Welcome to my and my groups research website!
I grew in the sub-Alpine Molasse next to the external Helvetic Thrust sheets outside of Lucerne, Switzerland. I attended ETH Zurich as an undergraduate and worked in the Eastern Alps on orogen-parallel extension (Brenner Fault) for my M.S, before moving the USA in 1995 for my Ph.D. at Stanford University investigating the timing of Basin and Range extension. After a 2-year postdoc at Caltech during the early years of (U-Th)/He dating, I taught at the University of Kansas for a decade as an Assistant and Associate Professor and move to the University of Texas in 2011 as a Full Professor. I am currently the Chevron (Gulf) Centennial Professor in Geology, the Director of the UTChron laboratory, and the incoming DGS Dept. Chair (2021). During my time at KU and UT, I established cutting-edge (U-Th)/He, 4He/3He, and LA-ICP-MS laboratories (UTChron).
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My research focuses on the integrated application of thermochronology and geochronology to tectonic and geological problems to better understand the temporal and thermal aspects of tectonic, petrologic, stratigraphic, and geomorphologic processes. In particular, I am interested in combining structural geology with ge0- and thermochronology to elucidate the spatial and temporal distribution of deformation in intra-continental rifting, orogen-parallel extension, and continental break-up leading (Basin and Range, Red Sea, Alps-Pyrenees, and the Aegean,) as well as collisional tectonics, timing of thrusting, and coupling of fold-and-thrust sheet and foreland basin dynamics (e.g., Sevier, Zagros, Verkhoyansk FTBs).
In addition to the application of geo- and thermochronometry to tectonics, my research group also focuses on both the developement and calibration, and bench marking of novel geochronology, thermochronology, and petrological tools. This includes a special emphasis on development of new He noble thermochronmeters (e.g., monazite, rutile, spinel, magnetite, spinel etc.) and LA-ICP-MS U-Pb and REE methods (e.g., U-Pb depth profiling, U-Pb-He double dating, U-Pb and REE split-stream analysis and 2D mapping, garnet U-Pb dating, etc.).
With the acquisition of a SFT sector-noble gas machine coupled to an extraction line with diode laser and light-bulb furnace for fractional-loss step heating experiments and a dedicated Excimer Analyte G2 Laser for He laser ablation, our research foci also include thermal history recovery from single apatite and zircon grains and cosmogenic 3He dating.
On a personal front, I closely work with my wife, Lisa Stockli, in the UTChron lab and our two kids as my favorite field assistants, while traveling the world. We are running a truly global research program with a plethora of international collaborators/friends and in collaboration with researchers from academia and industry.