Fjords, rivers, deltas, estuaries, particle dynamics, sediment transport and stratigraphy, continental margins, gravity flows, animal-sediment interactions, global change.
Professor Jaia Syvitski received doctorate degrees (Oceanography & Geological Science) from the University of British Columbia in 1978, where she developed a quantitative understanding of particle dynamics across the land-sea boundary. She held a variety of appointments within Canadian universities (1978-1995: U. Calgary, Dalhousie U., U. Laval, Memorial U., and INRS-oceanologie) and was a Senior Research Scientist within the Geological Survey of Canada at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (1981-1995). Jaia served as Director of INSTAAR from 1995-2007, and held faculty appointments in in Geological Sciences, Applied Mathematics, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, Hydrological Sciences, and Geophysics. She has over 500 publications, including authorship or co-authorship of 65 peer-reviewed books, and has served in various editorial positions for many international journals. Jaia had leadership roles in several large international projects (SAFE, ADFEX, SEDFLUX, COLDSEIS, STRATAFORM, EuroSTRATAFORM, CSDMS), and served as an advisor for NSF, ONR, ARCUS, LOICZ, IGBP, IUGS, INQUA, SCOR, GWSP, and various energy, mining, and environmental companies.
- PhD: University of British Columbia, 1978
- Honorary Doctorate of Science in Sustainability, Newcastle University, 2016
- Francis Shepard Medal, Society for Sedimentary Geology, 2016
- Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2010
- Huntsman Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 2009
Jaia works in the forefront of computational geosciences: sediment transport, land-ocean interactions and Earth-surface dynamics. She was formerly Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, an international effort in 68 countries to develop, support, and disseminate integrated computer models to the broader geoscience community. Jaia chaired ICSU’s International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (2011-2016) that provides essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society onto a sustainable pathway during rapid global change.