Stephen Johnston, PhD, MSc, BSc

Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin


Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
(780) 492-5249
1-30A Earth Sciences Building
11223 Saskatchewan Drive NW
T6G 2E3



Recent Publications

  • Li., J., Zhang, Y., Dong, S., Zhao, G., Cui, J., and Johnston, S.T., 2016.  New insights into the Phanerozoic tectonics of South China: Part 1, polyphase deformation in the central Jiangnan Orogen.  Tectonics, in press.
  • Del Greco, K., Johnston, S.T., & Shaw, J., 2016.  Tectonic setting of the North Gondwana margin during the Early Ordovician: a comparison of the Ollo de Sapo and Famatina magmatic events.  Tectonophysics, in press.
  • Murphy, J.B., Queseda, C., Gutiérrez-Alonso, G., Johnston, S.T., and Weil, A., 2016.  Reconciling competing models for the tectono-stratigraphic zonation of the Variscan Orogen in Western Europe.  Tectonophysics, in press.
  • Shaw, J., & Johnston, S.T., 2016.  Terrane Wrecks, Coupled Oroclines, and Paleomagnetic Inclination Anomalies.  Earth Science Reviews, 154, 191-209.
  • Shaw, J., Johnston S.T., and Gutiérrez-Alonso, G., 2015.  Orocline formation at the core of Pangea: A structural study of the Cantabrian Orocline, NW Iberian Massif.  Lithosphere 7, 653-669.
  • Canil, D., Johnston S.T., D’Souza, R.J., and Heaman, L.M., 2015.  Protolith of ultramafic rocks in the Kluane Schist, Yukon, and implications for arc collisions in the northern Cordillera.  Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 10.1139/cjes-2014-0138
  • Gutierrez-Alonso, G., Collins, A., Fernandez-Suarez, J., Pastor-Galan, D., Gonzalez-Clavijo, E., Jourdan, F., Weil, A.B., and  Johnston, S.T., 2015.  Dating of lithospheric buckling: 40Ar/39Ar ages of syn-orocline strike-slip shear zones in northwestern Iberia.  Tectonophysics, 643, 44-54.
  • Gutierrez-Alonso, G., Fernandez-Suarez, J., Pastor-Galan, D., Johnston, S.T., Linnemann, U., Hofmann, M., Shaw, J., Ramón Colmenero, J., and Hernandez, P., 2015.  Significance of detrital zircons in Siluro-Devonian rocks from Iberia.  J. Geological Society, 172, 309-322.
  • Li, J., Zhang, Y, Dong, S., and Johnston, S.T., 2014.  Cretaceous tectonic evolution of South China: a preliminary synthesis.  Earth Science Reviews. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2014.03.008.
  • Lahtinen, R., Johnston, S.T., and Nironen, M., 2014.  The Bothnian coupled oroclines of the Svecofennian Orogen: A Paleoproterozoic terrane wreck.  Terra Nova.  doi: 10.1111/ter.12107.
  • Shaw, J., Gutiérrez-Alonso, G., Johnston S.T., and Pastor-Galan, D., 2014.  Provenance variability along the Lower Ordovician north Gondwana margin: Paleogeographic and tectonic implications of U-Pb detrital zircon ages from the Armorican Quartzite of the Iberian Variscan Belt. Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi:10.1130/B30935.1,  19 pp.
  • Johnston S.T., Weil, A.B., and Gutiérrez‐Alonso, G., 2013.  Oroclines: Thick & Thin.  Geological Society of American Bulletin: 125th Anniversary Invited Review article, 125, 643-663.
  • Weil, A.B., Gutiérrez‐Alonso, G., Johnston S.T., and Pastor-Galan, D., 2013.  Kinematic constraints on buckling a lithospheric-scale orocline along the northern margin of Gondwana: a geologic synthesis.  Tectonophysics 582, 25-49.

Research Area

Plate Tectonics, Paleogeography, Convergent Margins, Structural Geology, Paleomagnetism, Oroclines, Orogenesis

visit my ResearchGate web page

Research Interest

My research is focused is on understanding how Earth’s geography has changed over geological time, and determining the significance of Earth’s changing geography for the evolution of the biosphere and atmosphere. I study current and ancient mountain belts, as mountain systems develop along plate margins and provide a record the long-term movements and plate interactions of continents.   Outreach is central to my science, for a public ignorant of the basic workings of the Earth and of the depth of Earth history, will never be able to imagine or comprehend the substantial challenge that ongoing climate change presents for humanity.

Research Opportunities

Current research projects include:

1) Tectonics and Paleogeographic evolution of the Cordilleran Orogen of Western North America
2) Vancouver Island: Tectonic Processes within a long-lived convergent margin
3) Variscan Orogenesis: The construction of Pangea
4) Oroclines and their implications for Plate Tectonics

Interested students should send along a CV, and a short statement of their research interests.


University of Alberta, 1993


EAS 333 - Advanced Geology Field School

Advanced field practice in geology. Details and areas of study may vary from year to year. Consult the department about current offerings and timing. Topics vary, and will include the study and mapping of deformed sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks, mineral deposits and their associated host rocks and alteration, and structures in the field. May be taken more than once for credit provided no topic is repeated. Co-prerequisites: EAS 233, 234 or 237, 331 and 332. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar. [Faculty of Science]

Winter Term 2023

Browse more courses taught by Stephen Johnston