Life and death, and money

The recent tragedy at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia, bought some interesting thoughts to light amongst some members of the volcanology group at Bristol. There were comments regarding the decision by the authorities to allow people to return to their homes (you can see James Hickey’s perspective here). In an ideal world, I’m sure we are all […]

Science Snap (10): The impact of eruptions

Many people are aware of the May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State, USA. Common photographs of the huge VEI 5 eruption show the large, billowing eruptive column rising into the stratosphere. Less iconic are images of the destruction left behind, demonstrating the after-effects of the eruption. The US president at the time, Jimmy […]

Rocky secrets – fifty shades darker?

Originally posted on the EGU blog network You might remember Charly’s “Fifity Shades of Grey” post, highlighting the colourful spectrum of rocks; fifty shades of grey they are not. On a purely aesthetic level, rocks are incredibly varied and interesting. But the thing is, a lot of the samples us volcanology and petrology PhD students […]

Conference diaries: The IAVCEI Scientific Assembly, 2013

Originally posted on the EGU Blog Network With the undergraduates off on their holidays, summer sees a lot of large geology conferences take place. We’ll be using the Conference Diaries series to bring you the highs and lows of all things geology conference. Here, Mel Auker talks us through the IAVCEI Scientific Assembly…

Feeling blue: A lesson in perseverance

Originally posted on the EGU Blog Network: You can also read the Original BBC article or watch the BBC interview with Peter Harrison I think a lot of PhD time is spent searching, either literally or metaphorically; everything from inspiration on a Monday morning to melt inclusions on the SEM late on a Friday […]

The A to Z of PhD life

You might remember Elspeth’s PhD in 40 seconds and Charly’s How to make a rock in 60 seconds that were posted over the last few weeks. Here, I give you my take on a PhD in a nutshell…


In the early hours of 6th April 2009, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit the city of L’Aquila, Italy. 309 people died and around 20,000 buildings were destroyed. Today, what most people remember isn’t the magnitude of the quake or where exactly L’Aquila is, but rather that six scientists and a government official were put on […]

PhD profile #4 – Melanie Auker

Melanie Auker – 3rd year PhD student “Volcanic hazard and risk: A numerical approach”     1) The Twitter challenge: Your PhD in 140 characters Using numerical approaches to better understand past, present, and future global volcanic hazard and risk.