Personal profile

Personal information

Telefoon+31 20 59 86109

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Last update Ancillary Activities: Amsterdam (2018-01-24)


Wouter Schellart is a geodynamicist who studies the deformation and flow in the Earth from the crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, investigating the driving forces and resistive forces related to such deformation and flow. He uses laboratory-based (analogue) and numerical modelling techniques as well as tectonic reconstructions to quantify the deformation, velocities, forces and stresses associated with large-scale geodynamic processes, in particular subduction and mountain building. His research focuses both on generic, process-oriented, research and research applied to specific geological settings and geographical locations (e.g. Andes, Southwest Pacific, Himalaya-East Asia, Mediterranean).

Wouter’s current research, funded by a Vici grant from the Dutch National Science foundation (NWO), investigates the origin and evolution of the largest mountain belts on Earth, the Andes and the Himalaya-Tibet-East Asia system.

Wouter is in charge of the Kuenen-Escher Geodynamics Laboratory (KEG Lab), which is a modelling facility in which crustal and mantle-scale geodynamic processes are simulated in analogue experiments at small spatial scales and short temporal scales.


Some recent research (open access):

Open access paper on the origin and evolution of the Andes and the migration of the Andean volcanic arc: Schellart [2017]

Open access paper on giant subduction zone earthquakes, which includes a global map showing which subduction zone segments on Earth are most likely to produce giant earthquakes: Schellart and Rawlinson [2013]

Open access paper on the origin of Lake Eyre and the Murray-Darling Basin, the largest intra-continental basins in Australia: Schellart and Spakman [2015]

Open access paper on subduction modelling and mantle flow: Schellart and Moresi [2013]

Open access review paper on analogue modelling: Schellart and Strak [2016]


Main topics of research:

-Subduction zone evolution and subduction-induced mantle flow.

-Cordilleran mountain building at subduction zones (e.g. Andes).

-Backarc basin formation at subduction zones (e.g. North Fiji Basin, Tyrrhenian Sea).

-Dynamic topography and (past) subduction (e.g. SW Pacific, Australia).

-Orogenesis and continental deformation (e.g. Himalaya-East Asia).

-Continental subduction, ophiolite obduction (e.g. New Guinea, New Caledonia).

-Giant earthquakes at subduction zones.

-Subduction and topography.



BSc courses

-Geofysica en Computermodelleren (teacher)

-Veldpracticum Vaste Aarde (teacher)


MSc courses

-Mantle Properties (teacher)

-Orogenesis (teacher)

-Advanced Tectonics (coordinator & teacher)


Prizes and Awards

Awards, medals, prizes

Cum laude award for MSc degree from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1999.

Molly Holman Doctoral Medal for the best PhD-thesis in the Faculty of Science, Monash University, 2003.

J. G. Russell award from the Australian Academy of Science, 2007.

Victoria & Tasmania Young Tall Poppy Science Award from the Australian Institute for Policy & Science, 2009.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research by and Early Career Researcher, Monash University, 2010.

E. S. Hills Medal from the Geological Society of Australia, awarded every two years to a young (<40 years) Australian resident for outstanding contributions to any branch of the geological sciences, anywhere, 2012.

Anton Hales Medal 2013 from the Australian Academy of Science for distinguished research in the Earth sciences, awarded annually to a researcher no more than 40 years of age in the calendar year of nomination.



Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (APD) (2004-2006) from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (QE II) (2007-2011) from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Monash Research Fellowship (2007-2012) from Monash University.

Future Fellowship (2012-2015) from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Vici Fellowship (2017-2022) from the Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO).


Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2000 2017

Analogue modelling of thrust systems: Passive vs. active hanging wall strain accommodation and sharp vs. smooth fault-ramp geometries

Rosas, F. M., Duarte, J. C., Almeida, P., Schellart, W. P., van Riel, N. A. W. & Terrinha, P. 1 Jun 2017 In : Journal of Structural Geology. 99, p. 45-69 25 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Probing crustal thickness evolution and geodynamic processes in the past from magma records: An integrated approach

Ganne, J., Schellart, W. P., Rosenbaum, G., Feng, X. & De Andrade, V. 2017 The Crust-Mantle and Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundaries: Insights from Xenoliths, Orogenic Deep Sections, and Geophysical Studies. Geological Society of America, Vol. 526, p. 1-25 25 p. (Special Paper of the Geological Society of America; vol. 526)

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewChapter