I am a mantle dynamicist interested in the evolution of the Earth and other rocky planets, with a particular focus on what causes plate tectonics on Earth, when and how it started, and how likely it is to exist on other planets. I am also interested in interactions between climate and mantle convection, and how these interactions shape planetary evolution and influence a planet’s prospects for habitability (see more at my research page). I primarily use a range of theoretical models in my work, including global scale numerical models of mantle convection, regional scale models of lithospheric deformation and shear zone formation, and simple box models of planetary evolution. I collaborate with geochemists, petrologists, geologists, and planetary scientists in pursuing my research.
I am always looking for motivated students. If you are interested in pursuing a masters or Ph. D. with me please, particularly in the areas of the initiation of plate tectonics on Earth, early Earth tectonic and crustal evolution, or the habitability of rocky exoplanets, do not hesitate to contact me. Penn State’s Department of Geosciences is consistently one of the top ranked earth science departments in the country.