Valuing people over the research
The operating principle of STRPL
Principal Investigator (PI)
Dr. Vashan Wright [he/him][Curriculum Vitae]
Vashan Wright, an assistant professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, is the PI for STRPL. He is Jamaican and enjoys playing tennis, watching television shows, going for walks, and joking around with friends over meals or get-togethers.
He studies tectonics, granular media physics, earthquake physics, and geoscience education. He is currently focussed on understanding how the microstructures of sediments evolved during the first few centuries after deposition, the effects of earthquakes on sediments when they don't experience liquefaction, and the effectiveness of the use of seismic velocities for characterizing the shallow section of the Earth and other planets.
PI-Wright is an outspoken voice for improving belonging, accessibility, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in Geoscience. He believes that cultivating deep, meaningful, and healthy relationships is the key to happiness and productivity. This is indicated partly by his involvement in various geoscience education and diversity efforts.
Research Data Analyst
Carlene Burton [she/her][Curriculum Vitae]
Carlene Burton is a research data analyst in STRPL. Her research focuses on the recruitment and retention of People of Color in the geosciences. She does presentations and workshops on the subject.
Mother, Jamaican, lab manager, a member of the URGE (Unlearning Racism in Geoscience) leadership team are other hats she proudly wears. She spent half her adult life following her passion for improving STEM education in underrepresented communities.
Carlene has trained middle school science teachers and administrators on using student-centered pedagogies such as Project-Based Learning and Maker Space Learning to teach students science. Carlene wants to be a fun-loving grandma, which she believes is achievable by enjoying the lighter side of life and being a JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) warrior.
Melanie Adams [she/her][Curriculum Vitae]
Melanie Adams is a postdoctoral scholar in STRPL. Dr. Adams earned her Bachelor's degree in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT, where she initiated her research career, studying nano and microparticle aggregates for enhancing NMR/MRI contrast in implantable sensors. She then completed a Master’s degree at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in Materials Science and Engineering with a joint thesis project at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart. There, her research was centered on developing a method for combinatorial nanoparticle synthesis, which was expanded to developing plasmonic dimers for sensing applications. Earlier this year, she finished her Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara. During her doctoral studies, she focused on using optical and acoustic techniques to characterize and understand the behavior of soft materials nondestructively.
Excited to embark on a new phase of her academic journey, Melanie is enthusiastic about integrating her diverse background into the study of granular media. She is interested in helping develop a novel framework [constraint graph/complex system theory] to comprehend the complexities and nuances surrounding flow and failure in Earth materials. Melanie is also interested in science communication and policy!
Jhardel Dasent [he/him][Curriculum Vitae]
Jhardel Dasent is a graduate student in STRPL. He describes himself as an amateur outdoorsman from St Kitts and Nevis interested in better understanding the rock he lives on. He enjoys hiking, camping under the moonlight, and lounging on the beach.
His research focuses on determining how fault zone properties are changed by and influence the earthquake cycle. Microtectonics, granular media physics, earthquake physics, and paleoseismology are the topics he is most interested in.
Richard Kilburn [he/him][Curriculum Vitae]
Richard Kilburn is a graduate student in STRPL. His research focuses on the hydrogeological properties of Mars and on physics based forecast of slope instability. He is most interested in quantifying how the micro-, meso-, and macro-scale properties of granular media affect if, when, and how granular media creeps, flows, or catastrophically fails. Techniques he uses include density of states theory, rock physics models, x-ray microtomography, active-source seismology, and three-dimensional x-ray diffraction.
Evie Gedminas [she/her][Curriculum Vitae]
Evie Gedminas is an undergraduate student researcher in STRPL. She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Marine Science. Outside of research, she enjoys surfing, painting, and camping with friends. Evie is hoping to pursue a Masters of Mechanical Engineering specializing in Applied Ocean Science.
Her research focusses on determining how the method of preparing lab reconstituted granular assemblages (i.e., variations in pluviation parameters) influence the microstructure and microrheology of the assemblages.
Kenneth Su [he/his][Curriculum Vitae]
Kenneth Su is an undergraduate student researcher in STRPL. He is majoring in mechanical engineering.
His research aims to understand how grain contact area and coordination number evolve with increasing effective stresses and seismic velocities.
Shipra Gudekar [she/her][Curriculum Vitae]
Shipra Gudekar was an undergraduate student researcher in STRPL. She was majoring in Nanoengineering.
Her research aimed to determine whether grain breakage patterns in sheared granular media is related to their disorder.