Picture of Philippe Claeys

Prof. Philippe Claeys

Head of Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry

Philippe Claeys obtained his PhD in 1993 from the University of California at Davis working on the discovery of the Chicxulub crater in Yucatan, the most likely cause of the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago. After working for Shell oil in Houston, Texas, he carried out postdoctoral research at UCLA in John Wasson's lab before becoming a researcher at UC Berkeley for several years, working with Walter Alvarez. In the late nineties, he joined the Museum of Natural History in Berlin as chief scientist in charge of establishing and managing the new analytical laboratories.

Since 2001, he became a professor at the “Vrije Universiteit Brussel” in Brussels, Belgium, where established the research unit Analytical-Environmental and Geochemistry, which today counts more than 65 researchers. He is also a visiting professor at Ghent University, the Catholic University Leuven and the University of Liège. In 2016-2017 he was a visiting professor and International Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia.


  • PhD 1993 University of California at Davis.

Key Research Interests

  • Impact cratering
  • Mass extinction and global changes
  • Eventstratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, astrochronology
  • Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Sedimentary geochemistry

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