Benjamin HORTON

Professor Benjamin Horton is Director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore and a professor at the Asian School of the Environment in Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Prior to joining NTU, Professor Horton was Professor at Rutgers University and Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Horton obtained his BA from the University of Liverpool, UK, and PhD from the University of Durham, UK.

Professor Horton has won a number of awards in his career. In 2019, he was appointed the President’s Chair in Earth Sciences at NTU for outstanding achievement. For excellence in research, he received the Plinius Medal from the European Geosciences Union, the Voyager Award from the American Geophysical Union, and the W. Storrs Cole Award from the Geological Society of America. He was elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2013 and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2018. Professor Horton was an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report and is a Review Editor for the new 6th Assessment Report. Professor Horton’s research was cited by President Obama in his 2015 State of the Union Address at the United States Capitol on January 20th 2015.

Professor Horton has published over 220 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including 28 articles in high profile journals such as ScienceNatureProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Geology. Professor Horton is supervising or has supervised 24 students to the degree of PhD and 22 postdoctoral scientists, of which 17 now have permanent academic positions. 

Professor Horton’s research concerns sea-level change, with the aim of understanding and integrating the external and internal mechanisms that have determined sea-level changes in the past, and which will shape such changes in the future. His research impacts upon important ecological, ethical, social, economic, and political problems specifically facing coastal regions.

  • 1994 — 1998: PhD in Geography, University of Durham, UK
  • 1989 — 1992: BA Honors in Geography, University of Liverpool, UK
Professional Experience:
  • 2020 — present: Director, Earth Observatory of Singapore
  • 2017  present: Professor, Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2013 — 2017:  Professor, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, USA
  • 2004 — 2013: Associate and Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1998 — 2004: Lecturer in Geography and Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK
Professional Activities:


  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Quaternary Association
  • British Ecological Society
  • Cushman Foundation
  • Geological Society of America
  • Linnean Society
  • Micropaleontological Society
  • Quaternary Research Association

Service to the community

  • 2016 — 2020: AMQUA Council as a Councilor for Marine Geoprocesses
  • 2016 — present: European Geosciences Union awards and medal committee
  • 2014 — present Associate Editor of Anthropocene
  • 2014 — present: Associate Editor of Current Climate Change Reports
  • 2009, 2012, 2014, 2017: Guest Editor of a Quaternary Science Reviews Special Publications
  • 2008 — 2014: Associate Editor of Journal of Foraminiferal Research
  • 2010 — present: Member of the PALSEA (PALeo-constraints on SEA-level rise) steering committee
  • 2011 — present: Advisory board member of International Union for Quaternary Science (INQUA)’s Commission for Coastal and Marine Processes
  • 2011 — 2013: Contributing Author (CA) to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (5AR) Working Group I and Expert Reviewer for Working Group III
  • 2010 — 2014: Project leader of International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) 588 ‘Preparing for coastal change: A detailed process-response framework for coastal change at different timescales’
  • 2010 — 2014: Scientific advisor to The Future Ocean research of the German Research Foundation
  • 2009 — 2013: Member of the Review Panel for the Helmholtz Program Geosystem: the changing Earth
  • 2008: Joint Chair of American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) Biennial Meeting ‘Quaternary Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions and Landscape Responses’
  • 2006: Joint Convener of the Geological Society of America’s Pardee Keynote Symposia Holocene Sea-level Change in North America: A Post-Katrina Assessment
  • 2011 — 2012: Committee member of the National Research Council, USA for Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington
  • 2015: New Jersey Sea Level Rise Projections Panel
  • 2015: Delaware Sea Level Rise Projections Panel
  • 2013: Maryland Sea Level Rise Projections Update Panel
Honours and Awards:
  • 2020: Fellow of NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity
  • 2020: Member of World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge on Regional Sea Level Change and Coastal Impacts
  • 2019: Nanyang Technological University President’s Chair in Earth Sciences
  • 2019: Geological Society of America Frye Award
  • 2016 — 2020: Councilor for Marine Geoprocesses for the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA)
  • 2016: Plinius Medal of the European Geosciences Union
  • 2014: Voyager Award of the American Geophysical Union
  • 2014: Denis and Jean Wiesenburg Distinguished Lecture in Ocean Science
  • 2013: Fellow of the Geological Society of America
  • 2012: Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania
  • 2010: Medal for Research Excellence by the Commanding General of the North Atlantic Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • 2007: The W. Storrs Cole Memorial Research Award of the Geological Society of America
  • 2004: Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK
  • 2004: The Linnean Society (UK) Award for contributions to biological diversity and evolution
  • 2003: The Higher Education Funding Council for England Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2001: Menzies Australian Bicentennial Award for promoting scholarship, intellectual links, and mutual awareness and understanding between the United Kingdom and Australia