My interests involve reactive fluid flow and mineralization in sedimentary and volcanic systems in both ancient and modern environments, as well as microbially mediated reactions at the Earth's surface. As a National Geographic Explorer and one of the Explorers Club 50, my fieldwork focuses on the geochemistry of Late Devonian mass extinctions, manganese geomicrobiology of cave deposits and wetlands, and the geochemistry of manganese ores in the Appalachians. My laboratory work associated with these projects involves the analysis of micron-scale mineral textures and the interplay between microbes and minerals. As an Appalachian Studies faculty member, I teach about the environmental impacts and associated politics of energy extraction in Appalachia, from coal to natural gas to lithium to rare earth elements.
Research group websites:
If you are looking for MS/PhD/Postdoc opportunities: Appalachian State University's Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is an undergraduate-only program, and does not have positions for graduate students or postdoctoral scholars. However, I can act as a committee member for MS and PhD students at other universities, if the university allows external faculty to serve on thesis committees.
If you are interested in graduate work with the manganese geomicrobiology research team, you must have a background in microbiology and apply to the MS in Biology program. Please contact Dr. Suzanna Bräuer in the Department of Biology for more information.
If you are looking for a postdoctoral fellowship or visiting researcher position, at this time I am only able to accommodate those from universities which already have an international exchange agreement with Appalachian State University.
News and Updates
December 2022 - Research feature in the Watauga Democrat: App State professor named to The Explorers Club 50 for pushing the boundaries of exploration (non-paywall version here)
October 2022 - Thanks so much to my students and colleagues for my induction into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers in the College of Arts and Sciences
March 2022 - Thank you to the Explorers Club for naming me as one of the Explorers Club 50 - fifty people changing the world who the world needs to know about.
January 2022 - If you want to see what we're working on, check out this article that talks about our latest NSF funding (Collaborative Research: RUI: "CSI Devonian" - testing Late Devonian ocean anoxia proxies across different paleoenvironments; PI, $583,676 total; $459,988 to Appalachian State University, NSF EAR#2044222)
December 2021 - Congratulations to Logan Little for successfully defending his senior thesis! A link to his work will be posted shortly.
May 2021 - Congratulations to Katie Duckett for successfully defending her senior thesis! You can check out her work here: Late Devonian rocks from a new site: the Bayankhoshuu Ruins of Southwestern Mongolia
December 2020 - Congratulations to graduate student Morgan Smith, who successfully defended her MS Thesis!
August 2020 - What happens if we burn all the fossil fuels? (Interview with Gizmodo)
April 2020 - Congratulations to Katie Duckett and Alex Zacher, who won Explorers Club Youth Activity Fund awards to fund their trip to Mongolia! Although the trip has been delayed to due Covid-19, we will get there eventually!
April 2020 - Congratulations to Allison Dombrowski and Ginny Brown for successfully defending their senior theses! You can check out their work here: 2020 Senior Honor Thesis Presentations
April 2020 - Thank you so much to my former students for your nomination and letters of support! Dr. Carmichael Earns UNC Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching
April 2020 - Congratulations to graduate student Morgan Smith, who was just awarded the KWI Wilson Scholarship!
March 2020 - Thank you to the Karst Waters Institute for awarding me the 2020 KWI Distinguished Service Award!
March 2020 - Appalachian's College of Arts and Sciences wrote up a story on my Petrology class - NASA Rocks App State Geological and Environmental Sciences classroom