Skip to main content

Meet the Dean

Lewis Owen

Lewis Owen is dean of the College of Sciences, serving as the lead administrator for an organization with 4,100 students, 580 faculty, staff and postdoctoral researchers, and $43 million in annual research expenditures.

Before his appointment as dean in 2023, Owen served for four years as a professor and head of the college’s Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. During that time, he was on the development committee for the College of Sciences strategic plan and culture charter and was engaged in numerous initiatives to help nurture a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture that values the experiences and perspectives of all. Owen was previously a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati for 15 years, and was head of the university’s Department of Geosciences for over a decade.

Owen’s research and teaching focuses on understanding the nature and dynamics of Quaternary paleoenvironmental change and landscape evolution, environmental geology and natural hazards along active plate margins. He has concentrated his efforts on two major geologic-geographic regions: the Himalayas, Tibet and bordering mountains, and the western Cordilleras of North and South America. Owen has published more than 220 research articles in the leading journals in his discipline, more than 35 book chapters, and more than 15 edited volumes. His research has been supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has also undertaken innovative teaching including study abroad experiences in the Himalayas, as well as in the Galapagos and Bonaire. 

Owen is senior editor for Quaternary Research, associate editor for Geomorphology, and is an editorial advisory board member for Quaternary Science Reviews and Himalayan Geology. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Geological Society of London, and the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, and was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2020. He has received several awards for his research, including the President’s Award of the Geological Society and the Busk Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.

Owen received his Bachelor of Science with honors in geology from the Imperial College London, and his Ph.D. in geology and geography from the University of Leicester in the UK.