I hope to contribute to our understanding of the Earth system using two key methodologies: high-precision geochronology and high-performance computing.
Time is the fundamental independent variable of the natural sciences — the progress of which cannot be impeded or reversed — and as such has a unique ability to unite disparate fields of Earth science by quantifying rates, establishing temporal correlations, and testing causal links. In particular, high temporal precision geochronology is crucial to our understanding of processes ranging from mass extinctions to magmatic differentiation. At present, I am working on a range of projects in this area, including a collaborative project to redetermine several key U isotope decay constants at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Computation and modeling are naturally complementary to a time-centered philosophy of Earth science in that they allow us to: (1) elucidate the long-term temporal evolution of Earth system variables that may be obscured by crustal heterogeneity, and (2) simulate the operation of Earth system processes in the inaccessible past and over vast geologic timescales. A range of open questions in solid-earth geochemistry are well-suited to high-performance computation, featuring inherent parallel structure at the sample level as well as a massive parameter space to explore. From inversion for the conditions of magmatic differentiation to comprehensive forward modeling of crustal geochemical evolution, many key problems in the solid Earth sciences are well-suited to hierarchical parallelization, allowing in principle for efficient scaling with minimal communication requirements.