Brian Yanites

Brian Yanites

Associate Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Robert R. Shrock Professor of Surficial and Sedimentary Geology

Director of Undergraduate Studies


  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, 2009
  • M.S., Geosciences, University of Arizona, 2005
  • B.A., with honors, Washington University in St. Louis, 2002

Research interests

The Geomorphology and Landscape Evolution group studies how climate, tectonics, and rock type influence the processes and landforms that shape the Earth’s surface. Specific problems include the controls of rock strength and sediment transport on bedrock river morphology, the interaction of climate and topography during active mountain building, and the influence of landslides on river dynamics in seismically active regions. We approach these problems by integrating field and geochemical data with state-of-the-art numerical models. The implications of our work are broad, ranging from hazard mitigation and river management to the geologic evolution of a mountain system.

Planetary Geoscience

Yanites has applied his research to the interpretation of landslides on Mars and the moon and to general theories about topographic roughening and smoothing of planets through climatic, gravitational, and atmospheric processes.


  • 2002-2005: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
  • 2003-2005: Student Appointment Hydrologic Technician, United States Geological Survey
  • 2005-2006: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado
  • 2006-2009: NDSEG Fellow
  • 2009-2012: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan and University of Tübingen, Germany
  • 2013-2016: Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Idaho
  • 2016-present: Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University