Our group, in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, consists of Dr. Pamela Burnley, post docs Shirin Kaboli, Ph.D., and Racheal Johnsen, Ph.D., graduateĀ  students Rick Rowland, Nolan Regis and Alex Goya as well as a number of undergraduate students. We are currently looking for additional members to add to our group. We have funding for more graduate students.


Members of our group are engaged in a wide variety of projects. Our primary focus is in high temperature, high pressure experimental rock deformation. We are also working on phase equilibria and transformation kinetics of relevance to the lower crust and upper mantle as well as working on understanding the geologic sources and distribution of natural background radiation.

High Pressure Rock Deformation

We use high-pressure experimentation, in-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy for analysis of samples, as well as numerical modeling. In combination, these research tools allow us to better understand the grain-scale processes that control the large-scale mechanical behavior of Earth’s materials including those exhibited in mantle convection and earthquakes. Currently we are working on quartz and olivine deformation using synchrotron x-ray diffraction, elastic-plastic self-consistent modeling of plastic deformation and finite element modeling of stress and plastic strain distribution in polycrystals during deformation .

Christopher Cline seen through the D-DIA the Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Synchrotron Light Source.