James Syvitski

James Syvitski CV

Fellow / Professor

  • Executive Director, CSDMS
  • Chair, IGBP



  • PhD: University of British Columbia, 1978

Contact Information

(Office) 1 735 5482
(Fax) 1 735 8180
room 217 ARC


Oceanography, geological sciences, hydrology, numerical modeling, geophysics.

Research Interests

Fjords, rivers, deltas, estuaries, particle dynamics, sediment transport and stratigraphy, continental margins, gravity flows, animal-sediment interactions, global change.


Professor James P.M. Syvitski received a Ph.D. in both oceanography and geological sciences (1978) at the University of British Columbia, where he developed a quantitative understanding of particle dynamics across the land-sea boundary. He has had a variety of appointments within Canadian universities (1978-1995: U. Calgary, Dalhousie U., U. Laval, Memorial U., and INRS-oceanologie) and was employed as a Senior Research Scientist within the Geological Survey of Canada at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (1981-1995). James served as Director of INSTAAR - an Earth and Environmental Systems Institute from 1995-2007, and presently holds faculty appointments in in Geological Sciences, Applied Mathematics, Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences, Hydrological Sciences, and Geophysics. James has over 500 publications, including authorship or co-authorship of 65 peer-reviewed books, and has served in various editorial positions for many international journals. Professor Syvitski has taken leadership roles in large International Projects (e.g., SAFE, ADFEX, SEDFLUX, COLDSEIS, STRATAFORM, EuroSTRATAFORM, CSDMS), and served as an advisor for NSF, ONR, ARCUS, LOICZ, IGBP, IUGS, INQUA, SCOR, GWSP, and various energy, mining, and environmental companies. Prof. Syvitski works in the forefront of Computational Geosciences: sediment transport, land-ocean interactions and Earth-surface dynamics, and has won numerous awards for his efforts. In 2007 James became the Executive Director of CSDMS. In 2011 James was appointed by ICSU to be the new Chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.


  • Francis P. Shepard Medal for Marine Geology, Society of Sedimentary Geology, 2015
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science, Newcastle University, 2015
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2010
  • Huntsman Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Marine Science, Royal Society of Canada, 2009