Rachel Abercrombie investigates all aspects of the earthquake rupture process, for example, how earthquakes start and grow, what factors govern the size and location of slip, and how one earthquake affects another. She has studied earthquakes over a wide range of magnitudes and frequencies in many tectonic environments. In particular, she has focused on earthquake scaling and nucleation. Professor Abercrombie has also worked on attenuation and site effects. Her aim is to understand the factors controlling seismic slip by studying earthquakes under a wide range of conditions (for example, on the San Andreas System, in subduction zones, in the oceans, and also very deep earthquakes).