Alex Simms grew up in eastern Oklahoma and earned a bachelor’s degree in geology at Oklahoma State University and a doctorate at Rice University in Houston. His doctoral work focused on the depositional systems and Quaternary history of the Texas Gulf Coast. After a stint as an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, he moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is a professor of Earth science. His research focuses on the processes that shape and the Quaternary history of shallow marine settings with a particular emphasis on reconstructing past records of sea-level change. He has conducted field work on coastlines across the globe including Antarctica, Texas, California, and recently the UK. Although he is most comfortable describing shallow marine sediment cores, he occasionally enjoys looking at real rocks too.