PhD in structural geology

May 2, 2018

I received my PhD on May 2, 2018, with much celebration. I am thrilled to have been part of such an amazing group of researchers as I found at Caltech, and I look forward to the next adventures!


Proposed thesis research: Regional structural geology of Earth and Mars

April 16, 2015

My thesis will focus on the structural analysis of targeted terranes that record key transitions in Earth and Mars geologic history. This work encompasses three separate studies which leverage a range of techniques including geologic mapping in the field and from orbital imagery, laboratory geochemistry and petrology, and geospatial software development. The first focus area, advised by Dr. Bethany Ehlmann, will be an evaluation of potential formation mechanisms for the layered sulfates at the Northeast Syrtis escarpment on Mars. This unit was emplaced during a secular drying during the Noachian—Hesperian transition early in Mars history. The project encompasses the creation of digital elevation models (DEMs) from stereo satellite imagery, the development of new methods for the collection and quality-control of bedding orientation measurements, and the evaluation of depositional scenarios against structural data. Second, I will study the tectonics and regional environment of southwest Africa during rifting of the South Atlantic Ocean with Dr. John Grotzinger. This study will yield a paleoenvironmental timeline of rifting supported by field geologic mapping, stratigraphic correlations, and laboratory geochemistry. Finally, work with Dr. Jason Saleeby on the petrologic characterization and tectonic implications of the Crystal Knob xenolith suite will provide new information on the deep structure of the California margin during the cessation of Farallon-plate subduction. Taken together, this body of work will show mastery of structural techniques on Earth and the adaptation of these techniques to Mars, resulting in several refinements to the geologic history of both planets.