An English geologist and educator, Frederick Vine has made significant contributions in the field of plate tectonics. In the early 1960s, his research of the ocean floor off the coast of Iceland (with colleague Drummond Matthews) provided conclusive field evidence for the hypothesis of seafloor spreading, an idea first proposed by Harry Hess of Princeton University in 1960. The seafloor spreading hypothesis states that oceanic crust forms along the mid-ocean ridges, spreading laterally in both directions. During their research, Vine and Matthews discovered alternating magnetic patterns in the igneous rocks on both sides of the Mid-Atlantic ridge just south of Iceland. This discovery not only supported the concept of continental drift, but also provided direct evidence for changes in Earth's geomagnetic field over geologic time. Until the late 1950s, most geologists thought that the rocks of the ocean floor represented the oldest part of the Earth's crust. The research of Vine and Matthews, however, showed that rocks on the ocean floor are actually a relatively newly formed part of Earth's crust. Vine was educated in England, receiving his B.A. and Ph.D. in geology from St. John's College, Cambridge University. From 1965 to 1970, he taught at Princeton University in the department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences. He returned to England in the early 1970s and, in 1974, was appointed to his current position as professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.