My current research is aimed at understanding the processes that occur within magma chambers and how these processes lead to the vast array of igneous rock compositions found in continental settings. How important is convection in granitic magmas? Are crystals effectively separated from magmas leading to fractional crystallization? Are mantle components important to granite petrogenesis? Detailed fieldwork is a great starting point that allows one to pose specific questions concerning granite petrogenesis that can be tested via careful laboratory studies. Much of my work deals with granitoids from the coastal Maine magmatic province and the high-grade metamorphic terrane of western Maine, though research on other granitoids is planned.
An example of these studies is the detail study of the Deer Isle Intrusive complex, where we have attempted to understand the textural development of the various intrusive facies to a model integrating new magma inputs, thermal changes, an the geochemical evolution of the magma system. In this and other studies we have found that the development of mineral textures, in particular chemical zoning in plagioclase, potassium feldspar (rapakivi) and apatite to be most useful.
We have excellent labs for sample preparation and petrography. We have modern analytical facilities including an electron microprobe analyzer, scanning electron microscope and x-ray diffraction. Whole-rock analysis is readily available at the nearby University of Maine-Farmington and working relationships can be arrangement to collect for analysis of heavy isotopes as needed.
I welcome new graduate students at the PhD or Ms level. Interested students should feel free to contact me.