Skip to main content
Tannis  McCartney

Tannis McCartney

PhD Student Earth Sciences

011 Heroy GL

PhD Student Earth Sciences
Advisor: Chris Scholz

Tannis McCartney

Research Interests

My primary research interest is the study of sedimentation and tectonics applied to basin initiation and evolution. My MSc research at the University of Calgary was on the initiation of a foreland basin. For my PhD research, I have changed from a compressional to an extensional tectonic regime.

I am studying the evolution of the Malawi Rift basin in East Africa, particularly the structural evolution of an accommodation zone between two half-grabens whose border faults are opposite in polarity.

In June/July 2013 I traveled to Kenya as part of the science crew for HSPDP – the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project. This is a scientific drilling project in eastern Africa, obtaining cores for paleoclimate and environmental reconstructions at key locations in the study of hominid evolution. I was on the crew at the West Turkana site, processing the cores as they came up from the ground. I am working on correlating the core logs with the downhole logs from each site and doing some quantitative analysis of the logs.

I am also interested in bridging the gap between scientists and the public through outreach and communication. My geoscience blog (opinions expressed in this blog are my own) can be found at

Tannis McCartney



I have taught the lab components and assisted in grading coursework and exams for the following courses:

EAR 117: Oceanography – Syracuse University, Spring 2014

EAR 317: Sedimentary Processes and Systems – Syracuse University Fall 2013

Principles of Geology and Geophysics I & II – University of Calgary introductory undergraduate course

Basin Analysis – University of Calgary senior undergraduate course

Geology and Geophysics in Western Canada – University of Calgary graduate course

Global Geology – University of Calgary senior undergraduate course


Tannis McCartney



McCartney, T., 2014, Why Mountains Matter, in Hall, M. ed., 52 Things You Should Know About Geology, Agile Libre, Nova Scotia, Canada.  


Tannis McCartney



McCartney, T., and Scholz, C.A., Spatial and Temporal Deformation of a Lake Malawi Accommodation Zone: Integration of Dated Scientific Drill Cores and Seismic Data. 2013 CSPG CSEG CWLS Convention: Calgary, Alberta, Canada May 6-10, 2013. Speaker.