As a student I became fascinated by the ability of geochemical tools to *look* into the otherwise inaccessible Earth's mantle and constrain its heterogeneity and temporal evolution as well as aspects of its convective regimes. Combined with the stunning beauty of volcanoes, which provide such *windows* into the Earth's interior, mantle geochemistry became my passion. In an attempt to understand the present and past geology of the mantle, I integrate a wide range of analytical techniques (major and trace elements, Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os isotopic compositions and noble gases) to quantify geochemical processes wherever possible. My present research focuses on the following questions: (i) Constraints on the age and precursor materials of plume sources, (ii) Processes of plume-lithosphere interaction, identification of deep mantle plume components, and the composition of old oceanic lithospheric mantle, (iii) The significance of detached continental lithosphere in the source regions of oceanic basalts and processes of detachment, (iv) Processes of element transport from subducting slabs to the sub-arc mantle, (v) The subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a chemical layer and its role in volcanism, and (vi) The origin of primordial 3He in oceanic basalts and its implications for mantle dynamics.
Some of my current projects include:
- Dynamic and geochemical evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica. Cathleen Doherty's graduate research project.
- The role of magmatism during early stage rifting - a multidisciplinary, multinational study in the southern part of the East African Rift. Gary Mesko's graduate research project.
- Plate tectonic and geochemical evolution of the young Walvis Ridge and implications for African plate motion modeling, plume zonation and sources related to the African large low shear wave velocity province. Cruise website.
- Evolution of the Galapagos mantle plume.