Hangay Mountains, Mongolia
My research aims to describe links between:
  1. stream incision, mass wasting, climate change, and active tectonics,
  2. historic land use and the modern day landscape, and
  3. life and topography.

I investigate these links by integrating numerical modeling, GIS analyses, field techniques (landform mapping, lidar scanning, sample collecting), and lab work (cosmogenic radionuclides, aquatic organism gene flow).

Research lines

Drivers of topographic change

Olympic and Appalachian Mountains, USA
Hangay Mountains, Mongolia

The topographic imprint of climate and tectonics overlaps such that it is difficult to recognize the influence of each. Deconvolving imprints of these drivers can help to explain how mountainous regions evolve, spatial variation of landslides, and how post-orogenic landscapes evolve (Gallen et al., 2011).

Mass wasting in landscape evolution and hazards

Appalachian Mountains, USA

The magnitude of landslides is recognizable through detailed field studies and digital topographic data. Identifying the long term drivers of mass wasting can aid susceptibility assessments (Lyons et al., 2014).

Freshwater mussels in mixed gravel-sand rivers

Atlantic Piedmont, USA

The impact of anthropogenic factors upon freshwater mussel distribution is being explored in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. Sand dominates the majority of streambeds, which is not suitable for mussel habitat. On-going work includes mussel surveys, and grain size sampling and modeling in four streams to assess additional contributors to mussel distribution.

Erosion of streambanks comprised of legacy sediment

Atlantic Piedmont, USA

Bank erosion was quantified along a stream incising into sediment related to historic land use practices (Starek et al., 2013). We monitored the bank during a 19-month period and a field-based experiment to characterize the processes that deliver this sediment to waterways in the Atlantic Piedmont (Lyons et al., 2015).