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Frederick W. Taylor, UTIG Senior Research Scientist
Frederick W. Taylor, UTIG senior research scientist

Frederick W. Taylor

Senior Research Scientist

Ph.D., Cornell University (1978);
M.S., Brown University (1974);
B.S., University of North Carolina (1971)

Telephone: 512-471-0453
email: fred at

Taylor investigates the relationship between vertical and horizontal crustal movements associated with earthquakes and how these motions relate to the longer-term accumulation of vertical and horizontal tectonic deformation particularly at convergent margins. Most of this work is done in the southwest Pacific island arcs of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) and the Solomon Islands. In February 2010 he participated in a study of uplifted corals to investigate the earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As part of this work Taylor often conducts paleoseismology studies using the capability of living and fossil corals to record the time and amount of relative sea-level changes associated with vertical tectonic motions. He also integrates GPS measurements of crustal deformation with coral data for a more complete picture of crustal motions on decadal to millennial time scales. In a quite different field of research, but also using corals, Taylor is involved in using the geochemistry of the annual density bands in living and fossil corals to infer late Quaternary paleoclimate. His main geographic research area is the western tropical Pacific, known as the Western Pacific Warm Pool, which is considered a crucial component of the global climate system as exemplified by its role in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and La Niño-Global climate fluctuations.