Brian Boston
Department of Geosciences
Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Marine geophysics, tectonics, subduction zones, continental rifting, hotspot volcanism, natural hazards

Office: 2086 Beard Eaves Coliseum

Lab: 2093B Beard Eaves Coliseum

Phone: (334) 844-4842

Fax: (334) 844-4295



Ph.D., Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa
B.S., Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Professional Employment
Assistant Professor, Auburn University
2022 - Present
Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
2021 - 2022
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
2019 - 2021
Postdoctoral Researcher, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
2016 - 2019

Research and Teaching Interests

I use marine geophysics to study how the Earth’s tectonic plates form, bend, break, subside, and slide past each other. I’m interested in the large-scale processes that shape the Earth’s crust and upper mantle, and how these processes affect people and cities, leading much of my research to focus on the complex interactions that occur at plate boundaries. I mainly use controlled-source seismic methods but also incorporate a variety of other geophysical techniques to deepen our understanding of each tectonic setting. If you’re interested in working with me as an undergraduate student, graduate student (MS/PhD), or postdoctoral researcher, feel free to reach out to me by email ( to discuss future opportunities.

Selected Publications

  1. Watts, A. B., Grevemeyer, I., Shillington, D. J., Dunn, R., Boston, B., Peña, L. G., 2021. Seismic structure, Gravity anomalies and Flexure along the Emperor Seamount chain, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 126, 3, e2020JB021109. doi:10.1029/2020JB021109    
  2. Boston, B., Nakamura, Y., Gallais, F., Kodaira, S., Miura, S., Fujie, G., Hackney, R., Kaiho, Y., Saito, S., Shiraishi, K., Yamada, Y., 2019. Delayed subsidence after rifting and a record of breakup for northwestern Zealandia. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124, 3, 3057-3072. doi:10.1029/2018JB016799 
  3. Boston, B., Moore, G. F., Nakamura, Y., Kodaira, S., 2017. Forearc slope deformation above the Japan Trench megathrust: Implications for subduction erosion. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 462, 26-34. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.01.005
  4. Moore, G. F., Boston, B., Strasser, M., Underwood, M. B., Ratliff, R., 2015. Evolution of Tectono-Sedimentary Systems in the Kumano Basin, Nankai Trough Forearc. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 67, 604-616. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.05.032 
  5. Boston, B., Moore, G. F., Nakamura, Y., Kodaira, S., 2014. Outer-rise normal fault development and influence on near-trench décollement propagation along the Japan Trench, off Tohoku. Earth, Planets and Space, 66, 135. doi:10.1186/1880-5981-66-135

Last updated: 01/25/2023