PhD Marco A. Lopez-Sanchez

Short bio: Marco is a postdoctoral researcher in Géosciences Montpellier (France). He received his PhD in Geology from the University of Oviedo (Spain) in 2013 with the study of an ancient crustal-scale shear zone located in the hinterland of the Iberian massif (Variscan orogeny). Until the end of 2017, he combined jobs outside academia as a Geology teacher and self-employed geologist with post-doctoral training in the research group of Sergio Llana-Fúnez (Oviedo, Spain). Since 2018, he works as a full-time researcher in Andréa Tommasi's research group located in Montpellier (France). So far, Marco has participated in five research projects. At the moment, he puts all his efforts in the development of the IDEA project.

Marco research interests range from different aspects of geodynamics, from microscopic to orogen-scale processes. His primary interests include rock deformation and rheology, crustal-scale shear zones, crustal strength modelling, characterization of rock microstructure using image analysis and EBSD techniques, and understanding strain localization in nature. Other interests are geological mapping and evolution of ancient orogens, the interaction between rock deformation, fluids and metamorphism, and the establishment of the absolute time at which deformation processes occur. Marco also enjoys doing scientific computing and programming to create scientific tools.

Personal details

Full name: Marco Antonio López Sánchez

Work address:
Géosciences Montpellier - CNRS
Université de Montpellier
Campus Triolet cc060
Place Eugène Bataillon
34095 Montpellier Cedex05
Tel: (33) 4 67 14 30 64

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On the web

Personal website:
CV (pdf): Resume_pdf
Research-ID: A-4290-2015
Scopus author ID: 56320859100
Google scholar:
Github page:
At Géosciences Montpellier: link


Jul 2013 - PhD in Geology, cum laude honours, Department of Geology, Univ. of Oviedo.
Advisor: Sergio Llana-Fúnez. Co-advisors: Profs. Alberto Marcos and Francisco J. Martínez
Thesis: Análisis tectónico de la Falla de Vivero (Galicia, NW of Spain)

Sep 2007 - DEA (Masters of Science - M.Sc.) in Geology, Department of Geology, University of Oviedo. Project advisor: Prof. A. Marcos

Jan 2006 - Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Geology, Department of Geology, University of Oviedo.


Professional experience (only academic related)

Jan 2018 - present - Postdoctoral researcher, Géosciences Montpellier, Université de Montpellier

Oct 2015 - Nov 2017 - Postdoctoral researcher, Dpto. de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo

2013 - 2015 - Research assistant (non-paid volunteer), Dpto. de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo

2007 - 2013 - PhD candidate, Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo


2017 - Postdoctoral fellowship Clarín-COFUND (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions 7th FW) (2 years)

2017 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence Award with the research project proposal IDEA

2016 - Early Career Scientist’s Travel Award for EGU General Assembly 2016

2007 - Predoctoral fellowship in the Severo Ochoa Program (FICYT, Principality of Asturias, Spain) (4 years)


In review, accepted or available as a pre-print

Lopez-Sanchez MA and Llana-Fúnez S. A cavitation-seal mechanism for ultramylonite formation in quartzfeldspathic rocks within the semi-brittle field (Vivero fault, NW Spain). In review

Lopez-Sanchez MA, García-Sansegundo J, and Martínez, FJ. The significance of early Permian and early Carboniferous U-Pb zircon ages in the Bossòts and Lys-Caillaouas granitoids (Pyrenean Axial Zone). In review

Published or in press (citable) peer-reviewed publications

A5 - Lopez-Sanchez MA and Llana-Fúnez S (2016) An extension of the Saltykov method to quantify 3D grain size distributions in mylonites Journal of Structural Geology 93: 149-161; doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2016.10.008

A4 - Lopez-Sanchez MA, Aleinikoff J, Marcos A, Martínez FJ, Llana-Fúnez S. (2016) An example of low Th/U zircon overgrowths of magmatic origin in a late orogenic variscan intrusive: the San Ciprián Massif (NW Spain). Journal of the Geological Society 173: 282-291; doi: 10.1144/jgs2015-071

A3 - Lopez-Sanchez MA and Llana-Fúnez S (2015) An evaluation of different measures of dynamically recrystallized grain size for paleopiezometry or paleowattmetry studies. Solid Earth 6: 475-495, Special issue: Deformation mechanisms and ductile strain localization in the lithosphere; doi: 10.5194/se-6-475-2015

A2 - Lopez-Sanchez MA, Marcos A, Martínez FJ, Llana-Fúnez S, Iriondo A (2015) Setting new constrains on the age of crustal-scale normal fault (Vivero Fault): Implications for the evolution of Variscan orogeny in the Iberian Massif. International Journal of Earth Sciences 104(4): 927-962; doi:10.1007/s00531-014-1119-1

