I am a geologist who studies Earth’s interior and its evolution in time. The rocks of Earth’s solid interior melt to generate new crust – the lavas we see erupting on the surface. In my lab, I use high-pressure and high-temperature equipment to simulate melting processes. I also measure the chemical fingerprints of rocks and lavas to put together a picture of the composition of Earth’s deep interior – a place we cannot observe directly.
My current research falls into two broad areas of interest: 1) To what degree is Earth’s upper mantle a physical mixture of different kinds of rocks (i.e., peridotite and eclogites/pyroxenites recycled from Earth’s surface) and does this heterogeneity explain the global variations observed in lava chemistry? 2) What are the oxidation states of the most important redox-sensitive elements, Fe, C, and S, in Earth’s interior and how do their redox states influence magma generation and the stability of minerals that host these elements?