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 looking for students. If you are interested in pursuing a masters or Ph. D. with me please do not hesitate to contact me. I am particularly looking for a Ph. D. student interested in early Earth evolution and the initiation of plate tectonics to work on a funded project beginning in Fall 2018. Penn State’s Department of Geosciences is consistently one of the top ranked earth science departments in the country.