Sedimentology, Carbonate Petrology, & Isotope Geochemistry
My interest in sedimentology originates from a childhood spent on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. My interest in carbonate environments (mainly coral reefs) began on an undergraduate field trip to the Bahamas. My master’s research at the University of South Florida focused on a thermal karst region in Southwestern Romania. I worked in the sinkhole/environmental consulting industry in Florida after my master’s degree, leaving to pursue my PhD. at Mississippi State University. My dissertation focused on Cenozoic island dolostone and karst formation on these rocks.
I joined the Department of Geography and Geology at Sam in the Fall 2013 semester after completing my PhD. My current research focuses on carbonate petrology and diagenesis. Much of this research has focused on young carbonates on Caribbean islands. I teach annual courses (during the winter break) that take students to the islands to perform independent research studies. During these field courses, students select topics for their own research, and I work with the students on the processes of sample collection, sample analysis, and data interpretation. These students often continue these projects by presenting their research at local and regional conferences.
The main focus of most of my research involves island karst processes and early diagenesis on island carbonates. To date, I have participated in over 15 research and mapping expeditions throughout the tropics, including trips to: Barbados, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Mallorca, Quintana Roo, Puerto Rico, and Romania.
During the summer 2015 field season, I expanded my research to include Silurian carbonates from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The goals of this research are to investigate more complex diagenetic histories associated with older carbonates, differentiate and refine the existing stratigraphic framework, and develop a model for karst development on these carbonates. I received a research grant that supported three undergraduate students and funded the majority of the initial stage of this research.