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).