I study the Earth's tectonic history and the ways that stresses affect the lithosphere. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University, where I work with Mark Zoback in the Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group and the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity. I am building a detailed map of the principal stress orientations and relative magnitudes in North America. Using these new data I have estimated the slip potential on mapped faults in major oil- and gas-producing basins, and the impacts of mapped stress variations for unconventional petroleum and enhanced geothermal energy development.
In general, I am interested in continental tectonic history and the tectonic and local factors that give rise to stress variations. To this end, I am also studying the Cenozoic extensional tectonic history of the Basin and Range Province of the western USA, I am working to understand the Cenozoic evolution of the crust and Earth’s surface.
I have background both as a geologist and a geophysicist, with specific expertise in geomechanics, regional and basin-scale stress mapping, induced seismicity research, microseismic data analysis, reflection seismic interpretation, field-based geologic mapping, U-Pb and argon geochronology, the geologic history of the western and southwestern United States, kinematic and micro-kinematic analysis, transmitted-light petrography, and regional tectonics. I am knowledgeable about the geology of several actively producing tight oil and gas basins, including the Permian Basin, Fort Worth Basin (Barnett Shale), and Gulf Coast (Eagle Ford), as well as conventional reservoirs in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
I hold a Masters in Geological and Environmental Sciences, also from Stanford University. For my Masters research, I worked with Elizabeth Miller to map stratigraphic relationships in a syn-extensional volcanic and sedimentary basin in northeast Nevada, USA, supported by geochemical and geochronologic analyses. I have also studied fault zone architecture during my year as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where I worked with Virginia Toy to study the kinematic history and internal structure of a fault zone in the Australian Plate footwall of the Alpine Fault. Following my Masters, I worked for Statoil as an Exploration Geologist, where I conducted regional oil and gas exploration and prospect evaluation in a deepwater setting.