MIT EAPS Directory

Taylor Perron

Associate Professor of Geology, Chair of the Program in Geology, Geochemistry & Geobiology

Taylor Perron studies how landscapes form and evolve, both on Earth and on other planets. His approach combines theory and numerical modeling, field and remote sensing observations, analysis of data from planetary missions, and laboratory experiments. His group’s research is organized around three themes: explaining prominent landscape patterns such as branching river networks; using natural experiments to study how climate shapes landscapes; and examining planetary landforms to learn about the evolution of other worlds.

Perron holds an AB in Geology and Archaeology from Harvard University and a PhD in Earth and Planetary Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the EAPS faculty in 2009 after two years as a Daly Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard.


Giulio Mariotti, Sara B. Pruss, Xuyuan Ai, J. Taylor Perron and Tanja Bosak (2016), Microbial Origin of Early Animal Trace Fossils? Journal of Sedimentary Research, April 2016, vol. 86, no. 4, 287-293, doi: 10.2110/jsr.2016.19

Michael R. Toomey, Jonathan D. Woodruff, Jeffrey P. Donnelly, Andrew D. Ashton, J. Taylor Perron (2016), Seismic evidence of glacial-age river incision into the Tahaa barrier reef, French Polynesia, online at Marine Geology, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2016.04.008

Michael R. Toomey, Andrew D. Ashton, Maureen E. Raymo, J. Taylor Perron (2016), Late Cenozoic Sea level and the rise of modern rimmed atolls, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Available online 23 March 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.03.018

Bellugi, D. and Milledge, D. G. and Dietrich, W. E. and McKean, J. A. and Perron, J. T. and Sudderth, E. B. and Kazian, B. (2015) A spectral clustering search algorithm for predicting shallow landslide size and location Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, vol. 120, no. 2, pp. 300-324, doi: 10.1002/2014jf003137

Huppert, K. L. and Royden, L. H. and Perron, J. T. (2015) Dominant influence of volcanic loading on vertical motions of the Hawaiian Islands Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 418, pp. 149-171, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.027

Perron, J. T. (2015) The wind in the hollows Nature Geoscience, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 254-255, doi: 10.1038/ngeo2389

Slim, M. and Perron, J. T. and Martel, S. J. and Singha, K. (2015) Topographic stress and rock fracture: a two-dimensional numerical model for arbitrary topography and preliminary comparison with borehole observations Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 512-529, doi: 10.1002/esp.3646

J. St. Clair, S. Moon, W. S. Holbrook, J. T. Perron, C. S. Riebe, S. J. Martel, B. Carr, C. Harman, K. Singha, D. deB. Richter (2015), Geophysical imaging reveals topographic stress control of bedrock weathering, Science 30 Oct 2015, Vol. 350, Issue 6260, pp. 534-538, doi: 10.1126/science.aab2210

Google Scholar Profile


Fellow, American Geophysical Union (2014) | James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophysical Union (2014) | Robert P. Sharp Lecturer, American Geophysical Union (2011) | Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award, American Geophysical Union (2011) | Cecil & Ida Green Career Development Chair (2010-2013) | Scholar, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (2010) | AGU Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing (2009) | Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (2007)

Contact Information

t: 617 253 5735





Ph.D., Earth & Planetary Science (Geomorphology), University of California, Berkeley, 2006
A.B., Geology/Archaeology (summa cum laude), Harvard University, 1999

Administrative Assistant