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About Haakon Fossen

Professor of geology, University of Bergen


• Department of Earth Science and the University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen.
• Structural geologist
• Norwegian
• Member of the Geological Society of America (GSA Fellow), American Geophysical Union, AAPG, and the Geological Society of Norway (Norsk Geologisk Forening).


- PhD in structural geology, 1992, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
- Cand.scient. in structural geology/tectonics, 1986, University of Bergen, Norway.
- Cand.mag. 1984, University of Bergen, Norway.

Editorial commitments

- Brazilian Journal of Geology, Associate editor.
- Journal of the Geological Society of London, Advisory editor
- Journal of Structural Geology, Editorial Board.
- Subject editor, encyclopedia (Store norske leksikon).


picture- University of Bergen (1996 - , full professor from 1997).
- Statoil (1986 - 1996, on leave from 1987-88 and 1989-92).
- NAVF research PhD stipend recipient (1989 - 1992), University of Minnesota.
- Geological Survey of Norway (1987-1988, national service).
- University of Oslo (1986), research assistant (vit.ass.)
- Internships with Sydvaranger AS (1982), Sulfidmalm/Falconbridge (1983), and Statoil (1984 and 1985).



- Utah State University (2009-2010).
- University of Utah (2002-2003).
- University of Sao Paulo ( 2016-2017).

PhD Students

Claudio Mora (coadviser) (2014-)
Antje Lenhardt (coadvisor, Imperial College)
Chao Deng (2013-)
Rosa Polanco-Ferrer (2013-)
Luica Fernanda Zuluaga Valencia (2015)
Anette Tvedt (coadviser, 2011-)
Elin Skurtveit (coadviser, 2014)
Vanieeda Allken (coadviser, PhD 2012)
Anna Ksienzyk (coadviser, PhD 2012)
Vegard V. Vetti (PhD 2008)
Atle Rotevatn (PhD 2007, now prof. at Dept. of Geoscience, Univ. of Bergen)
Anita Torabi (PhD 2007, now with CIPR)
Tord Erlend Skeie Johansen (PhD never defended, now with Statoil)
Øystein Larsen (PhD 2002, now with Statoil)
Jonny Hesthammer (PhD 1999, now with Atlantic Oil and prof. II at Univ. of Bergen)


- Nordic Geoscientist Award 2012, received at the 30th Nordic Winter Meeting in Reykjavik 9-12 Jan 2012.
- Outstanding Paper Award 2011, Structural Geology and Tectonics Division of the Geological Society of America (with Basil Tikoff) for papers 17 and 18 (see Publications).
- GSA Fellow (elected 2011).
- EAGE Distinguished Lecturer Award1997 (Jonny Hesthammer and Haakon Fossen)

Other things that make life worthwile

Friends, music, photography, telemark skiing, hiking, biking, drawing and painting.

The importance of field geology

What is a better place to be for a geologist than in the field? Rocks are our friends, and we should never stop visiting them and learning from them in their natural environment. Models and ideas may seem very clean and convincing in the office. Testing them against real field observations usually brings us down to earth when so needed. Field work keeps you humble.

What I like about structural geology and tectonics

I always found the idea that rock can be crushed or squeezed to be very intriguing, particularly large volumes of rocks. Extreme cases, such as ultrahigh pressure rocks in continental subdiction zones, extreme detachment faults, highest mountains in the world, etc. are particularly fascinating, but the beauty of many outcrop-scale structures also trigger my passion for structural geology.

Structures are beautiful in their own right, but it is when we aquire enough insight and experience to envision the underlying geologic transformation or process that things get really interesting.