Geodynamics, Volcanism, Mud Volcanism, Planetary Science
My group works on problems in geodynamics, volcanic processes, and planetary geology/geophysics. Our current projects focus on the development of large-scale structure in the mantle, relationships between geochemistry of volcanic rocks and mantle structure, the eruption processes within volcanoes, geysers, and mud volcanoes, and controls on eruptions on Enceladus.
Brief Academic Bio
I was born in Berkeley, CA and lived there until just after the Loma Prieta Earthquake which had a powerful and lasting impression on me. My family relocated to Minnesota and I went through the Saint Paul public schools, eventually ending up at St Paul Central High School. I am very thankful for the state of Minnesota's post-secondary enrollment option, which allowed me to take accelerated mathematics classes in high school through the UMTYMP program. Attracted to math and science as well as classical music, I attended Oberlin College and Conservatory, where I randomly took an introductory geology course taught by Bruce Simonson because the Biology department had a categorical ban on freshmen taking Cellular and Molecular Biology, which they used as a "weed-out course". I was hooked, and became especially interested in computational approaches to problems in geophysics. I worked with Dave Yuen for several summers through the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute's REU as well as the University of Minnesota's Geology and Geophysics REU, which introduced me to geodynamic modeling, high performance computing, immersive visualization, and habushu. I was also very fortunate to assist Bruce Simonson for a couple of field seasons in South Africa during 2005-2006, where we were hunting for the distal impact ejecta associated with the Vredefort structure. Bruce is one of the most voracious readers that I know and was always lending me books. One of them was Europa: The Ocean Moon by Rick Greenberg. This book sparked my interest in the geology and geodynamics of icy moons and was part of what led me to apply to graduate school in Earth and Planetary Science. I went to Berkeley to work with Michael Manga, excited to work on problems related to Europa. After finishing my PhD, I went on to work on global-scale mantle dynamics with Shijie Zhong at University of Colorado, Boulder as a postdoc. My first faculty position was at the geology department at Portland State University (2014-2017) and I've been at UC Davis since 2017. In my free time, I enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking in the Sierra and along the California Coast.
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