Dr Philip Barnes

Principal Scientist - Marine Geology


Ph.D. University of Canterbury, 1994; M.Sc. (Hons) Victoria University of Wellington, 1986. 

Science Centre

Contact Details


Philip is a Principal Scientist with >30 years research experience in the fields of submarine tectonic deformation, subduction systems, geohazards, and sedimentary systems associated with active continental margins. He has published on a variety of topics including tectonic deformation in thrust, strike-slip, and extensional settings, earthquake potential, paleoseismology, seismic hazard, fluid systems and gas hydrates in subduction margins, basin evolution, sedimentation processes and sequence stratigraphy. He has specialist skills in analysis of submarine neotectonic deformation, has led the provision of submarine earthquake source information into the NZ Seismic Hazard model, and contributed to the Wellington It’s Our Fault Programme, Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquake geoscience responses, and seismic and tsunami hazard analyses. He has extensive experience in applying marine geological skills and knowledge to a variety of coastal engineering initiatives with local Government and the private sector. He is former member of NIWA’s Hazards and Oceans Centre Management Teams, a former NIWA Research Programme and Science Leader, and was a Technical Advisor (1996-2006) and New Zealand Delegate (2006-2008) to the United Nations Commission on the limits of the Legal Continental Shelf under UNCLOS Article 76. Philip is currently Co-Chief Scientist of IODP Expeditions 372/375 aimed at investigating slow slip fault processes at the northern Hikurangi subduction zone. In 2019, Philip was Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi (FRSNZ).