Dr. Alexander P. Clarke


PhD graduate in subduction zone tectonics

Dr. Alexander P. Clarke
Alex Clarke mapping the Gwna Mélange, Anglesey, Wales.

I recently completed my PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, in the UK and I am now looking for exciting new postdoc challenges.

I am a structural geologist interested in subduction zone tectonics. I am primarily interested in the nature of the plate boundary interface in subduction zones and what controls the processes of subduction accretion and erosion, as well as the physical processes behind subduction zone earthquakes, slow-slip events, and tremors. While my background is as a field-based structural geologist, I like to take a holistic approach to science, integrating a variety of methods to answer my research questions.

During my PhD, I studied the formation and deformation of the Osa Mélange in Costa Rica, how the local oversupply of sediment surrounding a seamount complex triggered localised accretion in a normally erosive margin, how the changing mechanical properties of mélange blocks relative to their matrix can trigger tremors, and how pre-existing structures in the tectonically eroded upper plate material influences plate boundary processes.

I also love to teach and I am very interested in engaging ways of teaching earth sciences, both in the classroom and in the field. I am particularly interested in the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies and how to balance teaching the traditional fundamentals—such as field mapping and microscopy—with preparing students for the realities of modern geoscience.

In my spare time, I volunteer as an Advanced First Aider for St John Ambulance and I teach weekly first aid training sessions to students.