I have a BSc in Geology from the University of St Andrews, where I also studied some applied maths and found inspiration in the realisation that active volcanoes give information on geological processes that is impossible to gather from the cold geological record, and that mathematics was a tool for helping to understand those processes. I subsequently obtained a PhD in physical volcanology at the University of Lancaster, supervised by Lionel Wilson and Harry Pinkerton. This was followed by a spell as a post-doc in Stewart Turner’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Group at the Australian National University’s Research School of Earth Science and then a post-doc at University of Auckland, New Zealand.
At the Open University I enjoy collaborations with geochemists and environmental scientists and have so far supervised 21 PhD students. My current research interests are broad and include modelling sub-volcanic plumbing systems to understand the triggering and longevity of eruptions, forecasting the start and end of eruptions, studying the sulphur budgets and environmental impacts of volcanism, thermal remote sensing of volcanic activity, emplacement of lava flows. See my publications page for details and more examples of my research in physical volcanology. My H-index is 31.
In 2011 I received the Annual Award of the Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group of the London Geological Society.
I currently serve on the Review Editorial Board for the Volcanology section of Frontiers in Earth Science.
I am a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, and a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI). I am President of the Open University Geological Society.
My research is focussed on solving problems relating to the transport, evolution and eruption of magmas, and on understanding the environmental impacts of volcanism. This multi-disciplinary research currently involves collaborations with field volcanologists, igneous geochemists, geochronologists, biogeochemists, ecologists and statisticians.
A statistical approach to eruption data and theoretical fluid dynamic modelling of the discharge of magma from reservoirs are being used to understand the controls on eruption durations and develop ways of forecasting eruption duration. This complements my recent work on forecasting explosive eruptions using thermal remote sensing data (with former PhD student and Branco Weiss Fellow Dr Saskia van Manen) and current work on the eruption frequency of basaltic volcanic systems across the full spectrum of output rates from monogenetic fields to flood basalt provinces. Theoretical modelling of pressure evolution and magma flow rates in a sub-volcanic system comprising two linked magma chambers and a conduit to the surface allow a wide range of scenarios to be explored and provides insights on pre-eruptive inflation and sy-eruptive patterns in discharge rate and eruption longevity to be modelled.
Flood basalt vent and conduit systems are studied in a field-based project with Dr Richy Brown (Durham) and Steve Self (Visiting Professor) and is aimed at using field evidence to identify the eruption styles during flood basalt eruptions, concentrating on the Roza eruption of the Columbia River Basalt Group. Geochemical work on CRBG and Deccan lavas is addressing geochemical diversity within lava flows and between stratigraphic traverses to reconstruct flow field architecture and constarin re-surfacing rates.
The environmental aspects of basaltic volcanism are being examined through glass inclusion studies of sulphur release, and collaborations with colleagues and PhD students on the impacts of volcanic S deposition on ecosystems.
I have written distance learning materials (book chapters, interactive DVD, video, online interactive learning material, practical and assessment materials) in igneous processes, volcanology, and general Earth Science for many past and current Open University modules at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Substantial contributions are found in the following current modules: S104 (Exploring Science) and S209 (Earth Science).
I chaired the team producing the new 'on-screen' Level 2 module S209 "Earth Science" which started its first presentation in October 2014.
|Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)||Centre||Faculty of Science|
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