Dr. Brian Romans

Sedimentary Geoscience

Dr. Romans’ research program at Virginia Tech focuses on the dynamics of sedimentary systems, with emphasis on reconstruction of paleo-environments at geologic timescales (centuries to millions of years). Dr. Romans studies sedimentary system response to climate change in Earth history, which provides a deep-time perspective important for understanding ongoing and future global change.

Dr. Romans is currently researching how the North Atlantic Ocean, a critical component of the planet’s coupled atmospheric-oceanic circulation system, responds to major climate shifts. In 2012, he was selected to sail on International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 342, which recovered a series of deep-sea sediment cores that contain records of ocean circulation history. Dr. Romans and his students are using these cores to document deep ocean response to the single biggest climate shift of the past ~60 million years (known as the Eocene-Oligocene Transition, ~34 million years ago). Their work is part of an international collaborative effort that will ultimately provide constraints on climate sensitivity.


Following his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 2008 and before joining the Virginia Tech Geosciences faculty in 2011, Dr. Romans worked as a research scientist in the petroleum industry and a component of his current research is relevant to this industry. Thus, he also has an interest in the complex relationships of global energy demand/production and climate change mitigation. He has served on the scientific evaluation panel for International Ocean Drilling Program, science committees for deep-time paleoclimate conferences, and the editorial board for the journal Geology. Dr. Romans has published more than 35 peer-reviewed papers, special publications, and book chapters in the field of sedimentary geoscience.

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Romans teaches courses in Sedimentology-Stratigraphy (a core course for B.S. in Geosciences), Seismic Stratigraphy, Sedimentary Basins, and Coastal Sedimentary Environments. Starting in Spring 2017, he will be co-teaching Oceanography.

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