VMSG Newsletter #50

No. 50: August 2021

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” – Plautus


Hello, halò, dia dhuit, helô and greetings to everyone. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the 50th VMSG newsletter! This very special issue is brimming with news and reviews, calls and shout-outs, and befitting to its milestone installment celebrates the people and projects that have contributed to the newsletter over the years.

Many of us are sensing the shift of seasons and the call of a new academic term. The VMSG Committee is anticipating change, too. We are recruiting for a new VMSG Chair as Sally Gibson will end her tenancy in January 2022. She will be missed and her shoes hard to fill. We will also soon be seeking a new Student Rep, to shadow Emma Watts for a few months before they take over from her very capable leadership.

Because this is such a bumper issue, here is a wee guide to what you’ll find below: VMSG Committee is Recruiting! – VMSG Awards – VMSG2022 – Geological Society Awards – GVCh Collaboration – IAVCEI Shout-out – 50 Special! – Fieldtrips Call – IVESPA – ESRL – Upcoming Workshops – ECR Directory – ESWN surveys – Mailing lists – Outro. Phwoar. I invite you all to raise a glass or a mug to our diverse and accomplished community. Happy reading, all! – Ailsa Naismith

VMSG Committee is Recruiting!

Recruiting for VMSG Chair

We are now accepting applications for the position of Chair of the VMSG Committee. The appointment is for 3 years beginning January 2022. The Chair of the VMSG has duties related to advancing the study of disciplines within volcanology and petrology and ensuring a supporting and inclusive environment for our community. The Chair presides over the VMSG Committee and represents the community at various meetings of other geological organizations, including Min Soc Council, Special Interest Group meetings of Geol Soc London and the UK Panel for IUGG .

If interested, you should submit a brief description about yourself and your interest in the role (max one A4 page) to the VMSG Secretary. Please include a profile picture with your application. Please also forward this invitation to any individuals you believe might be interested and encourage them to apply!

Please contact the current Chair, Professor Sally Gibson, the VMSG Secretary, Dr. Janine Kavanagh, or any of the committee members with any questions about the role and your application: https://vmsg.org.uk/about/committee/

The deadline for applications is Friday 3rd September and please send your application to the VMSG Secretary (Janine.Kavanagh@liverpool.ac.uk). – Janine Kavanagh

Recruiting for VMSG Student Rep

We’re also about to start recruiting a new Student Rep for the VMSG Committee. The VMSG recognises the importance of the contributions made by MSci and PhD students to our community, and one of our key goals is to actively support and encourage their research.. The ideas and concerns of the MSci and PhD students are communicated by the student rep, who sits on the VMSG Committee for a term of two years. The new student rep will shadow our current rep,  Emma Watts, for a few months before her term ends. The student rep is typically appointed via a community election so watch this space (and the VMSG mailing list) like a hawk for announcements! – VMSG Committee

VMSG Awards

The VMSG Committee has recently revised the protocol for award nominations and bursary applications. We want to make this as transparent a process as possible and this item gives you a quick guide to the awards available, guidelines for how to apply, and recent statistics. Our priority is to encourage applications and nominations from across the VMSG community and support equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels. This builds on our recent EDI initiatives (see Panel 1 discussion here).

Awards available


Detailed guidelines for how to apply for specific awards and bursaries appear in the links above. Below is a brief overview of award details in the format (deadlines; criteria; amount awarded):

We would like to emphasize that we can only judge from the nominations for awards that we receive – and that this is a community-wide effort – so please be encouraged to put yourself forward, either through self-nomination for the post-doctoral keynote award, or by requesting nominations from your colleagues. We particularly encourage applications from historically under-represented groups. – VMSG Committee

Award Statistics

ThermoFisher statistics

 – Provided by Jazmin Scarlett & Janine Kavanagh

Thermo-Fisher Award Winner – Dan Morgan

We recently announced that Dr. Dan Morgan is the recipient of the Thermo-Fisher Scientific VMSG Award for 2022. Dan is Associate Professor of Igneous Petrology & Volcanology at the University of Leeds, UK. A summary of his work can be found here. Dan describes his work below:

“My research interests stem from the interplay of crystal textures and crystal zoning in volcanic rocks. Much of my work has looked at diffusion within crystals as a mechanism to place constraints on short-term volcanic processes occurring in the days and months prior to eruption. Current work is looking at how we can better refine the models used to incorporate dynamic links between crystal growth and simultaneous diffusion to avoid convolving effects.”

The Thermo-Fisher Scientific VMSG Award will be presented to Dan at vVMSG2022, where he will give a keynote presentation. We really hope you will be able to join us for our annual conference in early January 2022 (see next item!). Congratulations, Dan! – Sally Gibson (Chair) & Nick Gardiner (Awards Officer)


We are thrilled to invite you to the next annual meeting of VMSG, vVMSG2022, which will be held online on the 10-12th January 2022 and hosted by the University of Manchester.

