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Dr Jenny Jenkins in a hi-vis vest stood in a snowy Icelandic landscape resting her hand on seismology equipment

A researcher from our Department of Earth Sciences who specialises in the study of earthquakes has been recognised with a prestigious international award.

Dr Jenny Jenkins has received the Wollaston Fund in the Geological Society Awards 2024.

The annual award recognises early career geoscientists who have made excellent contributions to geoscience research and its application, both in the UK and internationally.

Dr Jenkins, who joined us as an Assistant Professor in 2021, is an observational seismologist whose research involves using recordings of earthquakes and background seismic ‘noise’ to image the interior of Earth’s deep structure.

Much of her research so far has focused on Iceland, one of the most seismically and volcanically active regions in the world.

In the field

In 2021 Dr Jenkins was part of a team from several universities working in Iceland to bury new instruments (seismometers) in the ground to measure earthquakes and examine the crustal structure of the Reykjanes Peninsular during the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption.

Some of her current work uses data collected from those instruments to provide large-scale context for the volcanic eruptions that have been occurring on the Peninsular intermittently since 2021 up to the present.

Dr Jenkins is currently planning fieldwork for this summer, where she will lead a team involving experts at the University of Iceland and Iceland Geosurvey.

The team will install a new network of seismometers throughout the remote central Icelandic highlands.

This should help shed new light on the persistent earthquakes that have occurred in the region over the last few decades as well as the underexplored volcanos and geothermal systems in the area.

 ‘A huge compliment’

Dr Jenkins, who is also the EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) officer for the British Geophysical Association, said the Wollaston Fund win came ‘completely out of the blue’.

She added: “I don’t know who nominated me but as an early career researcher it’s certainly a huge confidence boost to think that more senior colleagues think my work is good and interesting enough to take the time to write an awards nomination. 

“Given how busy academics tend to be, that’s a huge compliment!”

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