Our graduate students have numerous opportunities to participate in faculty-sponsored research. Talk with the appropriate faculty members or the director of graduate studies about these and other projects in the subfields listed below.
Areas of research
- Atmospheric Sciences
- Theoretical studies of hurricane dynamics and rapid intensification
- Quantifying the accuracy of hurricane intensity forecasts
- Global tropical cyclone climatology and projection
- Climate engineering using stratospheric sulfate aerosols
- Reduced order modeling of the climate system
- High latitude climate teleconnections
- Uncertainty quantification for wind energy
- Applying engineering techniques, such as control theory, system identification, and linear systems theory, to climate modeling
- Understanding what controls weather and climate phenomena that impact human and natural systems. He and his group specialize in utilizing a combination of numerical models, novel data analysis techniques, and fundamental theory to form and test hypotheses about what controls the physical characteristics and occurrence of weather patterns: from fog to extremes.
- What causes characteristics of different weather types to vary from year to year?
- How well do different modeling approaches simulate different weather types?
- How will anthropogenic climate change affect specific weather types?
- Regional impacts of atmospheric dynamical change
- The changing width of the tropical overturning circulation
- The role of clouds in extreme climate events
- Sea ice loss and large scale circulation change
- Molecular and isotopic compositions of organic matter in contemporary and ancient sediments
- Biogeochemical proxies to elucidate paleoclimates and paleoenvironments
- Evolution developments in biosynthetic pathways
- Transformation of sedimentary organic matter associated with microbial processes and diagenetic alteration
- Formation of source rocks and factors controlling petroleum and gas generation
My research interests focus on non-traditional stable isotope systems, particularly redox sensitive elements. I combine field-based observations with quantitative analytical techniques to understand elemental behavior at a range of scales. My current research centers on non-traditional stable isotopes during subduction, ore formation, and eventual uptake by plants.
- Stable isotope ratios in organic matter, both fossil and modern
- Geochemical, isotopic and petrographic responses to thermal maturation of source rocks
- Low-temperature catalytic generation of hydrocarbons from source rocks
- Biogeochemistry and paleolimnology of Vietnamese maar sediment
- Greenhouse gas emissions from abandoned gas/oil wells in Indiana
- Natural geological seepage of shale gas through rock fractures into the atmosphere
- Radioactive geohazard in soil-built homes in developing countries
- Economic Geology
- Study of magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits worldwide
- Geobiology, Geoanthropology, Geoarcheology
- Vertebrate paleontology, functional morphology, phylogenetics
- Quantitative paleobiology, including geometric morphometrics
- Earth systems, evolution, and extinction
- Invertebrate paleontology
- Evolutionary paleoecology
- Paleoecology of rudist bivalve reefs in the Caribbean
- Biology and environmental analyses of coral reefs
- Pleistocene stratigraphy and depositional environments, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
- Paleoanthropology and taphonomical processes of African ecosystems
- Zooarchaeological and morphological analysis of surface bone modification
- Crocodylians, predator-prey interaction and implications to paleoenvironmental reconstructions
- Morphological analysis of African hominin fossils from Olduvai Gorge site in Tanzania
- Field geology and Quaternary research of East African Rift System
- Field archaeology and excavations in Tanzania
Edward Herrmann is Executive Director of the Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Bloomington, Indiana, and a faculty member in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department. Ed is a geoarchaeologist who uses methods and theories developed in the geosciences to study archaeological questions. His training and research is multidisciplinary in nature and straddles the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history, geology, and earth science.
- Geophysics and Tectonics
- Seismotectonics and earthquake hazards in the U.S. Midcontinent
- Hazards associated with earthquake-induced landslides
- Multi-hazard risk assessment for Indiana
- Geoscience and public policy
- Geodetic data analysis of earthquake potential in the Western U.S.
- Evolution of fault-related folds through numerical simulation and comparison with geologic data
- Numerical modeling of subduction zone earthquake cycles
- Hydro/Environmental Geology
- Experimental measurements of geochemical reaction rates
- Geochemical modeling of water-rock interactions
- Hydrological modeling and evaluation of water resources sustainability
- Applying data science and web tools to geochemical modeling
- Study of facies and depositional setting of ancient shale successions
- Flume studies of shale depositional processes
- Petrographic study of shale fabrics and their depositional implications
- Outcrop and core studies of ancient shale successions
- Rover based evaluation of ancient Martian surface environments
- Measuring morphological change in rivers, deltas, and coastlines
- Numerical modeling of river and coastal processes
- Stratigraphic interpretation in modern and ancient depositional environments
- Field measurements of fluid flow and sediment transport
- Sedimentation processes on rivers, floodplains, levees and coastlines
Dr. Stevens Goddard combines fieldwork with analytical techniques such as thermochronology and geochronology to understand the timing and rates of Earth processes over geologic time. As a sedimentologist, she investigates these questions from a sedimentary basin’s perspective, using information preserved in eroded material to interpret the geologic evolution of source areas.
- Surficial Geology and Geomorphology
- Controls of rock strength and sediment transport on bedrock river morphology
- Interaction of climate and topography during active mountain building
- Influences of landslides on river dynamics in seismically active regions Channel morphology and erosion rates in steep landscapes
- Integrating field and geochemical data with state-of-the-art numerical models to approach novel questions in geomorphology
- Mineralogy and Clay Mineralogy
Graduate research opportunities
Students interested in mineralogical research of any kind, particularly clay and zeolite mineralogy, may apply for M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Graduate student opportunities are often available in research projects that provide student fee remission and research assistantships. In addition, the Grassmann Fellowship is periodically available for exceptional students working towards their Ph.D. degree. Post-doctoral positions are also often available. Please contact any of the listed faculty for more information.
For information concerning the Grassman Fellowship contact Doug Edmonds.
Mineralogy of the Martian surface
Thermal analysis laboratory, scanning electron microscope lab, CheMin
X-ray powder diffraction under non-ambient conditions, Rietveld refinement
Scanning electron microscopy, light microscopy
Coal petrography lab with reflected light microscopes equipped with photometry systems and fluorescence attachments; standard photographic camera and digital camera with image analysis software
Mineralogy of Saline-Alkaline Lakes, Zeolite Mineralogy
Bruker X-ray diffractometers, Scanning electron microscope, electron microprobe
Minerals, Ore Deposits, and Applicable Isotopes
- IU Paleontology Collection
Graduate students and faculty are involved in specific research projects that involve coral species extinction, paleoecology of Cretaceous faunas, reef ecosystem evolution and the relation of reefs to tropical paleoclimatology and paleoceanography, evolution and paleocommunity dynamics in mammalian carnivores and ungulates, Pleistocene mammal faunas, dinosaur diversity, climatic factors in the evolution of snakes, and evolution of the earliest flowering plants.
The Geobiology section houses the IU Paleontology Collection, with more than a quarter million lots of fossil specimens for research and teaching, including more than 1000 taxonomic type specimens.
Students and researchers have access to binocular and S.E.M. microscopes, digital cameras, laser scanners, biogeochemical equipment, and x-ray diffraction facilities. Along with physical access to facilities, the Geobiology group is fortunate to have a wonderful support staff for help in areas such as technology, funding, photography, travel, and much more.