My current research emphasis involves quantifying the geological record in order to better understand the processes that govern its formation and the role it has played in shaping the evolution of Earth systems. Specifically, I use macrostratigraphy to test hypotheses that span a range of topics, including the evolution of marine and terrestrial life, biogeochemical cycling and global climate, and rates of rock cycling via crustal uplift and subsidence. I'm lucky to work with a great team consisting of postdoctoral fellows, students, and research staff.
Macrostrat was originally built to test hypotheses for the correlation between the sedimentary rock and fossil records, but it contains all rocks in the upper crust. Its spatially explicit and chronostratigraphically focused architecture serves as a scaffolding for describing the geological record as well as for organizing and linking geological data of all types.
Many geological sample-based data and observations are hard-earned and sometimes irreplaceable. Publications have been and continue to be the primary outlet for a lot of geological research, which makes the task of locating and aggregating data for testing new hypotheses time consuming. We are building a new type of digital library to support machine reading and learning approaches to locating and extracting information from published documents.
Fieldwork is critical to the practice of geoscience generally and to testing many of the hypotheses that emerge from large-scale synthetic analyses of the rock record. Most of our team members are engaged in field work in the areas of stratigraphic paleobiology and sedimentology/stratigraphy.