iTECC (Investigating Tectonics Erosion Climate Couplings) is a research group located throughout the EU investigating Himalayan geology.


In the field of geo-hazards characterized by low probability - high consequence events, threats of catastrophic incidents are often focused in limited areas, but consequences can be global as growing densely populated areas in for example Asia increasingly form the motors behind the global economy. The disastrous effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the climatic impacts of the Asian monsoons, which dominate the economies of half of the global population, as illustrated by the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2010 attest to this global environmental sensitivity. iTECC focuses on the interaction between climatic forces and topographic evolution in active mountain belts which represent an important sub-set of the processes causing increased risk. The iTECC Initial Training Network is not primarily focused on geo-hazard mitigation, but its outcomes will help governance circles to better understand the importance of processes involving the complex links and feedbacks between climate, topography and erosion.

What is iTECC?

Tectonics and climate are interdependent. The tectonics of orogens are moderated by climate through erosion. Exposure of rock by tectonics or erosion is critical to the feedback which governs changes in global climate, whilst topography influences rainfall. The principle objective of iTECC is to use the Himalaya as a natural laboratory to train young scientists in understanding.

iTECC's objectives:

iTECC has a number of objectives that are, of course, research related but we also have a large goal of developing young scientists and preparing them for careers in academia and industry. Here is a non-exhaustive list of our objectives:

  • Training of scientists with the ability to contribute to multi-disciplinary research ranging from solid Earth processes to climate dynamics, and application of these skills in academia and industry;
  • Integration of research on present-day deformation with information from the geological record to understand how the lithosphere deforms;
  • Significant improvement in the recovery and exploitation of tectonic, erosive, weathering and climatic records from sedimentary sequences;
  • Evaluation of the impact of elevation and exhumation of the Himalayas on climate;
  • Evaluation of the impact of climate, through erosion, on the tectonic evolution of the Himalayan orogen;
  • Validation of climate models and applying them to verify the interconnections between tectonics and climate;
  • Building a bridge between science and the local community through outreach.

General Information


1) Professor Jan Wijbrans — VU University Amsterdam
2) Dr. Yani Najman — University of Lancaster
3) Professor James Jackson — University of Cambridge
4) Professor Mike Bickle — University of Cambridge
5) Professor Cornelia Spiegel — Universität Bremen
6) Professor Peter van der Beek — Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble
7) Dr. Christian France-Lanord — Centre de Recherche Petrographiques et Geochimiques UPR2300
8) Professor Yannick Donnadieu — CEA-Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement
9) Professor Stuart Burley — Cairn Energy India
10) Professor Manfred Strecker — Universität Potsdam
11) Doug Hamilton — ThermoFischer Scientific

1) Dr. Michael Kelly — Cairn Energy India
2) Dr. Alessandro Santato — ThermoFischer Scientific
3) Dr. Guangsheng Zhuang — University of Lancaster
4) Dr. Romain Jolivet — University of Cambridge

Doctoral Students:
1) Lorenzo Gemignani — VU University Amsterdam
2) Gwladys Govin — University of Lancaster
3) Madeleine Bohlin — University of Cambridge
4) Mohammad Sohi — Universität Bremen
5) Ruben Rosenkranz — Universität Bremen
6) Zakaria Ghazoui — Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble
7) Natalie Voegeli — Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble
8) Eric Deal — Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble
9) Jesse Davenport — Centre de Recherche Petrographiques et Geochimiques UPR2300
10) Svetlana Botsyun — CEA-Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement
11) Iris van der Veen — Universität Potsdam

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