Photo on 8-30-17 at 2.33 PM

Earth Science

Research Interests

Earth’s major mountain belts are the surface expressions of millions of years of interconnected subsurface processes that result from the collision of different tectonic plates. ​Since these processes cannot be directly observed, I use a number of different methods, both in the field and the lab, to reconstruct the evolution of mountain belts and to understand how continental crust is formed and modified through time. The areas where I currently work include the central Appalachians, the Nepal Himalaya, the Antarctic Miller Range, and the Zagros mountains in Iran, but I am always looking for new mountain ranges to visit!

Mentoring Experiences

Over the course of my graduate career, I have had the opportunity to experience several different facets of mentorship. During my own undergraduate education, I was always pushed to become the expert, to teach my advisors while they were teaching me, and I am proud to say that each of the students I have mentored over the past few years have become the experts, taking the seeds of my initial input and becoming highly skilled and knowledgeable researchers. In doing so, our relationships invariably changed from that of the mentor-mentee to one of friendship and collaboration. While this metamorphosis is undoubtedly the most enriching part of mentoring undergraduates, it also gives birth to the most challenging—letting go once the experience is over. After watching successive generations of students complete incredible projects and graduate, I simply miss them once they’re gone.

What the Award Means to Him

When I was notified that I was one of this year’s Fiona and Michael Goodchild Mentoring Award recipients, I was left speechless. Although I try to be as supportive and helpful as possible, I have always felt like my students deserve more. But to know that they thought highly enough of me to nominate me for this reward, it means a lot. I greatly appreciate the honor and the recognition, but even more than that I appreciate the opportunity to work with such talented undergraduates and greatly look forward to seeing their future accomplishments similarly lauded.