Although we would love to invite you to Manchester in person, together with the VMSG committee, we have decided that the best way to ensure VMSG2022’s scientific and financial success will involve running a virtual ​winter meeting. We hope to build on the excellent vVMSG 2021 meeting, and plan to run a similar programme of afternoon sessions bracketed by workshops and social activities.

We will welcome submissions on any aspect of volcanic and magmatic studies, from mantle heterogeneity to magma dynamics, gas emissions, hazard management and planetary volcanism. We anticipate abstract submission and registration deadlines falling at the end of November and December respectively.

And finally, a teaser. We hope to ​invite you to a bonus 2-day, in-person VMSG in ​Manchester in the early summer ​of 2022 focused on enabling the kinds of discussions and early career networking that can sometimes be challenging to reproduce in a virtual environment. Stay tuned … – vVMSG2022 local organising committee (David Neave, Margaret Hartley & Brendan McCormick Kilbride)

Geological Society Awards

Geological Society Awards 2022

There are just over five weeks to submit nominations for the Geological Society Awards 2022 (closing date for all nominations is 30 September 2021). Below is more information about specific awards. However, more details of all awards can be found on the GeolSoc website. The application form for all awards can be found here – please note that the President’s Awards require a separate form available below.

Wollaston, Murchison, Lyell and William Smith Funds

These Funds are awarded to early career geoscientists who have made excellent contributions to geoscience research and its application, in the UK and internationally. Recipients must be within ten years (full time equivalent) of the award of their first degree in geoscience or a cognate subject. The individual Funds are given for contributions in the fields defined by the Society’s Medals of the same name (see website). The Funds are each accompanied by the award of £500.

President’s Awards

Two President’s Awards are conferred upon early career geoscientists who are within eight years (full time equivalent) of the award of their first degree in geoscience or a cognate subject, who show significant early promise and are judged to have potential to be future leaders in their fields.  Up to two awards are made annually at the discretion of the incumbent President with a value of £250 each. The award form is available here.

Lyell, Murchison & Wollaston Medals

These are conferred to those who have made significant contributions to our understanding of geosciences. In order to nominate you must complete the appropriate form of those attached (note the President’s Award nomination requires the nominee’s recent CV to be included). The nominator (proposer) must be a Fellow and although preferable for the seconder to be a Fellow it is not essential.  (It is more important that there is sufficient knowledge of the candidate and their work to recommend them for a Society medal.)

Normally, the proposer and seconder must not be from the same institution as the nominee.  However, for nominations for the Lyell, Murchison, William Smith and Wollaston Funds, it is recognised that the work of the nominees may not be widely known, so the proposer may be at the same institution but the seconder should be from a different institution. (Similarly with the William Smith Medal and the Aberconway Medal the proposer must be from a different institution but the seconder can be from the same institution.) – Geological Society of London

GVCh – a new collaboration!

We are thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the Chilean Volcanological Group! The leaders of this newly-formed group share their vision below:

The Grupo de Volcanología de Chile (GVCh) is a special interest group of the Chilean Geological Society. GVCh formed recently in June 2020. The group aims to promote research on topics in volcanology and to aid the relationship between volcanologists and society in Chile. GVCh seeks to create links with international organizations conducting research on volcanolgoy, and invites members of VMSG to collaborate in various ways.

Read the full invite to collaboration here. If you would like to know further details, please contact the GVCh directly at volcanologia.sociedadgeologica@gmail.com. Claudio Contreras & Catherine Huerta


IAVCEI – shout-out

Volcanology is not just a national but an international endeavour! Did you know that VMSG supports its global counterpart, IAVCEI (International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior), and the VMSG Chair acts as the UK National Representative for IAVCEI on the IUGG panel? We are keen to increase interactions between the VMSG community and IAVCEI, and are inviting our members to suggest ideas as to how we might do this. You can find out more about IAVCEI through its new website (https://www.iavceivolcano.org/) launched in February 2021. The website includes information on IAVCEI’s Early Careers Researchers network and IAVCEI newsletters, which are published quarterly.

IAVCEI also hosts several commissions and networks. IAVCEI commissions are special interest groups focussed on volcanic subdisciplines including volcanic geoheritage, cities and volcanoes, and volcanic clouds. No matter how small your volcanological niche, you might find your people here: https://www.iavceivolcano.org/commissions-networks/. This happy chappy below was shared by Dr. Sam Mitchell, from the Commission on Submarine Volcanism.

Smile if you’re a submarine-lava-submersible-sampling-platform!

Special Issue – We Are 50!

Now That’s What I Call (Volcanic) Music

Us volcanologists and petrologists love to rock out – but what other music are we into? Now That’s What I Call Volcanic Music is your guide to all the best rock music. Over the week of Monday 30th August – Friday 3rd September, you’ll have the chance to vote on your favourite igneous-inspired tunes. We’ll have four heats on Monday – Thursday, and the final round on Friday before we announce the winner. The link to the first heat on Monday is here; you can also find it and the following heats on the VMSG Twitter here. Get ready to vote! – Elliot Carter


Below is a look back over the last 50 newsletters: field trips, conferences, gatherings, and virtual events. A huge thanks to the people that have contributed both over the years and in our recent call-out over Twitter. You make the VMSG the wonderful group it is! – Ailsa Naismith

Call for Fieldtrips

We are keen to get the VMSG fieldtrip schedule back up and running, and are looking for people who may be willing to run both virtual and in-person field trips for the community. Ideally we are interested in both a virtual field workshop some time this autumn (perhaps including some of the exciting uses of drones), and a UK-based short residential trip some time in the spring or summer of 2022.

