education, research & outreach in the Earth Sciences


My fundamental question as a scientist is to ask, how do species evolve?  To address this, I study rift valleys and examine their geology to contextualize patterns of adaptation and ecosystem change.  As these tectonic structures are deep traps with predictable geometry, they provide some of the only spatially finite records of long-term environmental conditions and biotic response for continental settings.  Most of my fieldwork has been in the Turkana Basin of Kenya, an important archeological and fossil site with a rich record of terrestrial ecosystem evolution spanning 4.0-0.8 Ma.  More recently, I have begun to conduct paleoclimate and chronostratigraphic research on dinosaur-bearing sediments of North America.