I am a geologist with interests in surface Earth history. I use stratigraphy and geochemistry to address questions about the co-evolution of life and Earth's surface environments in deep time. Most of the rocks I study are carbonates, and I focus on early Paleozoic and Neoproterozoic time. I'm especially interested in 1) the end-Ordovician mass extinction and Ordovician/Silurian icehouse, 2) carbon and sulfur cycling in deep time, 3) effects of diagenesis on stable isotope ratios of C, O, S, Ca, and Mg, 4) the use of sedimentary Hg as a proxy for volcanic activity, and 5) the origin and geochemistry of dolomite.
My field work has recently focused on sedimentary rocks in the Great Basin (Nevada, Utah) and the Bighorn Mountains. Upcoming projects include field work on coastal California as well as analyzing deep sea sediment cores. Past field work has included the Canadian Arctic, Mongolia, Italy, Atlantic Canada, and the Rocky Mountains.
I maintain a geochemistry laboratory with equipment for processing geological samples for a wide variety of geochemical analyses, including stable isotopes of C, S, Ca, and Mg, and major and trace element geochemistry. My lab also houses a mass spectrometer for analysis of carbon isotope ratios in carbon dioxide and methane.
I have been at Amherst College since 2011, where I have the privilege of working with extremely talented undergraduates in the classroom, in the field, and in the laboratory. I involve students in my scholarship in order to train the next generation of geoscience researchers, and to provide our students with opportunities for critical thought and construction of knowledge.