Research Areas: Metamorphic Petrology, Mineralogy, Crystallization Mechanisms
B.S. Geology, University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
Part of my research explores the records of tectonic processes locked inside rocks and minerals of the Cascades. This part involves fieldwork, petrography (examining thin sections of rocks under a polarizing microscope), major-element chemical analysis (both bulk-rock, via X-ray fluorescence, and micro-chemical analysis, via electron microprobe), and thermodynamic modeling to link up the data derived from these diverse sources. These stories recorded in the rocks reveal what happens when mini-continents collided with the western side of North America millions of years ago.
In addition, I explore the way in which new crystals form via solid-state processes during metamorphism (transformation at high temperatures and pressures deep in the earth). This requires a different set of tools, including petrography, electron-probe micro-chemical analysis, thermodynamic modeling, high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, radiometric dating, spatial statistical methods, and computational modeling of crystallization. My recent work includes high-pressure, high-temperature experiments to simulate deep-earth processes.