- Programme leader: MGeophys, BSc Geophysics
I am Professor of Physical Volcanology at the School of Earth & Environment, conduct research in Geophysics and teach several modules in the School’s programmes. By training, I am a physicist who specialised in Geophysics at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, where Heinrich Hertz discovered electromagnetic waves in 1886.
Physics has always fascinated me in the way you can describe and forecast physical phenomena by using a few mathematical equations. By specialising in Geophysics, I now use a framework of equations to describe phenomena that take place on the surface and the interior of planet Earth. In this way I have studied earthquakes, ocean and atmospheric tides, have determined the topography of the boundary between the Earth’s core and mantle, and many other phenomena.
In the last few years I have focussed on several active volcanoes in New Zealand, Indonesia, Ecuador and Europe and studied seismic signals they generate, and how they deform when they are about to erupt. Since 1997, I followed the eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies. Here I contributed with results of my research group to hazard and risk mitigation regarding the population and infrastructure of this island. For the last 4 years, I am chairing the Scientific Advisory Committee on Montserrat Volcanic Activity for the UK Government.
This research in volcanology has not only direct impact on governmental policies and mitigation strategies, but also feeds back directly to the teaching contents here at Leeds University. We bring the latest research results to a module called ‘Volcanic Processes’, but cover also communication issues between scientist, decision makers and the public.
Find out more
To find out more about my research activities and some of my recent publications, visit my staff page.
If you have any specific questions about the content of the programme, please contact me via email: email@example.com.