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About the Vice President

Mark Riley, a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, is the interim Vice President for Research and Dean of The Graduate School at Florida State University. As interim VP, he directs the Office of Research and all aspects of the university’s research enterprise, including its research centers, programs and institutes. He oversees a staff of more than 100 employees and a $30+ million operating budget.

Riley, who has been a member of the FSU faculty since 1991, earned both a Bachelor of Science with Honors in physics and a doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Liverpool.

His research involves the detection of gamma-ray emission signals from excited atomic nuclei under extreme conditions. High-resolution gamma-ray detection plays an ubiquitous role in nuclear science and he has been deeply involved in the development and use of the world’s most powerful gamma-ray detector systems, such as, Gammasphere and GRETINA-GRETA.

He has served on Users Executive Committees at the national laboratories of Oak Ridge, Argonne and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. He also served on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee to the DOE and NSF, and Program Advisory Committees of national laboratories at Berkeley, Argonne and iTHEMBA LABS in South Africa. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is a past chair of the APS’s Publication Oversight Committee.  Riley’s publication record includes  roughly 200 research articles, and he has delivered  about 100 invited talks.

Prior to joining Florida State, he worked as a research associate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and then as a research associate at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee. He served as an Advanced Fellow at the University of Liverpool before joining FSU in 1991.

Riley was named the Raymond K. Sheline Professor of Physics in 2001, selected for an FSU Distinguished Research Professor Award in 2008 and became a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in 2014.

He served as chair of the FSU Department of Physics from 2007 to 2013 and was named dean of the FSU Graduate School in 2018 after serving as interim dean since Fall 2017.  During his tenure at the Graduate School, graduate enrollment has grown 46 percent and applicants have risen 83 percent.