In a general sense, my research is focused on the evolution of mountain belts, from the initial phase of tectonic convergence and crustal uplift to their destruction during extensional and erosional processes. I have used the Appalachian, from North Carolina to Massachusetts, as a natural laboratory to study the physical, chemical, and temporal processes that accompany tectonic orogenesis, from the microscopic scale of individual mineral grains to the crustal scale of tectonic plates. In order to fully understand these process and the multi-scale interactions, it's necessary to integrate a variety of research tools, including bedrock mapping, structural analyses including estimating strain and vorticity, evaluation of microstructures, petrology of mineral assemblages, and a variety of geochronological techniques.
Currently, I'm working on a post-doctoral research project with Dr. David Moecher, two graduate students (James McCulla and Carlene Gilewski), and two local high school students (Jared Young and Kyle Draper) aimed at understanding oblique convergence in the middle to deep crust. This project will attempt to constrain how the thermobarometric conditions, strain, and kinematics progressed with time during deformation.