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Gloria I. López

Geologist, P.Geo., M.Sc., Ph.D.

The Coastal Education & Research Foundation (CERF) is pleased to welcome Dr. Gloria I. López into our coastal research society. Gloria will be working closely with the officers of CERF to help provide content and coastal photographs for the monthly society newsletter, JUST CERFing. We sincerely appreciate her dedication to CERF and for making our coastal research society that much better!




Born in Bogotá - Colombia, but raised in Brazil and France, Gloria began her professional career by graduating with a degree in Geology (B.Sc., Diploma Level) from EAFIT University (Medellín, Colombia) in 1993.  A professional Geologist with an “old-school” training, Gloria became fascinated by the dynamism of the coast after her many undergraduate field trips to the inhospitable, pristine, almost un-inhabited, mangrove-rich deltaic and estuarine rainforests of the Pacific Coast of Colombia, a dramatic counter-part to the coral-rich and populated white beaches of the Caribbean side.  After spending several years as a Lecturer in Coastal Geology and multi-disciplinary Research Scientist at EAFIT University, Colombia, her love for the ocean and coastlines got her into disciplines such as sedimentology, geomorphology, limnology, palaeoseismology, geochemistry, and geochronology in order to understand the evolution of coastline and its reaction before natural phenomena such as changes in sea level and extreme events leading to the identification and characterization of geological evidence left behind by natural disasters such as hurricanes, severe winter storms and tsunamis.  Reason why in 1998, she migrated to Canada to pursue her graduate degrees.  She obtained her M.Sc. in Geology / Marine Geology / Palaeoseismology / Tsunamis from the University of Victoria in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Geology / Coastal Processes / Geochronology from McMaster University in 2007.  From 2005 to 2010, Gloria was a Sessional Faculty – Senior Lecturer in various topics related to the Earth Sciences, including Natural Disasters, Geoarchaeology and Sedimentology at McMaster University (Canada) and a Visiting Senior Lecturer in Geochronology at EAFIT University (Colombia).


Her areas of scientific interest focus around the topics of Quaternary Geochronology (Optical Dating), Quaternary Coastal Evolution and Geo-archaeology, Coastal Geomorphology and Sedimentology, Shoreline Changes and Coastal Processes, Marine Geology, Landform Processes, Palaeoseismology and Tsunami Sedimentology, Event Stratigraphy, Continental Shelf Morphodynamics, and Natural Hazards.  She has mentored, trained and supervised B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in Colombia, Canada and Israel, engaging them in the “art” of the coastal sciences, sedimentology and mineralogy, as well as all matters of field work and laboratory procedures and “etiquette”.  Actively works as a referee for the Journal of Coastal Research, Journal of Archaeological Science, Geomorphology and Natural Hazards.  She has over 20 scholarly articles and book chapters, is currently editing a tsunami book, and is actively involved in educational publications for the non-scientific public.

Currently, Gloria is a Visiting Scholar at the Geological Survey of Israel, working at the Luminescence Dating Laboratory, developing new sedimentological proxies derived from the luminescence properties of certain mineral grains (e.g. quartz).  She is also an Affiliated Researcher at the School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, where she recently finished her Post-Doctoral research (2011-2012) funded by the Canadian-Israeli Azrieli Foundation.  Her work was related to the identification, characterization and dating of underwater tsunami deposits found in a geoarchaeological context offshore the ancient archaeological site of Caesarea Maritima and around its harbour, Sebastos, on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. 

Gloria’s coastal and natural hazards research has led her to study several tsunami deposits around the World such as those left behind by modern and ancient predecessors along the coasts of Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Turkey, Greece, Kenya, and Israel among others.  Other research includes a collaborative geoarchaeological study of the underwater archaeological site of Caesearea Maritima (Israel); the study of the littoral sedimentary dynamics along the Israeli Mediterranean coast; coastal erosion around Caesarea Maritima (Israel); the evaluation of thermoluminescence (TL) as a sediment transport proxy along the coasts of USA (Florida Gulf Coast) and Israel; and the evolution of several barrier islands along the Gulf Coast of Florida (USA), among other current terrestrial research topics related to landscape evolution in the Colombian Andes and Portugal.


Dr. Gloria I. López can be contacted at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




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