Christopher Sinton

Associate Professor and Chair, Environmental Studies and Science
School: School of Humanities and Sciences


Volcanic ocean island archipelagos, such as the Hawai’i and the Galapagos, are of interest to a wide variety of scientific disciplines. Placed far from the influence of continents, their flora and fauna followed unique evolutionary pathways and their tall volcanoes rising from the seafloor create extraordinary marine ecosystems. Their volcanoes are generated from long-lived rising plumes of hot mantle and their lavas contain geochemical clues about long-term movements of the inaccessible mantle. In addition, some of these volcanoes were islands millions of years ago.  The study of these submarine volcanic mountains can tell us much about the movement of the earth's mantle, plate tectonics, and the evolution of species.

In Spring 2020, I was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for a project The Effect of a Mid-Ocean Ridge-Centered Environment on a Zoned Mantle Plume and Associated Secondary Magmatism. This research is a collaboration with Prof. Karen Harpp (Colgate University) and will involve a team of undergraduate researchers from both institutions.