Jamie Howarth

Dr Jamie Howarth profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Teaching in 2020

Research Interests

My interest in the Earth Sciences lies in developing proxy records of environmental change preserved in sediments. I use these proxy records to better understand high magnitude, low frequency geomorphic events, and how mountain landscapes respond to them over timeframes beyond human observation. My current research activity is focused on large earthquakes and storms and includes projects on:

  • the earthquake behaviour of, and hazard(s) posed by, plate boundary faults;
  • storm frequency and its drivers, and;
  • the landscape responses of mountain systems to seismic shaking and storms.

Current projects include:

  • Earthquake rupture behaviour of the Alpine Fault, New Zealand
  • Earthquake behaviour of the Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand
  • LOCH – the Lake Ohau Climate History project
  • Carbon Export by Erosion of the Biosphere: The Role of Earthquake-triggered Landslides
  • EQC Biennial Research fund: ‘Calibrating the turbidite paleoseismometer on the Hikurangi margin using the Kaikōura earthquake'
  • MBIE Endeavour fund: ‘Speleothem Records of New Zealand's Earthquake History’
  • MBIE Endeavour fund: ‘Earthquake-induced landslides and landscape dynamics: planning for, and avoiding landslide hazard and risk’
  • MBIE Endeavour fund: ‘Our lakes’ health: past, present, future - Me hoki whakamuri kia haere whakamua”
  • NERC Grant: ‘Carbon export by erosion of the biosphere: The role of earthquake-triggered landslides’
  • MBIE Endeavour fund: ‘Diagnosing peril posed by the Hikurangi subduction zone’

These research themes are addressed by integrating innovative geophysical, sedimentological, and geochronological analyses of lacustrine and marine sedimentary records in conjunction with numerical modelling of earth surface processes. The records produced provide new insights into the processes that control the location and rupture extent of earthquakes on plate boundary faults, changes in Holocene storm frequency, and the magnitude, duration, and dynamics of seismically and hydrometerologically-induced sediment and carbon fluxes from mountain catchments.  Students interested in conducting research in these topic areas under my supervision are encouraged to enquire at any time.


  • PhD in Geology and Physical Geography - University of Otago (2012)
  • BSc with First Class Honours in Physical Geography and Ecology - University of Otago (2006)


Publications 2012 - Now


Teaching in 2020