A1 - Lopez-Sanchez MA, Iriondo A, Marcos A and Martínez FJ (2015) A U-Pb zircon age (479±5 Ma) from the uppermost layers of the Ollo de Sapo Fm near Viveiro (NW Spain): implications for the duration of rifting-related Cambro-Ordovician volcanism in Iberia. Geological Magazine 152(2): 341-350; doi:10.1017/S0016756814000272

A0 - López-Sánchez MA (2007) Estudio geológico de la Falla de Vivero y estructuras asociadas en la región de Guntín (Lugo, NO de la Península Ibérica). Trabajos de Geología 27: 97-157

Field Trip guides

FT1 - Marcos A, Bastida F, Aller J, Fernández FJ, Llana-Fúnez S and Lopez-Sanchez MA (2011) DRT post-conference Fieldtrip Guide: West Asturian Leonese Zone, Cabo Ortegal, Malpica-Lamego Line. Deformation, Rheology and Tectonics (DRT - Oviedo) meeting 42 pp + map.

Meeting proceedings

Scripts developed

GrainSizeTools: A free and open-source Python script for estimating the grain size from thin sections
Developed and maintained by Lopez-Sanchez MA (stable)
Info. & download:

Strength envelopes: A Python script to generate crust and lithosphere strength envelopes
Developed and maintained by Lopez-Sanchez MA (under development)
Info. & download:

JASPE: JASPE stands for Just Another Stereoplot Python Environment
Developed and maintained by Lopez-Sanchez MA (under development)
Info. & download:

Nearest neighbour: A Python script to estimate nearest neighbour distance and perform nearest neighbour Monte Carlo simulations
Developed and maintained by Lopez-Sanchez MA (stable)
Info. & download:

Chemical age script: A free and open-source script to estimate the 'chemical' ages in monazites analyzed in electron microprobes
Developed by Lopez-Sanchez MA (currently abandoned)
Info. & download:

Selected training courses

2016 - Thematic School – Recrystallization Mechanism in Materials
Duration: 5 days (32 hours), Sète, France
Coordinator: Maurine Montagnat
Organized by the CNRS "Groupement de Recherche" on Recrystallization (GDR3436). Certificate

2015 - Introduction to R Programming
Duration: 10 hours
Instructor: Filip Schouwenaars
Microsoft edx course (DAT204x). Certificate

2013 - Introduction to computer science and programming using Python
Duration: 210 hours
Prof. Eric Grimson, Prof. John Guttag, Dr Chris Terman and Dr Larry Rudolph
Massachusetts Institute of Technology edx course (MITx - 6.00x). Certificate

2012 - Scanning Electron Microscopy and its applications to analyses of Rocks
Duration: 30 hours
Prof. John Wheeler, Dr Elisabetta Mariani and Dr Dan Tatham
Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool

2008 - Training course in microtectonics
Duration: 30 hours
Prof. Cees W. Passchier
Institut für Geowissenschaften; Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany).

Analytical/technical skills

Participation in Research Projects

2016 - present
Cataclasis y fracturación en rocas de la corteza continental (Cataclasis and rock fracturing in the continental crust). Project led by Sergio Llana-Fúnez Ref. MINECO-15-CGL2014-53388-P

Procesos geológicos modeladores del relieve de la cordillera cantábrica. Project led by Sergio Llana-Fúnez Ref. FC-15-GRUPIN14-44

2010 - 2014
La transición frágil-dúctil de la corteza del NO penínsular (The brittle-ductile transition in the continental crust in North-western Iberia). Project led by Sergio Llana-Fúnez Ref. MICINN-10-CGL2010-14890

2007 - 2010
The tectonic evolution of an orogen in the transition between the internal and external zones: A comparison between the Variscan orogen in the NW of Iberian Peninsula and the Pyreneean Axial Zone (original title in Spanish). Project led by Alberto Marcos. Ref. CGL2006-08822/BTE

Teaching (at university level)

Accredited as an assistant teacher by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA) in 2016

Graduate teaching assistant from 2009 to 2011 and in 2017 at Universidad de Oviedo

Laboratory sections taught: Plate Tectonics (30 hours); Structural Geology (20 hours); Geophysical and Geochemical prospecting (10 hours); Interpretation of geological maps (10 hours)

Field Camp taught: Geodynamics (10 hours); Structural Geology (10 hours); Fieldwork (geological mapping) (12.5 hours); Tectonics (10 hours); Structural analysis (5 hours)

Administrative experience

Deformation mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics (DRT2011) meeting organizing committee. DRT meetings are a series of biannual international meetings dedicated to the study of deformation processes in rocks at different scales, from the microscale to the study of bulk deformation of the lithosphere


Spanish and Galician - mother tongue
English - fluent
French and Portuguese - elementary proficiency

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