Robert Reilinger

Principal Research Scientist

Email reilinge [at] erl [dot] mit [dot] edu

Phone 617.253.7860

Office 54-326


PhD. (1979) Cornell


Geodetic measurement

Dr. Reilinger’s research has focused on using geodesy, primarily the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Interferemetric Synthetic Aperature Radar (InSAR), to observe crustal motions and deformations. His earlier studies were directed to the southern San Andreas Fault and other tectonically active areas of the western US. His subsequent research has principally involved the Arabia-Africa-Eurasia plate system and “greater” Mediterranean region. Results of this research are relevant to understanding the dynamics of plate motions, lithospheric rheology, and earthquake/tsunami and volcanic hazards. Reilinger has published > 60 papers in the refereed literature since 1991.

Dr. Reilinger received his B.S. from Villanova University in Physics with a minor in mathematics (Cum Laude), and his M.S. degree in Physics with a minor in Astrophysics and his PhD in Geophysics from Cornell University.  His principal PhD advisor was Prof. Jack Oliver.  Reilinger worked as a Research Scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences, Cornell University for 4 years before taking his present position as a Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT where he has been for the past 26 years.


Reilinger, R., and S. McClusky (2011), Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate motions and the dynamics of Mediterranean and Middle East tectonics, Geophysical Journal International, 186(3), 971-979, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011

Contact information