My research focuses on applying novel geochemical and geochronological techniques to metamorphic rocks to provide insight into the nature, timing, and duration of processes leading to the growth and evolution of Earth’s continents (Archean crustal growth, accretionary and collisional orogenesis). My current research has two main components:
1) Integrating metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, and geophysics datasets from serpentinized and carbonated ultramafic rocks in British Columbia to assess and quantify the potential for these rocks to sequester carbon dioxide and so contribute to a environmentally-sustainable and carbon-neutral mining industry.
2) Applying the Lu-Hf garnet chronometer to a variety of rock-types from a range of tectonic settings to constrain the timing and nature of orogenic and mantle processes. Study areas include Phanerozoic orogens such as the Canadian Cordillera, Appalachians, Alps, and Caledonides, Paleoproterozoic Orogens such as the Trans-Hudson, New Québec, Torngat, and Arrowsmith Orogens and Canadian Archean cratons.
My teaching includes class-room, lab, and field-based instruction with a focus on field/mapping methods, metamorphic petrology, and structural geology. Regardless of the setting, I firmly believe that a student’s success can be measured by their ability to apply a concept, which can only be achieved through practice and is a direct function of an instructor’s ability to engage and motivate the students to learn. To do so, my teaching style is one that uses active learning methods that require the participation of the class—no matter the size—in activities that involve the immediate application of key concepts from the lecture to real geological problems.
During my PhD at UBC I TA'd a variety of courses, including Introductory Mineralogy (EOSC 220), Field Techniques (EOSC 223), Metamorphic Petrology (EOSC 322), Field Geology (EOSC 328), Tectonic Evolution of North America (EOSC 332), and Structural Geology II (EOSC 422).
Since completing my PhD in 2019, I have been a co-instructor for Field Geology (EOSC 328) and Field Techniques (EOSC 223).
Cutts, J.A., Smit, M.A., and Vrijmoed, J. 2020. Evidence for non-lithostatic pressure in subducted continental crust. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 175: 3. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-019-1633-z
Cutts, J.A., Dipple, G.M., Hart, C.J.R., and Milidragovic, D. 2020. Assessment of the carbon mineralization potential of British Columbia by quantifying the response of physical properties to the alteration of ultramafic rocks (NTS 092H/08, 10, 093K/13, 14, 094C/05, 104I, 104N). In: Geoscience BC Summary of Activities 2019: Minerals, Geoscience BC, Report 2020-01, p. 137-144. http://www.geosciencebc.com/i/pdf/SummaryofActivities2019/Minerals/Project%202018-038_Minerals_SOA2019.pdf
Steinthorsdottir, K., Cutts, J., Dipple, G., Milidragovic, D., and Jones, F. 2020. Origin and serpentinization of ultramafic rocks in dismembered ophiolite north of Trembleur Lake, central British Columbia. In: Geological Fieldwork 2019, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2020-01, p. 49-58. http://cmscontent.nrs.gov.bc.ca/geoscience/publicationcatalogue/Paper/BCGS_P2020-01-04_Steinthorsdottir.pdf
Godet, A. Guilmette, C., Labrousse, L., Davis, D. W., Smit, M.A., Cutts, J.A., Vanier, M-A., Lafrance, I., and Charette, B. 2020. Complete metamorphic cycle and long lived anatexis in the ~2.1 Ga Mistinibi Complex, Canada. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmg.12521
Cutts, J.A., Smit, M.A., Spengler, D., Kooijman, E., and van Roermund, H.L.M. 2019. Two billion of mantle evolution in sync with global tectonic cycle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 528: 115820. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115820
Cutts, J.A., Smit, M.A., Kooijman, E., and Schmitt, M. 2019. Two-stage cooling and exhumation of deeply subducted continents. Tectonics, 38: 863-877. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018TC005292
Thiessen, E.J., Gibson, D.H., Regis, D., Pehrsson, S.J., Cutts, J.A., and Smit, M.A. 2019. High-grade metamorphism flying under the radar of accessory minerals. Geology, 47: 568-572. https://doi.org/10.1130/G45979.1
Cutts, J.A., and Smit, M.A. 2018. Rates of deep continental burial from Lu-Hf garnet chronology and Zr-in-rutile thermometry on (ultra)high-pressure rocks. Tectonics, 37: 71-88. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017TC004723
Moss S., Porritt, L., Pollock, K., Fomrades, G., Stubley, M., Eichenberg, D., and Cutts, J. 2018. Geology, mineral chemistry, and structure of the kimberlites at Diavik diamond mine: indicators of cluster-scale cross-fertilization, mantle provenance, and pipe morphology. In Davy, A.T., Smith, C.B., Helmstaedt, H., Lynton Jaques, A., and Gurney, J.J. (eds) Geoscience and exploration of the Argyle, Bunder, Diavik, and Murowa diamond deposits. Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 20, 287-318.
Patterson, T.R., Crann, C.A., Cutts, J.A., Mustaphi, C.J.C., Nasser, N.A., Macumber, A.L., Galloway, J.M., Swindles, G.T., and Falck, H. 2017. New occurrences of the White River Ash (east lobe) in Subarctic Canada and utility for estimating freshwater reservoir effect in lake sediment archives. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, 477: 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.03.031
Cutts, J.A. 2014. Geological, Geochemical, Geophysical and Petrologic Data Related to a Study of Plutons Intruded circa 1090 to 1065 Ma in the Southeastern Central Metasedimentary Belt, Grenville Province. Ontario Geological Survey Miscellaneous Release – Data 311. April 8, 2014
Cutts, J.A., Zagorevski, A., McNicoll, V.J. & Carr, S.D. 2012. Tectono-stratigraphic setting of the Moreton’s Harbour Group and its implications for the evolution of the Laurentian margin: Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 49: 111-127. https://doi.org/10.1139/e11-040Cutts, J.A., McNicoll, V.J., Zagorevski, A., Anderson, R.G., and Martin, K. 2015. U-Pb geochronology of the Hazelton Group in the McTagg anticlinorium, Iskut River area, northwestern British Columbia. In: Geological Fieldwork 2014, British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2015-1, pp. 87-101. http://cmscontent.nrs.gov.bc.ca/geoscience/PublicationCatalogue/Paper/BCGS_P2015-01-05_Cutts.pdf
Cutts, J.A., Carr, S.D. & Easton, R.M. 2011. Characterization of circa 1090 to 1065 Ma Syntectonic to Posttectonic Intrusions in the Southeastern Central Metasedimentary Belt, Grenville Province. Ontario Geological Survey, Open File Report 5894: 6.1-6.9.