University of Vermont

University Communications


Assistant Professor
Arts & Sciences
Public Relations:Josh Brown (802)656-3039
Specialty:petrology, rock deformation
Biography:Rushmer is an experimental petrologist who has a strong interest in both experimental rock deformation and field studies. Vermont is an ideal place in which to study the interaction between metamorphism, partial melting and deformation. Her interests lie in the broad field of the growth and evolution of the Earth's continental crust and is expanding into early evolution of the Earth. Over the last several years, her focus has been on melting processes in the Earth's crust and the interaction between melting reactions and mechanical rock behavior. She uses hydrostatic experimental techniques, rock deformation experiments and field studies on granites to address melting and melt segregation questions. These include the role of mineral reactions in driving melt segregation addition to the viscosity and water content of the melts themselves. The results from these kinds of studies have been used to gain knowledge of fracture densities and different permeabilities developed during mineral reactions. In addition, the studies illustrate the effect of hydrostatic vs. dynamic tectonic settings which help to tie in geochemical data of different magmas with current physical melt segregation models. Research in the lab for the next several years is to experimentally investigate the crack density (micropermeability) that develops during melting as a function of melting rate and reaction and the impact on melt geochemistry. Rushmer conducted her graduate studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland.