Our group’s research interests include: 1) investigating the hypothesis of tropical alpine glaciation during the late Paleozoic, and allied topics related to preservation of paleorelief, 2) assessing the dustiness of the late Paleozoic atmosphere and associated atmospheric and biotic effects of this dust, 3) tracing provenance of Pangaean dust deposits and implications for climatic and tectonic reconstructions, 4) the origin of the silt that forms loess deposits (on Earth and Mars), and 5) the character of weathering in glacial systems, and impacts on carbon cycling. My students typically conduct thesis or dissertation research that involves both field and lab components. You can read more, including examples of past graduate-student projects, on this website

Learn more about specific projects below:



Potential MS and PhD students interested in studying at the University of Oklahoma in sedimentary geology with emphasis on deep-time paleoclimatic and/or tectonic reconstructions should contact me about potential opportunities and funding.

Graduate school applications are due in early January (January 10) annually for fall-semester admissions. In general, a winter application for fall admission maximizes chances for financial aid. For more information, including admissions requirements, see the School of Geology and Geophysics website.



  • Mehrdad Sardar Abadi, Post-Doctoral Researcher in-progress, Investigations of atmospheric dust from the Pennsylvanian-Permian of northeastern Gondwana (Iran).
  • Young Ji Joo, Post-Doctoral Researcher 2013-2016, Investigations of physical and chemical weathering in fluvial systems of contrasting climatic regions.
  • Steve Adams, M.S. in progress, Evaluating desert silt production using field, experimental, and remote-sensing methods.
  • Andrew Oordt, M.S. in progress, Atmospheric dust from the Carboniferous Wordiekammen carbonate platform, Spitsbergen.
  • Curtis Smith, M.S. 2016, SEM microtextural analysis as a paleoclimate tool for fluvial deposits: A modern test. Submitted to Geological Society of America Bulletin.
  • Carlos Carvajal, M.S. 2016, Atmospheric dust from the Pennsylvanian Copacabana Formation (Bolivia): A high-resolution record of paleoclimate and volcanism from northwestern Gondwana. Submitted to Gondwana Research.
  • Xiao Qi, M.S. 2016, An icehouse dust record from the Upper Paleozoic Akiyoshi Limestone (Japan), in preparation for Geological Society of America Bulletin.
  • Lily Pfeifer, M.S., 2014, Detrital zircon geochronology of Upper Carboniferous-Permian strata in the Lodéve Basin, France. Published in Basin Research (2016).
  • Kristen Marra, Ph.D., Physical and chemical weathering in alluvial systems of the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Published in Geomorphology (2014, 2017), and Applied Geochemistry (2015).
  • Leslie Keiser, Ph.D., 2013, Physical and chemical weathering in modern and Permian proximal fluvial systems. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2014, 2015).
  • Tyler Foster, M.S., 2013, Environments and provenance of redbeds of the Dog Creek Shale (Midcontinent): Implications for Middle Permian paleoclimate in western Pangaea. Published in Paleo3.(2014).
  • Thaddeus Eccles, M.S., 2013, Structure of the southwestern Uncompahgre Plateau (western Colorado) near Unaweep Canyon. Maps in review for publication.
  • Elisheva Patterson, M.S. 2011, Fluctuating dust in the Late Paleozoic ice house: records from an oceanic atoll, Akiyoshi, Japan.
  • Alisan Sweet, M.S. 2011, Sedimentologic, geochemical, and detrial zircon data from the Middle Permian El Reno Group of northwest Oklahoma: Implications for paleogeography and wind patterns of western Pangaea. Published in Sedimentary Geology (2013).
  • Dustin Sweet, Ph.D., 2009, Glaciation in equatorial Pangaea: Testing the hypothesis in the Pennsylvanian-Permian Fountain Formation (Colorado). Published in Paleo3 (2008), GSA Bulletin (2010), and Journal of Sedimentary Research (2010).
  • Sohini Sur, Ph.D., 2009, An integrated sedimentological and geochemical study to test the possible links between late Paleozoic climate change, atmospheric dust influx, and primary productivity in the Horseshoe Atoll, west Texas. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2010a, b) and Geology (2015).
  • Kristen Marra, M.S., 2008, Late Cenozoic geomorphic and climatic evolution of the northeastern Colorado Plateau as recorded by Plio-Pleistocene sediment fill in Unaweep Canyon. Published in Geosphere.
  • Alice Stagner, M.S., 2008, Eolian silt in upper Paleozoic carbonates of the Bird Spring Formation (Arrow Canyon, Nevada): Implications for climate-controlled sedimentation. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2010).
  • Kate Moore, M.S., 2007, Late Paleozoic stratigraphic and structural relationships in the proximal Cutler Formation, Paradox Basin, Colorado. Published in The Mountain Geologist (2008) {Best Paper Award].
  • Sara Kaplan, M.S., 2006, Revealing Unaweep Canyon: The late Cenozoic exhumation history of Unaweep Canyon as recorded by gravels in Gateway, Colorado. Published in Geosphere.
  • Sabata Pereira, M.S., 2005, Variations in detrital flux recorded in Upper Pennsylvanian mounds of Horseshoe Atoll, Texas.
  • Katherine Hartig, M.S., 2003, Origin of dolomite in loessitic paleosols of the lower Permian Abo-Tubb unit, northeastern New Mexico.  Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2011).
  • Andrew Moses, M.S., 2003, Loessitic origin, provenance, and paleoclimatic significance of siltstone within the Pennsylvanian-Permian Earp Formation and equivalents, Arizona. Published in Sedimentology (2007).
  • Shane Seals, M.S., 2002, Siliciclastic facies, paleodispersal, sequence stratigraphy, and thickness trends in the late Pennsylvanian western Orogrande basin (New Mexico): Implications for basin paleogeography and subsidence. Published in New Mexico Museum of Natural History Bulletin (2013).
  • Kristy Tramp, M.S., 2000, Integrated sedimentologic, geochemical, and rock magnetic data as a high-resolution record of pedogenesis in the Pennsylvanian Maroon Formation loessite (Colorado). Published in GSA Bulletin (2004).
  • Patrick Doherty, M.S., 2000, Characterization of an exhumed reservoir: A composite phylloid algal mound of the western Orogrande basin, New Mexico. Published in AAPG Bulletin (2002).
  • Jennifer Kessler, M.S., 1999, Depositional and pedogenic evidence for early to middle Permian aridity in western equatorial Pangea. Published in Journal of Sedimentary Research (2001).