding any couplings and feedbacks between biotic, geologic, atmospheric, and geomorphic processes.

Current research topics include:

  • Tectonic, (paleo)climate, and biotic controls on Earth surface processes
  • Active tectonics and geodynamics
  • Quantifying tectonic and surface processes using thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides, remote sensing, and numerical modeling techniques.
  • Glacial erosion and topographic development.

Professor Ehlers integrates a variety of tools in his research. He emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems and integrates techniques and data sets such as:

  • Field observations
  • Numerical modeling (thermal, mechanical, atmospheric, and surface process models) and high performance computing.
  • Low-temperature thermochronology: noble gas and fission track methods.
  • Analysis and modeling of high-resolution (Lidar derived) digital topography.
  • Field-based observations of sedimentology, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and structure.
  • Meso-and global-scale climate models and meteorological data
  •  Remote sensing and geographic information systems(GIS)
  • Cosmogenic isotopes (10Be,26Al,3He) and shortlived nuclides.
  • Geophysical data analysis (heatflow, gravity, GPR, seismic reflection profiles)


List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2023
Number of items: 2.


Eizenhöfer, P. R. , Glotzbach, C., Kley, J. and Ehlers, T. A. (2023) Thermo‐kinematic evolution of the Eastern European Alps along the TRANSALP transect. Tectonics, 42(4), e2022TC007380. (doi: 10.1029/2022TC007380)

Ehlers, T. A. (2023) Landscapes through time. Science, 379(6635), pp. 879-880. (doi: 10.1126/science.adg5546) (PMID:36862786)

This list was generated on Mon Sep 25 15:41:20 2023 BST.
Jump to: Articles
Number of items: 2.


Eizenhöfer, P. R. , Glotzbach, C., Kley, J. and Ehlers, T. A. (2023) Thermo‐kinematic evolution of the Eastern European Alps along the TRANSALP transect. Tectonics, 42(4), e2022TC007380. (doi: 10.1029/2022TC007380)

Ehlers, T. A. (2023) Landscapes through time. Science, 379(6635), pp. 879-880. (doi: 10.1126/science.adg5546) (PMID:36862786)

This list was generated on Mon Sep 25 15:41:20 2023 BST.


2022 € 406,000, German Science Foundation (DFG Major Research Instrumentation) High Voltage Pulsed Power Fragmentation System. PIs. T. Ehlers.

2022-2024 € ~1,334,000, Bundesgessellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE, German nuclear waste disposal agency), Erosion rates across Germany with a focus on the South German Scarplands - integrating surface analysis, thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclide, and landscape evolution modelling. PIs, T. Ehlers, C. Glotzbach, A. Beer, M. Schaller.

2021-2024 € ~450,000, Machine Learning Cluster of Excellence, (Univ. Tübingen) PIMMs - Probabilistic Inference in Mechanistic Models. PIs., P. Berens, J. Classen, R. Drews, T. Ehlers, P. Henning, J. Macke.

2021-2023 € ~400,000, German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/23-1) Reconstructing eastward propagation of surface uplift in the Alps: Integrating stable isotope palaeoaltimetry and palaeoclimate modeling. PIs. T. Ehlers, S. Mutz, A. Mulch, M. Meijers. 

2021-2023 € ~430,000, German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/26-1) Constraining the geodynamic evolution of the Alps with sedimentary provenance and detrital thermochronometer data. PIs L. Stutenbecker, C. Glotzbach, T. Ehlers. 

2021-2023 € ~220,000, German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/24-1) Integrated records of tectonic and climate interactions in the Northern Alpine Foreland Basin sedimentary architecture. PIs. N. (Andric) Tomasevic, T. Ehlers

2021-2023 € ~220,000, German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/25-1) Quantifying the effects of mantle processes and climate variability on hinterland denudation in the Central and Eastern Alps since the Oligocene. PIs P. Eizenhöfer, T. Ehlers.

2014-2022 € 10,500,000, German Science Foundation (DFG SPP 1801) Proposal for establishment of a new German priority program (SPP), “EARTHSHAPE: Earth Surface Shaping by Biota ”, PIs T. Ehlers (contact person), F. von Blanckenburg.

2019-2022 € 225,506 German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/14-2) Bridging Timescales of Climate and Vegetation Change Effects on Denudation: A Coupled Modeling Approach. PI: T. Ehlers. Separate co-PI project by T. Hickler. 

2019-2022 € 932,524, German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/17-2) Coordination of the DFG Priority Program 1803 (Phase 2): “EarthShape: Earth Surface Shaping by Biota”, PI: T. Ehlers (con- tact person). Separate co-PI project by F. von Blanckenburg. 

