I study the deformation of the Earth's lithosphere over a range of length scales from thousands to tens of kilometers. I am especially interested in understanding the mechanisms that produce the continental landscape, especially how landscape is related to the simple forces associated with tectonics and topography.

This research uses many different tools, including numerical simulation, GPS geodesy, seismology and tectonic geomorphology. Working worldwide, I currently have active research projects in the western U.S., Ethiopia, and the Himalaya.

I am interested in the relationship between scientific research and human societies, especially in the context of geologic hazards. The pervasive lack of information transfer from earthquake research to people living in zones of high earthquake hazard has led to hundreds of thousands of fatalities in the past decade, a crisis unlikely to change in the future unless basic earthquake literacy is provided to those at risk.