I am the W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry and the chair of the Department of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech. I have conducted research on a range of problems involving noble gas geochemistry during my career. I am currently a Participating Scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory mission.
My background is in Martian geochemistry and I am working on both radiogenic and stable isotope data coming back from the SAM instrument on the Curiosity rover. I also work on Mars analogue environments on Earth, looking at relative age relationships in weathered arid environments and examining potential age dating applications in planetary settings.
My research is in helium geochronology of iron-oxides. I'm combining measurements of (U-Th)/He formation age and cosmogenic 3He to study goethite pisoliths of the Bohnerz Formation in Germany and Switzerland. I'm also working on extending these techniques to fine-grained iron-oxides in soils and paleosols. More information is available on my research website.
I study the interaction of climate and tectonics over geologic timescales using helium and neon thermochronometry and stable oxygen isotopes of iron oxides. My work includes applying 4He/3He thermochrometry, and (U/Th)-He and (U/Th)-Ne chronometers in hematite; the development of ‘intracrystalline thermometry' in goethite; and studying continent scale climatic changes through traditional stable oxygen isotope measurements and (U/Th)-He ages of goethites.
My research is focused on utilizing heavy noble gases to constrain the origin and early evolution of volatile elements on Earth and other terrestrial planets and the interactions between the (deep) silicate Earth and surface reservoirs. I am also part of a team effort to develop new space instruments in order to shed light on the budget of volatile elements on other planets.