Francesca C.  Ghisetti 


Ruby Bay, New Zealand


Education and University Career

International Scientific Co-operation 

Ongoing Research 


Education and University Career


Dottore in Scienze Geologiche, University of Catania, 1976

Post-doctorate in Geology, Columbia University, New York, U.S.A., 1977-1978

Fellowship of Italian Ministry of Education, Laboratoire Geologie Dynamique Interne, Univ .  d'Orsay, France, 1979 

MSc Course in Structural Geology, Imperial College, London, 1980 

C.N.R. Post-doctorate, University of Catania, 1980

Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2009-present

Research Professor, Dept. of Geology, University of Otago, New Zealand, 2006-2007

Visiting Professor, Dept. of Geology, University of Otago, New Zealand, 2003-2005

Honorary Research Fellow, Dept. of Geology, University of Otago, New Zealand, May-October 2003

Full Professor (Professore Ordinario) of Structural Geology, University of Catania, 1993-2003

Associate Professor of Structural Geology, University of Catania, 1987-1993

University Researcher of Geology, University of Catania, 1981-1987 

International Scientific Co-operation 


University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Sub-contracted for the Research Project: "Lessons learned from Christchurch" (Project leader B. Bradley, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering), 2014.  

Marsden Fund (Principal investigator S. Ellis, GNS, New-Zealand): "Sticky or creepy: What causes abrupt changes in seismic behavior along subduction plate boundaries?" in co-operation with researchers from GNS and NIWA (New Zealand), University of Texas (Austin), Penn State University and University of Cape Town, 2012.  

University of Otago, New Zealand. EQC Project 08/547: "Assessing seismic hazard from compressional inversion structures, NW South Island, New Zealand" (Project leader R.H. Sibson), 2008-2009.  

ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. "Structural Analysis of the Ostler Fault, New Zealand, 2008-2010.  

Tohoku and Kyoto Universities, Japan. "Assessing seismic hazard from compressional inversion structures, Murchison Basin, New Zealand" 2008-2010.  

University of Catania, Italy. Deformation at the outer front of the Gela nappe, Sicily, 2007-2008.  

University of Torino, Italy. Geologic-Tectonic Map of the Central-Southern Apennines,Italy, 2006-2010.  

Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, New Zealand. Compressional fault inversion in the NW South Island, New Zealand, 2004.  

On sabbatical leave, University of Otago, New Zealand, 2000. and 2002

Institut Francais du Petrole, Paris France, DGLab-European Community Project, Corinth, Greece,2000-2002.

University of Saint Louis, USA, Stable isotope sampling in deformed systems of the central Apennines, 2000-2001.  

Visiting Scientist, University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A., 1996.

Visiting Scientist, Rice University, Houston, U.S.A., 1993 and 1995.

Visiting Scientist, Southern California Earthquake Center, 1991. 


Ongoing Research 


Geological and structural mapping of the Nelson-Richmond urban area, South Island, New Zealand Collaborative Project with M. Johnston and P. Wopereis, partly supported by the Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council.

Map-view restorations of the Alpine and Wairau faults in the last 10 Myr Retro-deformation of horizontal and vertical displacements is used to reconstruct the evolution of the South Island plate boundary faults since the Late Miocene. The reconstructions focus on the coupling of accumulating dextral offset on the Alpine Fault, and a NE-migrating wave of exhumation and uplift of its hanging wall, tracked by syntectonic terrestrial deposits. Strike-slip and dip-slip components both decrease near the “bend”, where deformation is transferred to the Wairau and Marlborough faults.

Development of the New Zealand Community Fault Model v. 1.0. The model is aimed at providing a simplified 3D representation of active and potentially seismogenic faults of the whole New Zealand region. The project is led by GNS Science, with participation of researchers from different institutions.



University of Canterbury 2011-2014

Short course (4th year) on construction and interpretation of subsurface geological models using MOVE (Midland Valley), with application to the Castle Hill Basin.

Supervision of Honours and Master projects in the Castle Hill-Avoca and Grey Valley-Hohonu regions

University of Otago 2003-2007

Field Studies and  New Zealand Geology (2nd year)

GIS Laboratory - Applied Structural Geology (3th year)

Tectonics - Module on cross section restoration and balancing (4th year)

University of Catania 1983-2003

Course of Structural Geology  and Laboratory of Structural Geology (4th year) 

Course of Geodynamics (5th year)

Course of Techniques of field mapping and structural analysis for graduate students

Post graduate courses for the doctorate in Tectonics

Tutorial activity and supervision of final dissertations, geological mapping and structural research for undergraduate and graduate students in Geology.

Short Courses 

Post-graduate Course, Utrecht University,HTP Lab “Fault reactivation, active deformation and seismicity in New Zealand: examples from the West Coast, Canterbury, Taranaki and East Coast basins”.

Post-graduate Course, Torino University  “Faults, fractures and fluids”.

Post-graduate Course, Perugia University, “Structural controls on fluid circulation in the Apennines”.


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