2017-2022 € 149,688 German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/19-1): Neogene paleoelevation and paleoclimate of the central Alps - Linking surface processes to lithospheric dynamics PI: T. Ehlers. Separate co-project led by A. Mulch.

2017-2024 € 591,000, German Science Foundation (DFG Major Research Instrumentation, INST 37/1041-1 FUGG) Next Generation Thermochronology: Proposal for a laser ablation equipped Helium extraction and triple dating instrument. PI. T. Ehlers.

2017-2021 € 218,350 German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/18-1): Quantifying the tectonic controls on glaciated topography, Patagonia, South America. PI: T. Ehlers. Separate co-project led by M. Strecker.

2017-2020 € 166,689 German Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF 03G0878D)  CLIENT II - CaTeNA: Climate and tectonic natural hazards In Central Asia: Investigation of the earthquake and mass wasting hazards.

2016-2020 € 246,475 German Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF 03G0863A) CAMEII - Tipping points in lake systems in arid zones of central Asia (Q-Tip): Climate proxies and global climate modelling Subproject , PI: T. Ehlers and E. Appel.

2016-2020 € 176,625 German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/13-1) Constraining paleo-dynamics and sediment transport of Antarctic stream flow across grounding lines - from source to sink, PI: T. Ehlers. Separate co-projects led by O. Eisen, C. Mayer.

2015-2019 € 2,000,000, European Research Council (ERC CoG 615703), Consolidator Grant. “EXTREME: EXtreme Tectonics and Rapid Erosion in Mountain Environments”, PI. T. Ehlers

2016-2019 € 525,000, German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/17-1) Coordination of the DFG Priority Program 1803 (Phase I): “EarthShape: Earth Surface Shaping by Biota”, PIs: T. Ehlers (contact person).

2016-2019 € 228,163 German Science Foundation (DFG EH329/14-1) BioScapes I: Coupled modeling of Climate, Dynamic Vegetation, and Surface Processes From the Last Glacial Maximum to Present PI: T. Ehlers.

2012-2015 € 2,035,286, (€ 242,000 Uni Tü) “Tien-Shan-Pamir Monitoring Program: Cenozoic geodynamics, climate interactions, and resulting hazards in Central Asia”, German BMBF – Central Asia Program, PIs: H. Echtler, T. Ehlers, U. Linnemann, L. Ratschbacher, M. Strecker.

2011-2015 € 265,442, German Science Foundation (DFG) Geology,  “Quantifying deformation and erosion at the Yakutat plate corner (SE Alaska) with integrated thermochronology and numerical modeling”, PIs T. Ehlers, E. Enkelmann. (EN 941/1-1)

2011-2014 € 270,159, German Science Foundation (DFG) TiP SPP 1372, “Bridging timescales of Tibetan Plateau environmental change: An integration of Earth system modeling with modern and paleoenvironmental proxies”, PIs T. Ehlers (EH 329/2-1), Separate co-project led by H. Paeth.

2011-2014 € 210,000, German Science Foundation (DFG) Geology, “Quantifying paleo-denudation rates with cosmogenic nuclides from European river terraces”, PIs M. Schaller, T. Ehlers

2013 € 44,000,  NAGRA (Swiss Nuclear Waste Disposal Agency), “Quantification of the thermal and exhumation histories of the Benken and Sonnengarten Boreholes, Switzerland”, PI T. Ehlers.

2010-2013 $579,707,  NSF-Tectonics, “Collaborative Research: Recovering surface uplift histories and climate dynamics of the Cenozoic North American Cordillera through integrated climate modeling, sedimentology, and stable isotopes.” PIs P. Chamberlain, C. Poulsen, T. Ehlers, S. Graham, A. Mulch.

2009-2013 $500,929,  NSF-CD, “Collaborative Research: CAUGHT: Central Andean Uplift and the Geodynamics of High Topography, PIs T. Ehlers, C. Poulsen.

2010-2012 € 135,600, German Science Foundation (DFG) Antarctica SPP 1158, “Quantifying long-term glacial erosion in Antarctica with numerical modeling and thermochronology”. PIs T. Ehlers, P. Bons. (EH 329/1-1)

2007-2012 $513,204, NSF-Collaborations in Mathematics and Geosciences, “Collaborative Research: Quantifying Tectonic and Geomorphic Interpretations of Thermochronometer Data With Inverse Problem Theory”, PI: T. Ehlers.

2008-2012 $402,183, NSF-EAR, “Quantifying the Cenozoic oxygen isotopic variability of precipitation on the Andes: A test of stable isotope paleoaltimetry and plateau uplift”, PIs: T. Ehlers, C. Poulsen.

