Benjamin Hallett PhD


Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Geology

& STEM Student Success Coordinator, College of Letters and Sciences

University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

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I am a petrologist and structural geologist who uses a variety of tools to study the tectonic evolution of the earth. My research seeks to understand the tectonic processes that create, reconfigure, and attenuate continental mountain belts. I am particularly interested in the metamorphic conditions and chemical reactions that cause partial melt to form in the thickened crust, and in how partially molten rocks (migmatites) may change their overall strength to affect the exhumation of the roots of mountain belts. I use a multi-faceted approach to study metamorphic processes through time and space. Metamorphic mineral zoning patterns (growth and diffusional) provide powerful information on the pressure and temperature conditions experienced by a particular rock. I apply U/Th–Pb dating techniques to determine the metamorphic and melting history of migmatites, in order to put the conditions of melting and melt crystallization into a tectonic context. My research advances the understanding of metamorphic and geochemical evolution and the means to reconstruct the histories of compressional (and extensional) metamorphic terranes. Field-based study of metamorphism and partial melted rocks sheds light on the processes that act to differentiate the earth’s crust, concentrate elements of economic interest, and contribute to the arrangement of crustal blocks now exposed at the surface.

Using an array of tools, I study the crustal thickening, partial melting, and exhumation processes recorded in metamorphic rocks, in order to understand how plate tectonics shapes the earth.


Department of Geology

University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

800 Algoma Blvd.

Oshkosh, WI 54901

phone: 920-424-0868