McGill Structural Geology

Jamie Kirkpatrick

Our team


Kelian Dascher-Cousineau

Graduate student (MSc.): Maturation of fault slip surfaces and fault zone architecture.

Undergrad: McGill University

My research investigates the mechanics of fault zone maturation with a specific interest to slip surface topography. Multi-scale surveys of exhumed fault surfaces in the San-Rafael Desert (Utah) with varying cumulative displacement allow us to trace the mechanical evolution of reservoir scale faults. I am particularly interested in using field observations to better constrain mechanical and geophysical problems.


Jamie Kirkpatrick

Assistant Prof., structural geology.

Undergrad: University of Leeds, PhD: University of Glasgow

Interests: faults, earthquakes, pseudotachylytes, slickenlines, rocks.

My research focusses on brittle deformation structures and the mechanical processes that cause them to form. I am especially interested in earthquakes and investigating what happens during an earthquake by studying rocks that felt them in the past.


Caroline Seyler

Graduate student (PhD): Rheology in subduction zones from shallow to deep environments.

Undergrad: Brown University

My research examines frictional stability, mixed rheology deformation, and deformation mechanisms operating in shallow and deep environments along the plate boundary in Cascadia through rock deformation experiments and microstructure analysis. I am interested in the interaction between fault zones, earthquake processes, and the rheology of the crust.

Recent graduates


Katharine Compton

Graduate student (MSc.): Fluid-assisted shear failure (tectonic tremor) in ductile shear zones.

Undergrad: Furman University

My research investigates the mechanics behind shear failure (tectonic tremor) within the ductile regime of a transpressional shear zone in east-central Sierra Nevada. The project includes a stable isotope geochemistry collaboration with scientists from CSULB and USC. I am also interested metamorphic petrology and furthering my understanding of soft-sediment deformation in basins as it applies to petroleum geology.


Tucker Keren

Graduate student (MSc.): Unlocking friction from measurements of the Japan Trench subduction fault damage zone.

Undergrad: Hamilton College

My research investigates the influence of fault friction on damage zone characteristics in the Japan Trench subduction zone. I am also interested in applications to petroleum geology such as reservoir geomechanics, fault seals, and induced seismicity.

See some results from Tucker's research here


Kate Shervais

Graduate student (MSc.): Fault geometry, wear and re-roughening processes on a seismogenic fault.

Undergrad: Wesleyan University

My thesis is on the evolution of fault geometry with increasing displacement - how the surface smooths and re-roughens as a natural consequence of slip. I'm investigating a single fault in the Peninsular Ranges of Southern California to find field evidence of these wear processes and use those observations to infer how this fault's geometry has evolved with time.