I'm currently working on a project where I'm determining the age of formation of two impact structures, Ames Astrobleme in Oklahoma and Slate Islands in Ontario Canada. It is thought that both of these were formed during the mid-Ordovician. If true, this means they would be part of the Ordovician Meteor Event. The OME was a drastic increase in the amount of meteors hitting the Earth from roughly 470 Ma to 450 MA, and would have left the surface of the Earth pockmarked with craters. Craters or other evidence has been previously found in Sweden, China and Oman, but the North American craters have never been properly dated.
I'll be exploring new ways to date the materials created by the impacts. Previous studies have focused on glass formed during the impact itself, but this glass is easily altered, destroying the chronological evidence. I'll be dating pre-existing minerals (K-feldspar and zircon) which were metamorphosed during the impact. These minerals are found in debris clasts which were previously part of the target rocks, but were ejected and emplaced into the crater.. The residual heat from the impact should be sufficient to reset the chronometers in the minerals, while the solid nature of the clasts should protect them from later alteration.
I also really like teaching, and apart from being a TA I am involved with a few community scientific events.
Current Research Projects
Geochronology of Proposed Ordovician Meteorite Events in North America