I am a Professor of Earth Sciences at UNC Charlotte. For the 2022-2023 academic year, I am serving as a Fulbright Research Scholar and USIAS Fellow at the University of Strasbourg, France. I may still be reached by my UNC Charlotte phone and email, but Strasbourg is 6 hours ahead of Eastern US Time.
My research interests center on rock fracture, surface processes, soils, weathering and landscape evolution on Earth. I have a particular interest in mechanical weathering and natural rock fracture in the context of surface processes. See this 18 min video for an overview. I study both stress-loading processes like thermal cycling (Eppesetal2016); as well as how the mechanics of subcritical cracking – the type of cracking that likely drives all weathering – translates into measurable weathering (EppesandKeanini2017; Eppesetal2020) and geomorphic phenomena like rock erosion, river incision or exfoliation (e.g. Shobe et al., 2017; Eppes et al., 2018; Collins et al., 2018). I also have a strong interest in the late Quaternary geology of the southern San Juan mountains and Piedmont of the southeastern United States. My students and I use soils to map and date surficial deposits like alluvial fans and terraces; and put the results in the context of climate change on Earth.
My current research involves the landscapes of Antarctica and California USA, the Piedmont of South and North Carolina, the Blue Ridge of Virginia, granite domes of California and the Eastern United States and the alpine environments of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado (see below). I am increasingly collaborating with Artists to better communicate my work to the public and other scientists. Marek Ranis is a visual artist and professor at UNC Charlotte whose multimedia works bring attention to climate change. Here is a video entitled ‘Subcritical’ of his from our collaboration together. Melissa Riker, Kinesis Project Dance Theater, NYC, has been collaborating with me – as well as Opera on Tap and others on “Capacity, or the work of crackling”.
I am always looking for good students for any of these graduate degree programs: MS in Earth Sciences; PhD in Geography; and PhD in INES – a joint program with Civil Engineering. TA positions are currently available.
UNC Charlotte has annual openings for Postdoctoral Researchers (2 year appointment – Application Deadline Nov 1, 2022) for U.S. Citizen applicants from women and other underrepresented groups. I would love to have you come work with me through this program!
If you are interested in working with me as a student or post-doc, please email or call.
Photo right: Students collecting weathering data for outcrops in Shenandoah National Park, VA. Cosmogenic Radionuclide analyses by Dr. Gregory S. Hancock at William and Mary College provide erosion rates for different rock types in the field area. Our work seeks to understand how the fracture mechanics properties of these rocks influence their erosion, and thus the long-term landscape evolution of the classic Valley and Ridge landscape of central Virginia. In press in Geology.
Charlotte, NC is home the rest of the time . I spend my free time these days with my kids enjoying my garden.