Caroline is working on a cylindrical instrument in the lab.

What We Do

We address fundamental research questions that underpin geohazards, Earth resources, and the carbon cycle, through learning about our planet’s crust and the processes that shape its surface and climate. Our research combines field measurements, lab analysis, and computer modeling to understand the Earth.

Why do rocks and fluids matter?

Earthquake nucleation and recurrence, the entrapment of carbon dioxide, submarine landslidespermafrost melting and energy production are all influenced by the interaction of fluids and rocks.

Join Our Team!

Explore our opportunities for students, postdocs and research collaborators.

Who We Are

Principal Investigators

Got questions or want to know more? Email our faculty Peter Flemings or Demian Saffer and start a conversation today.

Peter Flemings

Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences Research Scientist, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics Leonidas T. Barrow Centennial Chair in Mineral Resources

Demian Saffer

Director, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences Scott Petty Jr. Endowed Chair for the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics

Scientist Spotlight

We are a multidisciplinary team of expeditionary scientistslaboratory experimentalistsgeotechnical engineerscomputational geoscientists and students.

Alexey Portnov

Research Associate. Uses seismic data to locate and characterize methane hydrate deposits. Studies the correlation between hydrate evolution and underwater landslide cycles.

Addison Savage

Graduate Research Assistant. Conducts microbiology experiments on sediments from Earth’s deep biosphere. Studies the lifecycle of microbes and the extreme conditions where they live.

Tanner Mills

Postdoctoctoral Fellow. Multidisciplinary geoscientist investigating thawing permafrost soils in Alaska and the biogeochemistry of methane hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kaitlyn Schaible

Graduate Research Assistant. Former civil engineer now applying rock mechanics experiments to models of earthquake fault zones. Stress-tests rocks to measure subsurface conditions at major earthquake faults.

Featured Research Projects

Earthquakes and Fault Zones

Our lab directs research to investigate the processes and mechanics of fault zones and the earthquakes they generate. Our latest center-piece is the UT Earthquake…

Read More

Pressure and Stress in the Earth

Pore pressure, stress, and deformation are coupled. Their interaction controls earthquakes, submarine landslides, and the morphology of continental margins. We explore the coupling between rock…

Read More

Exploring Methane Hydrates

5-22% of Earth’s global organic carbon is trapped in gas hydrate, an ice-like substance composed largely of methane and water. Most of this massive carbon…

Read More