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Matt Collins

Graduate Teaching & Research Assistant

Jordan Hall 1125


My name is Matt Collins, and I am a M.Sc. student in the Planetary Research Group. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my B.S. in Geology from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan in 2017. During my time at GVSU, I had the chance to actively participate in oceanographic and paleoclimatological research with Dr. Figen Mekik and presented my undergraduate research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in 2017. After receiving my B.S. in Geology, I relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina to work with Dr. Paul Byrne. When I’m not teaching or conducting research, I enjoy playing ice hockey, attending live music, hiking, and spending time with my canine companion.

Research Description

Funded by a NASA Lunar Data Analysis Program (LDAP) grant, I am engaged in research on the tectonic evolution of large, basalt-filled impact basins on the Moon. Many of these basins host a distinct positive gravity anomaly pattern thought to be indicative of an elevated crust–mantle boundary. The subsidence of this elevated mantle plug may be responsible for helping drive brittle failure and displacement along thick-skinned reverse faults that delineate the boundaries of the mantle plug itself. The geometry of these faults are investigated using a number of techniques, including a mapping effort, forward modeling, statistical analysis, and 3-D modeling. My interests in the geological sciences incorporate a large number of sub-disciplines but all focus on the same question—how do tectonic processes drive landscape change on planetary surfaces?


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B.S., Geology, Grand Valley State University (2017)