Tom Birren

  • Ph.D. Student
  • he/him


I am a Ph.D. Student at Iowa State University working with Dr. Jacqueline Reber. I received my B.A. in Geology from Carleton College (2013) and was working as a STEM educator with the Schuler Scholar program post graduation. In my project, I seek to understand the conditions under which fractures form in semi-brittle rocks and how they relate to slow-slip events and low-frequency earthquakes. I use a rock analog, Carbopol® (a cross-polymer accrylate commonly used in hair gel), with similar rheological properties to the middle-crust to model deformation in mid-crustal shear zones.