My current research (with Andy Smye and Maureen Feineman) focuses on mass transfer in subduction zones, with a particular focus on subducted metasediments and metabasalts of the W. Alps. I use LA-ICPMS, EPMA, and Raman spectroscopy as tools to interrogate the petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology of these rocks, with the aim of uncovering precise P-T-t histories of distinct packages, understanding how metamorphism and metasomatism interact during subduction, and determining how trace-element and major-element records of metamorphic reactions complement each other. Other on-going research includes i) understanding continental subduction in the Western Gneiss Region, Norway; ii) investigating the timing and physical conditions of subduction initiation beneath the Semail Ophiolite, Oman; iii) evaluating geochemical proxies for felsic crust in early Earth sediments; and iv) “petrochronology” – tying isotopic dates to a geochemical or petrological process with complementary trace-element, isotopic, and textural information – with a specific focus on titanite
Now at The Field Museum, Chicago
Spencer is the TIMS laboratory manager and has research interests focused on the metamorphic evolution of high-P low-T rocks. At Penn State, he established high-precision Rb-Sr and completed a project on the timing and conditions of metamorphism of the Voltri eclogites, Western Alps.
I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. with honors in 2017. My undergraduate research involved detailed study of the footwall the Northern Snake Range Decollement in Hendry’s Creek, east-central Nevada using thermobarometric and microstructural analyses. In my graduate research, I am primarily interested in using geochemistry and geochronology to better understand large scale tectonic processes. My Master's thesis seeks to test competing tectonic models for emplacement of metasediments in the lower crust by constraining the prograde pressure temperature evolution of the Ivrea-Verbano Zone.
I completed my B.S. at Penn State and am staying here to pursue a Master’s. I’m really excited about lots of different geologic questions, but particularly interested in what small-scale petrologic observations tell us about tectonic-scale processes. My current projects are broadly motivated by trying to understand the thermal evolution of the lithosphere in ancient and active rift zones, and what that evolution tells us about the underlying mechanisms (e.g. mantle melting) for continental breakup. To this end, I’m working on diffusion speedometry of spinels from the Lanzo Peridotite massif to understand the P-T path of the mantle as it was exhumed during continental rifting. However, the bulk of my Master’s thesis will be focused on using xenoliths from the Rio Grande Rift to understand recent metamorphism in metapelites related to rift-driven lithospheric thinning.
I'm currently a senior Earth Sciences B.S. student at Penn State and I'm interested in the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks. My undergraduate research is centered on characterizing the U-Pb systematics and trace element concentrations in titanite in subducted metasediments from the Western Alps.
Megan is completing a senior thesis based on using detrital zircon age spectra to resolve between competing models for formation of the lower crust.
My undergraduate research focuses on a petrological investigation of lower crustal xenoliths from the Rio Grand rift in order to understand the influence of rifting on lower crustal metamorphic evolution. I'm also getting a general sense of the mineralogy of lower crustal rocks and working on a pressure temperature modeling to constrain their P-T conditions of formation.