School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
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Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences and, by courtesy, of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI have long been fascinated by magmas and volcanic eruptions, for reasons ranging from purely academic (trying to understand the magmatic construction of Earth’s crust) to purely practical (developing effective monitoring and mitigation strategies for volcanic eruptions). Consequently, my research revolves around understanding how, when, where, and why magmas are stored, evolve, and ultimately do (or do not!) erupt.
Within this context, I focus on two main themes: (1) the temporal, chemical, and physical, evolution of magmas, and (2) the interplay between magma storage conditions in the crust and magmatic processes. I employ a multi-faceted approach to explore these topics, integrating data from multiple scales and perspectives; my studies capitalize on information contained in field relations, crystal and melt inclusion textures (sizes, shapes, positions), crystal and volcanic glass geochemistry, geochronology, phase-equilibria and numerical modeling, and experiments. As a function of this approach, I am also engaged in the development of novel methods to address petrologic problems in new, better, and more refined ways than is currently possible.
A major focus of my research has been on supereruptions – gigantic explosive eruptions the likes of which we have never seen in recorded human history – but I am continually exploring other kinds of magmatic systems. I am currently particularly interested in the links (or lack thereof) between extrusive (i.e., erupted) and intrusive (i.e., unerupted) magmas, similarities/differences between large- and small-volume eruptions, and similarities/differences between magmas generated at different levels of the crust. I have also had a longstanding interest in the interactions and relationships between humans and their geologic surroundings (particularly volcanoes).
Dorrell William Kirby Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and Professor, by courtesy, of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy goal in research is to understand the interaction between environmental change and biological evolution using fossils and the sedimentary rock record. How does environmental change influence evolutionary and ecological processes? And conversely, how do evolutionary and ecological changes affect the physical environment? I work primarily on the marine fossil record over the past 550 million years.
The Barney and Estelle Morris Professor of Earth Sciences, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research aims to understand how faults and fractures initiate and evolve in Earth's brittle crust, how they affect the flow of molten rock, groundwater, and hydrocarbons, and the crucial role faults and fractures play in earthquake generation, folding of sedimentary strata, and volcanic eruption.