- Earthquake physics, focus on subduction zones and intraplate faults
- Induced seismicity
- Earthquake tomography, location and waveform cross-correlation techniques
- Seismogenic zone processes and fault complexity
- Volcano seismology
My research focuses on improving scientific and societal understanding of natural hazards and working toward better mitigation strategies and preparedness. My students and I conduct studies relevant to earthquake, tsunami and volcanic hazards. My goal is to translate the societal importance of understanding the earth and my enthusiasm for geophysics to my communities through active, innovative and informative courses, lectures and public speaking engagements, and contributions to the scientific literature.
I am captivated by the little earthquakes few people feel – they hold the key to understanding how the largest earthquakes initiate and grow, how fluids interact with faults over geologic and human time scales to trigger events small and large, and how magma and stress change at volcanoes. Earthquakes are complex and fascinating and have intersected with and changed human history in obvious and imperceptible ways. Our lab collects many of my own seismic datasets through the operation of targeted, research-focused seismic networks, but we also utilize and contribute to the large international public archive of seismic data. Ultimately, the earthquake seismology lab at SMU provides scientific information through both archived raw data and research products that allow for improved hazard and risk assessment, and we strive to effectively communicate those results to stakeholders. I consider the public that lives with geohazards, natural or human-caused, to be my most important audience.