Senior Lecturer in Sedimentology, Stratigraphy & Palaeontology, James Cook University

My primary research focuses on reconstructing the sedimentary and tectonic histories of late Mesozoic and early Tertiary continental basins. The two areas of interest for me include the Kaiparowits Basin in western North America, the Lufeng Basin in China, and a suite of sedimentary basins in Gondwana, including the Taoudeni and Iullemmeden basins (Mali), the Rukwa Rift Basin (Tanzania), the Congo Basin (DRC), the Mana Pools & Cabora Bassa basins (Zimbabwe), Algoa Basin (South Africa) and the Eromanga Basin (Australia), that provide important records of supercontinent disassembly. My research involves facies, architectural element, provenance (sandstone petrography and detrital zircon geochronology), and palaeocurrent analysis, along with sequence stratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, and lithostratigraphy to interpret and reconstruct tectonic and depositional histories. Moreover, I work in close collaboration with palaeontologists and palaeobotanists to provide geologic context to the floras and faunas preserved within these basins. This holistic basin analysis approach is critical to testing a variety of hypotheses related to past environments and climates, drainage histories, palaeobiogeography, and extinction and evolution of vertebrate and plant communities at the close of the Mesozoic and beginning of the Cenozoic in Gondwana and western North America.

Other research interests include: 1) sedimentology, ichnology and taphonomy of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic systems in the Eastern Cape of South Africa (Alexandria Fm) and the Great Barrier Reef System in Northern Queensland; 2) vertebrate taphonomy—particularly in relation to basin-scale controls on the preservation and distribution of widespread vertebrate fossil accumulations in the sedimentary record; and 3) continental ichnology,including experimental investigation of the role of insects in bioerosion and production of borings in vertebrate bones and wood.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer, James Cook University

Education

  • 2005 
    PhD, University of Utah