Noble gas isotopic ratios are one of the few tools we have to study the deep mantle. Finding these rare gases, however, can be difficult. I am developing techniques to better identify noble gas-bearing samples by scanning mineral grains (such as the one pictured here; ~ 3 mm in diameter) with X-ray computed tomography. The black inclusions are spinel.
The rate of phosphorus---a biolimiting nutrient on geologic time scales---delivery to the oceans is linked to tectonic processes. My research suggests that extensive flood basalts that erupted in the Neoproterozoic were a fertile source of phosphorus that could have increased primary productivity in the oceans and destabilized global climate.