My research is broadly focused on understanding how continents are built and modified through time. I am not only interested in the tectonic processes that govern the growth and stabilization of continental lithosphere, but I am also concerned with the tempo of these processes as well as spatial and temporal variations in the tectonic history of different regions. My studies are primarily located in the uplifted and eroded cores of ancient mountain belts. These deep crustal exposures not only present unique insights into a region's tectonic history, but they also afford us the opportunity to study and constrain tectonic processes at crustal levels not accessible in recent and modern orogenic systems. I am also very interested in the evolution and kinematics of ductile-to-brittle fault systems that exhume these deeper rocks and how pre-existing anisotropies in the Earth's crust control the orientation and geometry of these fault systems.
I typically approach tectonic problems by integrating regional and detailed field mapping, observation, and petrologic and structural analysis with geochronologic, isotopic, geochemical, metamorphic, and thermochronologic data. This type of multidisciplinary approach not only encourages collaboration with other researchers and institutions but also provides the most comprehensive constraints on the tectonic evolution of a region. This approach is also well suited for undergraduate student involvement because students can focus on a more narrowly defined aspect of a problem or a specific analytical technique of their choosing while still feeling like they are part of a more comprehensive research effort.
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS (click on the links below for more information)
- Proterozoic tectonic evolution of southern Colorado
- Age and tectonic implications of Proterozoic quartzite deposition across the southwestern United States
- Redefining the Mazatzal Orogeny in New Mexico
- Age and tectonic significance of the Proterozoic Grizzly Creek shear zone, western Colorado
- Proterozoic tectonic evolution of the Needle Mountain, southerwestern Colorado
- Proterozoic tectonic evolution of the Santa Fe Range, New Mexico
- Mesozoic tectonic evolution of a Tertiary metamorphic core complex, Ruby Mountains, Nevada