I'm a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer at Lancaster University. My research addresses magma deformation, degassing and crystallization, using tools such as fieldwork, experimentation, numerical modeling and thermal analysis. My research highlights to date include the discovery that fracture of magma triggers earthquakes, new insights into the behaviour of ice-covered volcanoes and the first observations of an advancing obsidian flow.
Current projects include study of conduit and lava dynamics at Cordon Caulle and Chaiten, using tools that include imaging, textural analysis, microanalysis of volatiles and metal species and deformation experiments. This work is being carried out in collaboration with a cast of thousands that includes Jon Castro, Ian Schipper, Mike James, Kim Berlo, Amy Chadderton and Peter Sammonds. I'm also working with AXA Post-doctoral Research Fellow Jacqui Owen, who is investigating the dynamics of the 1918 eruption of Katla, with Ellen McGowan, who is looking at rhyolitic conduit processes via Icelandic fieldwork, and with Irving Munguia, who is studying degassing and crystallisation with the lava dome at Colima. Additionally I am studying magma deformation in the Unzen lava dome, together with Yan Lavallee and Jackie Kendrick, Ar/Ar in obsidians with Stephanie Flude, fracturing of ice- and snow-contact Icelandic lava with Anne Forbes, Dave McGarvie and Steve Blake, and several other projects.
I run a thermal analysis lab where hotstage microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis with evolved gas analysis and differential scanning calorimetry are used to quantify vesicle and crystallisation kinetics, determine volatile contents and degassing behaviour of volcanic rocks, and study mineral breakdown reactions.
In 2012 I acted as Chair of the IAVCEI-IACS Commission for Volcano-ice interactions and I have been the Director of Studies of the MSc in Volcanology and Geological Hazards at Lancaster University since 2010. We have a thriving Masters course in volcanology and many of our graduates go on to volcanology research.
If you are interested in working with me on a collaborative project or studying for a Masters or PhD with me then please get in touch.
Most importantly, I have two lovely little kids and, whenever there is time, play ‘cello in a Balkan/Klezmer band called The Balkanics.