Faculty


Photo of Dr. Zuza in the field

Field Director - Dr. Andrew Zuza

I am a structural geologist interested in understanding the evolution of the continents and quantifying continental tectonics. Most of my research is focused on the development of collisional and noncollisional orogens, including the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen and the North American Cordillera. I address issues of continental evolution and tectonics through the use of traditional field-based structural geology methods-such as geologic mapping, balanced cross section construction, seismic data analysis, and petrology-as well as modern analytical techniques, including geo-/thermochronology, analogue modeling, and analyzing satellite images. I am also interested in paleogeographic reconstructions of Proterozoic Earth, including how pieces of Asia and North America fit in the Neoproterozoic supercontinent Rodinia. My research has taken me to some pretty exciting places, with projects in the western US, China/Tibet, India, Mongolia, and South Africa. I am an Assistant Professor in the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at UNR, and have taught several summer field courses across California, Nevada, and Montana.


DesOrmeau

Dr. Joel Des Ormeau

My research interests involve large-scale tectonic processes, the timing of crystallization of igneous and metamorphic minerals, and thermodynamic modeling of P-T conditions experienced by various metamorphic mineral assemblages. I focus on the timing and duration of high-grade metamorphism (i.e., amphibolite-eclogite-facies) and subsequent overprinting during exhumation associated with the world's youngest known ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) terrane in Papua New Guinea. During my dissertation work at the University of Nevada, Reno, I performed fieldwork in remote islands of Papua New Guinea and along the western coast of Norway. Building upon these unique experiences, I have had the pleasure of teaching advanced geologic field mapping at UNR since 2013 as both a teaching assistant and course instructor for the summer field course (GEOL 451). I look forward to continuing as an instructor in such a vital course for geology undergraduates. In addition, I manage the Mackay School of Earth Science and Engineering Microbeam Laboratory. The lab houses two state of the art scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and is fully equipped to produce high-quality thin sections for petrography, high-resolution imaging and chemical analyses, and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis. 


Dr. Koehler points to some stratigraphy

Dr. Rich D. Koehler

Dr. Koehler is an Assistant Professor at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno. His research is focused on earthquake geology, Quaternary geology, paleoseismology, geomorphology, and engineering geology. Dr. Koehler is specialized in using advanced techniques including air photo, lidar, and satellite imagery interpretation, Quaternary geologic and geomorphic mapping, and surveying to assess geohazards in a wide variety of terrains. Dr. Koehler is particularly well versed on topics in Quaternary Geology in Nevada and has mapped in numerous valleys throughout the state. His paleoseismic research has been funded by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation throughout the western U.S. including faults in California, New Mexico, Washington, Alaska, and Nevada. His international project experience includes studies in Turkey, Taiwan, Jamaica, and Haiti.


Head shot of Dr. Ruprecht

Dr. Philipp Ruprecht

Philipp Ruprecht is a native German, and received his Bachelor's degree in Geological Sciences from Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany, in 2001. After a year abroad at UCLA, he finished his Diplom degree in Geological Sciences (MSc equivalent) at Georg-August University in 2004. Philipp received his PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, in 2009. His dissertation explored the time and length scale of magma mixing in natural systems and by numerical modeling in general, and in particular focused on the historic eruptions in 1846 and 1932 of Volcán Quizapu in Chile. Following a three year post-doctoral appointment at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University), including a Feodor-Lynen Fellowship from the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, he joined the research faculty at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory as a Lamont Assistant Research Professor in 2012. Since April 2016, Philipp is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.Philipp combines fieldwork with petrologic and geochemical studies on volcanic areas to understand how Earth differentiates, what the inner workings of volcanoes are as well as how volatiles condition the atmosphere, generate pathways for ore formation, and provide real-time insights into volcanic hazards and eruption forecasting. While having a focus on the natural systems and their geochemical fingerprints, his research ties in constraints from the physical processes and fluid dynamics. Philipp has worked in volcanic areas in the entire Americas as well as the Western Pacific and the European volcanoes, but most of his focus has been on Andean volcanoes through the years.


Dr. Cao in the field.

Dr. Wenrong Cao

I joined the Department of Geological Science and Engineering at UNR as an Assistant Professor in 2017. I am interested in the magmatic and tectonic evolutions of continental arcs, especially the mass, heat, and fluid transfer processes and how these processes affect the thermal and rheological conditions of crust. I am also interested in coupling orogenic processes with surface erosion and long-term climate. My main research areas are in the central Sierra Nevada, and I also start to explore the geology of the Gangdese Mountain in Tibet. My research methods combine field mapping, strain analysis, scaling analysis, U-Pb zircon geochronology, and numerical simulation. I also teach GEOL 332 - Structural Geology and Tectonics.


Tom Anderson

Dr. Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson is a sedimentary petrologist/stratigrapher with research interests in Cambrian microbial reefs. His research goals are to document the nature of early reefs, determine the environments in which they thrived, and apply these studies to the early Paleozoic evolution of western North America. He has taught field geology in the Great Basin for over forty years and has been a part of the University of Nevada, Reno field camp since 2008. He has also studied Paleogene turbidites on the Gualala Block in northern California.