Join the surface processes lab!

Interested in joining The surface processes group?

We are not actively recruiting at this time.

However, we are always interested in hearing from highly motivated students with multidisciplinary interests in surface processes and systems, who possess or are committed to developing excellent quantitative, computational and writing skills, and who thrive in both collaborative and independent work environments. We are also dedicated to promoting a diverse and inclusive culture in both our research group and the broader STEM community. Students with non-traditional or underrepresented backgrounds and/or a passion for advancing equity and accessibility in STEM are therefore always especially encouraged to reach out.

I am happy to discuss research ideas on a broad range of topics with interested students and postdocs. Some possible project ideas include: 

  • Combining experimental field data (e.g.: throwing rocks down hills) with numerical modeling, high resolution topographic analysis, and theory development to refine our understanding of the statistical representations and underlying physics of long distance or “nonlocal” particle motion and interactions with topographic roughness.
  • Using high resolution topographic data (i.e., TLS and/or photogrammetric data) to examine the spectral characteristics and evolution of surfaces under different governing processes.
  • Examining the relative contributions and timescales of modern post-fire sediment transport processes and landscape response using short-lived radionuclides (e.g., Be-7 and Cs-137).
  • Developing the use of seismic, acoustic and other geophysical techniques to study stochastic or ‘patchy’ geomorphic processes (e.g., rock fall, dry ravel, bioturbation by trees or animals) and/or to measure soil characteristics relevant to slope stability and sediment transport (e.g., root density, soil saturation and cohesion).
  • Characterizing seismic wave attenuation properties at geomorphically active field settings and over individual sediment transport or mass movement events to assess site evolution.
The priority deadline to compete for university or department support for Fall 2021 admission is December 15. Applications may be submitted to degree programs through the Geology and Geological Engineering department, the Geophysics department, or the Hydrology program. Additional information can be found at



Read up here for some tips about reaching out to potential advisors. When contacting me, please include an academic CV or resume, a brief description of your research interests and any previous experience, why you plan to pursue a graduate degree and why you think our lab is a good fit for your academic, professional and personal goals.



While funding support will be offered to admitted students, I strongly encourage all prospective students to pursue the many funding opportunities available to them, including (but certainly not limited to) those listed on our News, Outreach & Resources page.