Skip to content


Fellows Directory

Joe Cann

Joe Cann

Credit: Dr Joe Cann

Dr Joe Cann FRS


Elected: 1995


Joe Cann is a geologist who has worked on mid-ocean ridges for over 50 years. At the mid-ocean ridges, new ocean floor is formed as the tectonic plates split apart. His research has spanned a wide range of topics, including submarine volcanism, black smoker hot springs, the deep circulation of ocean water through the oceanic crust, and the role of major deep-seated faults in the formation of new ocean floor.

Joe was involved in the organisation of ocean-floor drilling on an international scale. He proposed and led the UK’s BRIDGE (British Mid-Ocean Ridge) project during the 1990s to explore mid-ocean ridges, maintaining a key role for the United Kingdom in this international field of science.

After studying and researching at the University of Cambridge, he moved to the University of East Anglia, where he developed his trademark imaginative teaching style. He then moved to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and eventually to the University of Leeds, retiring in 2001. Joe continues to work on a range of new topics.

Professional positions

Senior Visiting Fellow, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Other
    • Public understanding of science
  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geophysics


Volcanology, Hydrothermal vents, Plate tectonics, Marine geology

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.