The ultimate goal of my research group is to understand deformation of the Earth’s tectonic plates at a variety of lithospheric levels, conditions, and spatial scales. My research focuses on a number of themes, including:
- the growth, evolution, and collapse of orogenic systems
- feedbacks between deformation and melt migration in the mid-crust through upper mantle
- mechanisms of dynamic strain localization and rheological weakening
- the micromechanical and kinematic record of structural fabric (i.e. foliation and lineation) and texture (i.e., crystallographic preferred orientation) formation in polyphase deformed rocks.
The motivating framework for our research efforts is to further our understanding of how intrinsic rock properties (e.g., composition, melt fraction, grain size, crystallographic texture), extrinsic conditions (e.g., P-T conditions, stress state, ƒO2), and deformation history affect the rheological evolution of the lithosphere. Understanding these processes across a range of spatial scales and tectonic settings requires expertise in a variety of analytical methods, which I believe are best complemented by research fundamentally rooted in comprehensive field-based investigation.
We therefore employ a multi-disciplinary research approach to research aimed at solving tectonic problems through detailed field-based mapping and structural analysis integrated with a variety of analytical techniques, including: crystallographic textural analysis using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), geochronology and thermochronology studies, and petrologic investigations