My expertise incorporates the fields of structural geology, tectonics, geomechanics, and planetary geoscience. My terrestrial research has integrated field-based studies with subsurface seismic interpretation, geophysical data, and numerical modeling analyses. My planetary research utilizes spacecraft imagery to unravel the complex geologic histories of tectonically deformed solar system bodies. My interests lie predominantly in the characterization of fracture and fault systems in three dimensions and the mechanics of fault failure as applied to earthquake hazards and fault evolution. My work necessitates characterization of the state of stress in both ancient and active environments, facilitating the prediction of fault behavior and associated deformation, such as folding and fracturing.
My past field-based projects have included the East African Rift Valley, the Iceland spreading ridge, the Western Desert in Egypt, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, the Karoo intrusives of South Africa, the south coast of England, and U.S. based field projects in California, Utah, Nevada, Alaska, Idaho, and Virginia.
I have applied my structural geology skills to the analysis of the geology of other planets and moons in the solar system. On Jupiter's moon Europa, I co-discovered evidence of subduction and an active plate tectonic system: the only one of its kind outside of Earth. I have also worked on Saturn's moons Enceladus, Dione, and Titan, as well as fault and dike systems on Mars, fractures on Mars' moon Phobos, and impact melts on the moon.
My research has taken me all over the world and all over the solar system. Here is a brief description of some of my past research experiences, as well as some of my ongoing projects.
I have maintained a productive publication record since my graduate student days in the 1990s, and continue to engage in independent research since my move into private industry.
During my 25 years as a university academic, I have mentored 26 PhD and MS students, most of whom now work as geoscientists in private industry, research centers, or academia.