Daniel Pastor-Galán


Favourite Thing: Go to the field, specially in remote areas and discover things that nobody has seen ever.



I did from Bachelor to PhD degree at the Salamanca University, in Spain. I arrived in Salamanca in 2002 and left in 2012.


I have a degree in Geology, a PhD in Geology and a Professional degree in Clarinet.

Country I live in:

The Netherlands

Work History:

in Spain and in The Netherlands

Current Job:

I am a geoscientist!


The University of Utrecht

Me and my work

Pangaea, the greatest of the continents formed about 300 million years ago, why? how? This is what I try to discover!

I am a tectonicist who are the people interested in how and when the tectonic plates moved and the consequences of those movements. For instance, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes or the development of ore resources like gold, uranium or tungsten are related to the tectonic movements.

My Typical Day

I go everyday to a fortification, seriously I work in a fort (Fort Hoofddijk), where I work doing analysis and reports.

I wake up-fall out of bed-dragg a comb across my head-Find my way downstairs and drink a cup-And look up and notice I am late-Find my coat and grab my hat-Make the bus in seconds flat-Find my way upstairs and had a ROCK-Do my research and I go into a dream.

It is really fun!

First, I work at a fortification, the “Fort Hoofddijk” (, that was built in the 19thcentury, and most of the instrumentation is situated quite deep inside a (fake) hill. I call the room “the dungeon,” so I guess it needs no more comments. Inside, there is a laboratory of paleomagnetism, which is the study of the Earth’s magnetism recorded in the magnetic minerals (such as magnetite) present in rocks. This record provides information on the past behavior of Earth’s magnetic field, geochronology, and the past location of tectonic plates. However, I am the weird guy in the lab. I certainly use paleomagnetism for my research, but I am not a paleomagnetist. I am just a user of the tool (as I am with geochemistry, geochronology, structural geology, etc.).

My main research projects are related to the formation of the last of the supercontinents (Pangea) and about curved mountain belts (so-called oroclines). I combine field-collected data with laboratory data to provide tectonic reconstructions of orogens and continents. I also try to understand the relationship of the geological processes observed in the surface with the deeper Earth. For that reason, I use modeling. I started with analog (clay, silicon, etc.), and now I am also trying numerical (computer-driven models).

My position is focused in research more than teaching, but actually I am supervising two M.Sc. students this year. So everyday, I have a short meeting with both to share results and give them feedback, and I monitor their progress. Additionally, I write reports and research papers, and I prepare proposals to get funding for my future research. Additionally, as I am not a permanent staff member of the university, I spend part of the time writing job applications.

Several times in the year, I go to the field to get new data. I either go alone or with colleagues or students. I am, at present, doing fieldwork in Ireland, Spain, France and Iran, but I would love to move soon to other places. This is definitely the most exciting time of my job.


What I'd do with the money

A series of field trips with high school students to show the geoscientists laboratory, the Earth

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Enthusiastic, fun, talkative

Who is your favourite singer or band?

The Beatles

What's your favourite food?

Cheese, always, all of them

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Canyoning, it is a perfect activity if you love sports and rocks!

What did you want to be after you left school?

A geologist, seriously.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

No, never. I enjoyed school and had a lot of friends.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Usually science subjects, specially Physics.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

I was 8, I went to the cinema with a friend, it was Jurassic Park. True story.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

I guess Astronaut is still a scientist. I guess I would be chef of a restaurant.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

3 wishes: Getting a permanent possition in Science. Getting it soon. Getting it today.

Tell us a joke.

Geologists make bad jokes, but we all have our faults.

My favourite place on earth is?

Still in love of Segovia were I was born.

Other stuff

Work photos:


Trying to fold the rock



If I only could see you like this once, dear Earth.


It is going to rain



We do fieldwork in winter too!


Drilling rocks to perform paleomagnetic analyses.


Teaching structural geology in the best of the laboratories, our planet.

2014-05-02 13.33.00

Keep your Iron throne, Joffrey Baratheon. I will keep my Stone Throne.


Geo-kindergarten lab. Or how to model the Earth with plasticine.


Watching zircons into a microscope.


Studing folds in Portugal.

2014-05-02 14.16.28-2

Yes, you have already discovered that I like folds.


And the best fold ever… in Asturias!