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Associate Professor in the Department of Earth SciencesRm 318+44 (0) 191 33 42343


My research is in igneous petrology, volcanology and magmatism, with a focus on understanding processes of magma storage, chemical evolution and migration within the crust using both natural materials and experimental approaches. My current research interests include (i) using crystal textures to understand and quantify magma solidifcation and the physical behaviour of crystal mushes, and (ii) volatiles in volcanic processes, including the timing of fluid exsolution and the enrichment and migration of metals in volcanic settings. 

Current and recent research projects include:

  • using crystal textures combined with apatite geochemistry to interpret crystal mush behaviour in the lead-up to big eruptions (ERC Consolidator; PI)
  • using plagioclase crystal textures to understand mush processes in intermediate arc magmatic systems (NERC; PI)
  • defining speciation and structural environments for metals and volatiles complexes in silicate melts (in collaboration with Alex Iveson; Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship)
  • exploiting volatile diffusion in apatite to monitor magmatic processes and timescales (NERC; led by Dr Richard Brooker, University of Bristol)
  • developing the use of apatite as a tool to understand and quantitatively interpret the pre-eruptive evolution of volatiles in magma (NERC; PI)
  • developing new methods to track and quantify magma oxidation state and equilibrium melt composition, including using minerals such as amphibole and apatite (Royal Society URF; PI)

We have a very active volcanology-petrology group in Durham. Currently working with me are three post-docs: (i) Dr Martin Mangler, working on plagioclase-rich crystal mushes in subduction zone magmas; (ii) Dr Alex Iveson (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow), working on halogens and trace elements in evolved melts; and (iii) Dr Charline Lormand, who is working on the behaviour of volatiles in apatite.

I am also currently supervising four PhD students and two MScR students. Madeleine Stow is working on transition metal stable isotope fractionation in intrusive magmatic settings (primary supervisor Julie Prytulak); Kris Sokól (St Andrews) is working on fenite alteration around alkaline intrusions (primary supervisor Adrian Finch); Annabelle Foster is working on sintering textures in obsidian (primary supervisor Fabian Wadsworth); and Ceri Allgood is working on textures and experiments related to dyke propagation and flow (primary supervisor Ed Llewellin). MScR student Eshbal Geifman has been conducting high-temperature crystallisation experiments using a microscope-mounted heating stage; and Eleanor Dunn is numerically investigating bubble resorption during magma cooling and quench.

I am always happy to hear from potential graduate students or post-docs interested in developing projects at Durham.

Recent students include Dr Mike Stock (PhD 2016, now assistant Professor at Trinity College, Dublin); Dr Jing Zhang (PhD 2016, now a post-doctoral researcher at Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences); and Eloise Bretagne (MScR 2018, now a PhD student at Durham University). Recent MSci students include Erin Thompson (2019; apatite geochemistry in Mt Damavand, Iran, now a PhD student at University of Leicester); Jacob Sharp (2019; modelling of apatite volatile chemistry in porphyry systems); and Abigail Metcalfe (2018, amphibole geochemistry at Soufriere Hills Volcano, now a PhD student at IPGP).

Previous postdoctoral researchers include Dr Jason Coumans (now at Geoloical Survey of Canada), Dr Olivier Namur (now permanent academic staff, KU Leuven, Belgium) Dr Llewellyn Pilbeam (now a software developer, Oslo) and Dr Jenny Riker (now a Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol).

Research groups

  • Geochemistry Research Group
  • Volcanology Research Group

Related Links

Awarded Grants

  • 2020: Magma mush eruptibility: the lifetime of mobile magma(£492261.42 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
  • 2020: STEMMS: Storage and Eruption of Mushy Magma Systems(£1513850.77 from Interreg (ERDF) Europe)
  • 2018: Apatite as a Monitor of Magmatic Processes and Timescales(£8283.00 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
  • 2016: RF050272: Royal Society University Research Fellowship Renewal, The Royal Society, £278k
  • 2016: RF050291: Reconstructing eruptive processes from volatile distribution in volcanic glass, NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, £482k
  • 2014: Volatiles, Geodynamics and Solid Earth Controls on the Habitable Planet(£403276.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2013: PI, RF050219: University Research Fellowship, The Royal Society, £658k (transferred from University of Oxford, October 2013)
  • 2013: PI, RF050236: Apatite as a quantitative tool for tephrochronology and magmatic evolution, NERC, £199k
  • 2013: PI, RF050241: The structure and rheology of crystal mushes, NERC, £10.9k

Esteem Indicators

  • 2020: Associate Editor, Journal of Petrology:
  • 2019: Wager Medal, IAVCEI:
  • 2017: Editorial board member, Geology:
  • 2012: Max Hey medal, Mineralogical Society of Great Britain:
  • 2008: President's Award, Geological Society of London:


Chapter in book

Journal Article

Supervision students