The Department of Earth Sciences at HKU was established in 1995 under its founding Chair Professor and Head, John Malpas, to meet local demand for Earth science expertise. However, from the very beginning it was realised that the Department's programmes should emphasise a classical approach to geological fundamentals as well as introducing aspects of applied geosciences. The surrounding geology of China, South Eastern Asia and the Western Pacific provided numerous opportunities for ground-breaking research.


As an international hub located in East Asia, Hong Kong's global connectivity, strong work ethic and well-educated workforce have provided competitive advantages that allowed us to quickly establish high standards of teaching and research. We are proud of these origins and through considerable expansion have continued to help improve our home territory through our teaching, research and graduates. 



Our strengths have always been in Tectonics, Petrology, Economic Geology and Geochemistry which are now part of the Solid Earth and Planetary Sciences research group. The new addition of planetary sciences has allowed us to extend our existing expertise into the study of the formation and evolution of other terrestrial planets particularly Mars. Our focus on Applied Geosciences continues to be of vital importance considering the highly urbanized setting of Hong Kong and associated geological and geotechnical problems. Earth History and Global Change have become more broadly relevant and we have contributed to the understanding of major events in the surface evolution of Earth ,climatic and environmental changes on various timescales.

Our history remains a strong asset but we look forward to writing the best chapters of this history as we meet future challenges and strive for further excellence.