Examining Volcanic Magmas and Planetary Interiors
Ben joined EPS in 2021 after spending 5 years at CUNY City as an Assistant Professor. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, and he received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ben’s research relates the chemistry, petrology, and physical evolution of magmas to the environmental consequences of magmatism. A central question driving his research is how volatile release from magmas relates to the life cycle of volcanoes and drives major changes in climate and habitability. To address this question, Ben employs a range of tools, including fieldwork, planetary datasets, laboratory analyses such as Raman, SIMS and NanoSIMS analyses of melt inclusions, and climate modeling.
Ben’s focus on links between planetary interiors and surface climate evolution creates exciting opportunities for connections across the interdisciplinary research happening in the department, from planetary science to paleoclimate. New Jersey was once home to volcanic eruptions on an enormous scale, during emplacement of the 201 million year old Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, which may have caused one of the greatest mass extinctions of the past half-billion years. Look out for future field trips and opportunities for undergraduate research exploring the world-class volcanic geology all around us.