I am a chemical sedimentologist: I study how and why chemical sediments form and lithify, with the goal of better understanding how chemical sedimentary rocks (e.g., carbonates, chert, iron formations) record chemical, physical, and biological paleoenvironmental conditions. Chemical sediments provide a key geobiological record – preserving a physical record of fossil life forms and depositional environments and a geochemical record of seawater and pore fluid chemistry. My research encompasses lab experiments, modeling, petrography, in situ geochemistry, and fieldwork, spanning modern environments to Precambrian time. My general philosophy is to use experiments and models to understand some key process, then move to a modern environment to test how well these models work in a natural system, and finally to apply what I have learned to the rock record to decipher something new about an ancient surface environment.
GEOL 1020 - Dodos, Dinos, and Deinococcus: The History of a Habitable Planet
Examines how the solid, fluid, and living Earth interact, how changes in the oceans, atmosphere and life reflect that interaction over the immensity of geologic time, and how the rock record is analyzed to reconstruct the co-evolution of Earth and life. Degree credit not granted for this course and GEOL 1040.
GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
Spring 2018 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.
GEOL 5704 - Carbonates Seminar
Focuses broadly on the topic of carbonates, including sedimentology, geochemistry, and geobiology of carbonates. Each semester will have a distinct theme under these sub-topics. Students will be responsible for leading discussion on individual readings and will be able to provide input on both the theme and the individual reading selections. Upper-level GEOL majors can register with instructor approval.