An Yin, Prof. (June 24th, 1959 to July 12th, 2023)

Professor An Yin was a distinguished geologist and tectonicist who left an indelible mark on the field of Earth Sciences. Born in 1959 in Harbin, China, he embarked on a lifelong journey of academic excellence and scientific exploration.

Professor Yin’s academic pursuits began with his undergraduate studies at Peking University, where he obtained his B.S. degree in 1982. Eager to delve deeper into the intricacies of geology, he pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California, completing it in 1988 under the mentorship of Dr. Gregory Davis.

Throughout his illustrious career, Professor Yin’s contributions to the understanding of tectonics and geology were truly groundbreaking. As a Professor of Geology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he conducted extensive research on various geological phenomena and regions, with a particular focus on the tectonic evolution of the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau. His pioneering work shed light on the mechanics of low-angle normal and thrust faults in the North American Cordillera, providing invaluable insights into the geological processes shaping our planet.

In addition to his terrestrial investigations, Professor Yin extended his expertise to planetary tectonics, studying the geological dynamics of other celestial bodies. His broad-ranging interests also encompassed slow earthquakes and tectonic geomorphology, further solidifying his reputation as a multifaceted scientist.

Professor Yin’s contributions to the scientific community were widely recognized and acclaimed. Throughout his career, he published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, establishing himself as a prolific author and a leading authority in his field. His exceptional research garnered an impressive H-index of 86, reflecting the profound impact of his work.

In acknowledgment of his outstanding achievements, Professor Yin received numerous prestigious awards and honors. The Geological Society of America (GSA) presented him with the esteemed Donath Medal in 1994, followed by his induction as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2013. The pinnacle of his accolades came in 2022 when he was bestowed with the distinguished Penrose Medal by the GSA, further underscoring his exceptional contributions to the field of geology.

Beyond his research endeavors, Professor Yin embraced his role as an educator and mentor. Throughout his career, he guided and inspired numerous students, shaping the next generation of Earth scientists. His dedication to mentoring extended beyond academia, with many of his mentees finding success in government agencies and private industries.

Professor An Yin’s impact on the scientific community extended beyond his own research and teaching. He was an active participant in scientific organizations and editorial boards, serving as the Editor-in-Chief for Tectonophysics and Earth and Planetary Science Letters. His commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and facilitating global collaboration was unwavering.

Outside of academia, Professor Yin’s contributions extended to the UCLA community, where he hosted visiting scientists and played a pivotal role in promoting research and education in Earth Sciences.

Professor An Yin’s untimely passing in 2023 leaves a void in the scientific community that is difficult to fill. His extraordinary intellect, insatiable curiosity, and unparalleled dedication to advancing the frontiers of geology will be dearly missed. His legacy will endure through his groundbreaking research, the knowledge he imparted to his students, and the inspiration he provided to countless colleagues in the scientific community.

Please also see the biography of An Yin on the website of Rose Hills Memorial Cemetary. Link