These will be run with the support of the VMSG committee, but you would play a central role in running the trip. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, and you have a firm idea of a trip you would like to offer, please get in touch with pete.rowley@gmail.com. – Pete Rowley


The IAVCEI Tephra Hazard Modeling Commission’s working group on eruption source parameters is delighted to announce a new database to support plume model development and related studies of eruption dynamics.

The Independent Volcanic Eruption Source Parameter Archive (IVESPA), http://www.ivespa.co.uk/, includes eruption source parameters (e.g., erupted mass, duration, plume top height, SO2 height, total grain size distributions) and atmospheric conditions for 134 eruptive events since 1900. The dataset is restricted to modern eruptions to include only those with robust measurements of plume height that are independent of plume models or isopleths. The source parameters and uncertainties were derived from published literature and cross-checked by at least two members of the working group.

These efforts are coordinated by Thomas Aubry (ta460@cam.ac.uk) and Samantha Engwell (sameng@bgs.ac.uk), with the British Geological Survey providing resources to create the database and ensure its initial maintenance. The online database will be updated at least annually – thus, feedback and suggestions of new entries to add to database are strongly encouraged. A full description of IVESPA can be found in an open-access article recently published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2021.107295

We sincerely thank the members of the VMSG community who provided feedbacks on the development of IVESPA at the 2020 and 2021 assemblies! We hope you enjoy this product and look forward to including your contributions in the coming months and years. – Thomas Aubry & Sam Engwell


The Earth Surface Research Laboratory (ESRL) at Trinity College Dublin has launched as a national research facility. Researchers based on the island of Ireland can access the facility for free at the point of use through bi-annual open calls,  or at reduced rates where facility access is funded through existing grants, subsidised by Geological Survey Ireland. UK and international projects can access the facility at highly competitive rates when collaborating with an Ireland-based researcher. Equipment in the laboratory includes a state-of-the-art ultra-low detection limit Zetium WD-XRF, rapid throughput Nex CG ED-XRF, an Hg analyser and an elemental analyser, all hosted within clean suites with dedicated sample preparation facilities and technical support.

Find out more at https://www.tcd.ie/Geology/esrl/. For general enquiries, contact: esrl@tcd.ie. – Michael Stock

Any Other Business?

Upcoming VMSG QGIS workshop

VMSG will be holding a free QGIS workshop (compatitble with both Windows and Mac) in November! The course will be aimed at introducing the basics of GIS and the QGIS software, eventually building participants up to more complex uses of the software. The workshop will be suitable for all abilities. Keep your eye on the VSMG media platforms for more information and call for sign-up coming soon.

VMSG PhD and ECR directory

The VMSG PhD and ECR directory is up and running and is waiting for you to fill it out! While it is a new concept, the purpose is to open up the community to all levels, facilitating networking and collaborations. So if you are a PhD or ECR, please fill it out! 🙂 Please note that if you are not a PhD or ECR that doesn’t mean you can’t use the directory. The PhDs and ECRs who have signed up have expressed whether they are interested in collaborations, networking and giving presentations to other institutions, so please make the most of this great resource. Follow the link here to see participants and sign up: https://tinyurl.com/2huu4w26

ESWN Professional Members’ Survey

The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) professional development and member events committees are planning activities for 2021-22. To ensure these activities are aligned with the ESWN community’s interests, we invite you to participate in a brief survey:


The first part of the survey  collects demographics information as we would like to know more about the ESWN community, to ensure we are creating events suitable to the needs of those we serve, and as we have not carried out a demographics survey of our membership and potential attendees in recent years.

All information collected from this survey will remain confidential and will not be shared. There are options to self-describe and to decline to respond if you would prefer not to share your information with us. This survey should only take a few minutes [~5 min] of your time. Many thanks for your contributions. If you have any questions about the survey, please email us at events@eswnonline.org

ASU Mailing List

The mailing list run by Arizona State University is a fantastic resource for hearing explosive news around the world – PhD and postdoc opportunities, jobs, conferences, workshops, and the GVP weekly reports that go so well with coffee on Saturday mornings. Instructions to join are in the following link:


VMSG Mailing List

Don’t forget to pass on our mailing list to others! Especially as we’re close to a new term, we may have a fresh batch of magmaticians who want to get involved. The link to join is here:



Thanks for reading, you’ve been fab. Remember to get in touch with the VMSG via the usual channels (Twitter, mailing list) and if you think a fellow volcanologist would benefit from joining the fold, get them involved!