Group Members

Current Members

Dr. W. Ashley Griffith

Associate Professor

PhD       2008     Stanford University
MS        2003     University of Massachusetts at Amherst
BS          1999     The College of William and Mary

Ashley is an Associate Professor in the School of Earth Sciences.  His research focuses on structural geology and geomechanics, with an emphasis on the behavior of fractures in the earth’s crust. Among other things, fractures in rock dominate subsurface fluid flow, control earthquake hazards, and exert a huge influence on ground control problems in mining and civil engineering applications.  Ashley is also the Field Camp Director and Faculty Undergraduate Adviser for the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State. Ashley also serves on the Planning Committee for the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) for Earthquake Geology and serves on the steering committee of the Physical Properties of Earth Materials (PPEM). Before coming to Ohio State in 2017, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Arlington. Ashley also worked as an assistant professor of Geology and Environmental Science at The University of Akron from 2010 through 2012. Prior to that, he served as an NSF postdoctoral scholar studying Earthquake Mechanics at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Rome from 2008-09. He earned a Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Science from Stanford University in 2008, an M.S. in Geosciences from the University of Massachusetts in 2003 and a B.S. in Geology from the College of William and Mary in 1999.

See Full CV


Michael Braunagel

PhD Student

PhD       expected 2023      Ohio State University
MS         2018                       Ohio State University
BS          2016                        SUNY Geneseo


Mike joined the group in 2016 after graduating from SUNY Geneseo.  Mike is working on  his PhD studying the mechanics of long runout landslides at the newly discovered Markagunt and Sevier Gravity Slides of South-Central Utah, and utilizing a mix of field work, detrital zircon geocrhonology, rock mechanics experiments, and numerical modeling. He completed his MS employing a new experimental method using a modified split Hopkinson Pressure Bar and finite difference models to study the effects of rapid stress oscillations on the dynamic strength and fragmentation behavior of granite.   Mike is also an EMT and volunteer Firefighter.  Mike’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office.

Hannah Gaston

MS Student

MS     expected Spring 2023  Ohio State University
BS     University of Delaware


Hannah joined the group after graduating from the University of Delaware and serving as a Peace Corps Member in Malawi, among many other adventures.  Hannah is studying the damage zone structure of the Elsinore and Superstition Hills Faults in the Salton Trough of southern California, with the goal of being able to differentiate inelastic deformation that occurs during earthquakes from that that accumulates quasi-statically during the long term evolution of the faults.  Hannah’s work has been supported by the Souther California Earthquake Center (SCEC). Upon graduation, Hannah will be joining Golder and Associates.


Danika Mayback

MS Student

MS         expected 2023     Ohio State University
BS         2021                        Indiana State University


Danika joined the group after completing her B.S. at Indiana State University, where she worked with David Malone on using detrital zircons to determine the provenance of materials making up the basal shear zones of long runout landslides.  Danika is currently working on rock mechanics experiments aimed at determining of the frictional properties of the Brian Head Formation, a structurally weak unit that served as the detachment surface for the gigantic long runout landslides of the Marysvale Gravity Slide Complex. Her work is currently supported by the National Science Foundation.



Aidan Fullriede

PhD Student

PhD       expected 2026      Ohio State University
BS          2022                        Indiana State university


Aidan joined the group in Fall 2022 after graduating with his B.S. from Indiana State University.  Aidan is working on his PhD where he will be combining field observations of fault damage zone structures along the southern San Andreas Fault and other crustal scale fault structures with rock mechanics experiment to try to understand how much we can learn about the relationship between typical earthquake magnitude and damage zone structure.  His work is currently supported by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

Past Members

  • Graduate M.S., Student, Zach Smith, Fall 2019-Spring 2021
    • Currently: PhD Student at University of California Berkeley
  • Graduate M.S. Student, Caje Kindred, Spring 2019-Fall 2021
    • Currently: PhD Student at University of Southern California
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Hamed O. Ghaffari, Spring 2015-2017
    • Currently: Postdoctoral Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Graduate – Ph.D. Student, Christopher Borjas, Fall 2014-2017
    • Currently: Petrophysicist at EOG Resources
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, Troy Barber, Spring 2015-2017
    • Currently: Geologist, Joint Resources Company, Fort Worth, TX
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, Rene St. Julien, Spring 2015-2018
    • Currently: TEKsystems, Irving, Texas
  • Graduate –M.S. Student, Ashley Stanton-Yonge, 2014-2016 (formally co-advised student at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile)
    • Currently: PhD Student at University College London
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, Jennifer Hatch (Beyer), graduated Spring 2015, PhD from UMass-Amherst, ’19
    • Currently: Physics Instructor at the Hotchkiss School
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, Ciel Elizalde, graduated Spring 2015
    • Currently: Project Manager at The Carel Corporation
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, Monica Barbery, graduated Spring 2015
    • Currently: PhD student at Texas A&M University
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, Patrick Newman, graduated Spring 2013
    • Currently: PhD student at Purdue University
  • Graduate – M.S. Student, James Becker, graduated Spring 2013