Research Areas

Kelly and Tara in Bahamas

Biogeochemistry and Paleontology

The Paleobiology Group seeks to unravel the record of life and environments throughout Earth's rich history, focusing on research in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography, stratigraphic paleoecology and biotic interactions, conservation paleobiology, the ecological revolution during the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition through to the Cambrian Explosion, taphonomy and biogeochemistry of exceptional fossil deposits, systematic paleontology, and applications of virtual paleontology across a range of topics. This research combines field-based approaches, museum collections, laboratory preparation, and advanced analytical tools including isotopic analyses and x-ray microbeam imaging techniques to purse these research avenues.

Mineralogy and petrology

Geochemistry and Petrology

The petrology and geochemistry research group is principally concerned with the behavior of hydrothermal fluids and melts and their interaction with the Earth’s crust.  Current areas of emphasis include the origin of sediment-hosted base metal and rare earth element ore deposits, hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic lithosphere (e.g. serpentinization and carbonation), CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs, and fluid inclusion systematics and synthesis.  The group uses a range of analytical techniques, experimental methods, and computational models in its research, with a particular focus on LA-ICP-MS, Raman spectroscopy, mineral synthesis at elevated temperatures and pressures, and numerical reactive transport simulation. 


Geophysics, Tectonics and Solid Earth Processes

Our faculty uses a wide variety of techniques to study the structure and deformation of the Earth’s crust and mantle. Ongoing projects include seismotectonics that collects and analyzes seismic wave data to image crustal and mantle structure and the fabrics of their deformation in different continents; geodesy and neotectonics that combine space-based geodetic measurements of ground deformation with field survey to understand faulting, earthquakes, and landslides; thermochronology and tectonics that reconstruct the deformation history of mountain belts; and geodynamics that integrates geological and geophysical data with computer simulation to understand mountain building, subduction, basin formation, volcanism, and earthquakes. Our students work both in the field and in the computer lab on projects located all over the world.