2010-2012 € 161,800,  NAGRA (Swiss Nuclear Waste Disposal Agency), “Landscape evolution modeling of Northern Switzerland (LENS)”, PI T. Ehlers.

2009 € 415,000, “Struktur und Innovationsfonds Baden-Württemberg”, Stiftung Baden-Württemberg, Germany

2008-2010 $191,475, Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, “Integration of physical and social sciences for development of a sustainable water resource policy in Bolivia, South America, PIs: C. Poulsen, T. Ehlers, M. Lemos, A. Steiner.

2008-2009 $5,000, UofM LSA-ITC Faculty Grant, “Video Bites – A new tool for more vivid Earth science education, PI: T. Ehlers.

2006-2009 $147,230, NSF-Geomorphology, “Quantifying spatial distribution of erosion rates and relief change with detrital apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology and cosmogenic isotopes of modern river sediments” PIs: T. Ehlers and G. Stock.

2003-2008 $93,000, Swiss National Science Foundation, “Quantifying weathering rates and soil ages in a glacial chronosequence: Wind River Mountains, Wyoming, USA,”  PIs: M. Schaller, J. Blum, T. Ehlers.

2004-2008 $298,879, NSF – Tectonics panel, “When did the Altiplano Form?  A Coupled Thermochronometer and Numerical Model Test”  PI: T. Ehlers

2006-2007 $21,027, NSF-SGER, “Exploratory thermochronology of synorogenic deposits as a new tool to constrain the long-term erosional history of mountain belts” PIs T. Ehlers, B. van der Pluijm, J. Rahl.

2003-2006 $270,000, NSF –Geology and Paleontology panel, “Quantifying Glacial Erosion Rates, Magnitudes, and Paleotopography, Coast Mountains British Columbia”  PI: T. Ehlers

2005 $10,000, NSF- Tectonics, Petrology and Geochemistry panels, Request for joint sponsorship of short course on Low-Temperature Thermochronology. PI: T. Ehlers

2004-2005 $61,627, NSF – Continental Dynamics, “Geomorphic and Geodynamic Coupling at the Orogen Scale: A Himalayan Transect in Central Nepal,”  PI: T. Ehlers.



  • Advisor for 35 Postdoctoral Research Scientists
  • Supervisor for 18 Ph.D. theses
  • Supervisor for 100 BSc. and MSc. student theses  

COURSES TAUGHT (generalized names used):

  • Introduction to Geosciences (1st semester BSc course)
  • Field based course in Introduction to the Geosciences (BSc level)
  • Plate Tectonics (BSc and MSc level)
  • Earth Surface Processes (BSc, MSc level)
  • Physics of the Earth's Surface (MSc level)
  • Tectonophysics (MSc level)
  • Numerical Methods for Geoscientists (BSc and MSc level)
  • GIS and Remote Sensing (MSc level)
  • Basin Analysis (MSc level)
  • Field mapping courses:  BSc level Bedrock geology mapping (Western US, Italy, Switzerland, Spain)
  • Field mapping courses: MSc level course in Applied Tectonics and Surface Processes (Italy)

Professional activities & recognition

Prizes, awards & distinctions

  • 2021-2022: Moore Distinguished Scholar (California Institute of Technology)
  • 2018: Elected Member (Academia Europaea)
  • 2918: Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal (European Geosciences Union)
  • 2018: Senior Research Fellow (COFUND) (Durham University, UK)
  • 2014-2019: Consolidator Award (European Research Council)
  • 2014-2019: University Tübingen (Golden Hammer Teaching Award)
  • 2009: Elected Fellow (Geological Society of America)
  • 2001-2002: Geology Prize Postdoctoral Fellow (California Institute of Technology)

Editorial boards

  • 2013 - Present: Science: Board of Review Editors
  • 2022 - Present: Earth Surface Dynamics: Guest Editor
  • 2009 - 2013: Tectonics: Editor in Chief
  • 2006 - 2010: Earth Science Reviews: Editor in Chief
  • 2005 - 2009: Tectonics: Associate Editor
  • 2005 - 2005: Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry: Co-editor v58
  • 2005 - 2005: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms: Guest editor 2 issues

Additional information


Google Scholar (as of 6.2023)

  • Total number of citations: ~9,600
  • Hirsch (H) index = 53
  • I10-index = 134

ISI Web of Science (as of 6.2023; author search as Ehlers, TA; ORCID 0000-0001-9436-0303)

  • Total number of publications: 181
  • Total number of citations:  ~6,900
  • Hirsch (H) index = 46
  • Average H index growth rate since the year of Ph.D. = 2.0 / yr.