Luc's research focuses on large scale, tectonic questions, specifically the dynamic structural and geodynamical evolution of continental and oceanic rifts as well as collisional environments. To address these questions, he has used and developed numerical techniques to model tectonic processes on crustal and lithospheric scales. Luc uses a variety of geophysical and geological data to constrain and quantify tectonic processes. These different studies led to the development of parametrizations to understand such phenomena as the localization of deformation and the initiation of subduction.

Areas of Expertise

Tectonics; the structural and geodynamical evolution of continental and oceanic rifts, as well as collisional environments; numerical techniques to model tectonic processes on crustal and lithospheric scales; deformation; subduction


Graduate Students

Emily Hernandez Goldstein, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Committee Member)
I am currently pursuing my PhD under the supervision of Daniel Stockli. My research combines geochemistry, mineralogy and plate tectonics to better understand how minerals form, water-rock interactions, and the thermal and temporal evolution of ocean-continent transitions. I am developing a method that uses magnetite to date serpentinites in order to better understand how continents break up to form oceans. My research interests broadly involve novel geo/thermochronology techniques with applications to tectonics.

Joshua K Davis, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Supervisor)
My research focuses on deciphering the break-up history of East India and East Antarctica. The project involves developing a holistic plate model for the breakup of East Gondwana (Antarctica, Australia, India, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka) and the subsequent seafloor spreading in the Mesozoic Indian Ocean. Then, coupling recent geophysical data from the margins with our plate model, I can develop a conceptualized tectonic model for the breakup of India and Antarctica. Via 3D numerical modeling we will test the plausibility of our tectonic model. Ultimately this work will seek to investigate the controls on margin development and segmentation during rifting and provide insight into the role that volcanism plays in the subsequent margin morphology.

Nikki M Seymour, M.S., expected 2015 (Committee Member)
I am a field geologist whose particular interests are structural geology and tectonics. My research uses geo- and thermochronology to understand the timing and thermal structure of continental rifting at magma-poor margins to answer an outstanding question in plate tectonics -- How do you break a continent?

Guangliang Wu, Ph.D., expected 2015 (Supervisor)
My research focuses on tectonics, geodynamics and structural geology coupling numerical simulations and geological/geophysical data. I am a geologist and geophysicist. I observe, record, and analyze geological and geophysical phenomena to single out the most important controlling factors. Using these information I develop conceptual models. Then I do forward and inverse geodynamics modeling constrained by the geological and geophysical data to gain insight into geological/geophysical problems, and to understand how they evolve through geological time. I am currently finishing a project on the continental extension in orogenic belts that leads to most extensional structures on the Earth, such as rift basins, continental margins, core complexes, and detachment faults. Now I am working on the tectonic evolution of South China Sea, using both numerical simulations and seismic data, and on the rheology and evolution of shear zone at a variety of space and time scale.