Geohazards and Risk

Professor Kathy Whaler was presented with her OBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace on 20th March. 

Professor Whaler is Chair of Geophysics, and is amongst ten staff members from the University of Edinburgh to have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Kathy Whaler is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace on 20th March. Copyright: PA Images
Chancellor's Fellow

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 4777

Research Groups: 

  • Observation and Imaging
  • Geohazards and Risk

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Research Interest

Tectonic and volcano-tectonic seismicity: the physics and statistics of earthquake-earthquake and earthquake-volcano interactions, triggering and forecasting

Senior Lecturer in Volcanology

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 4910

Research Groups: 

  • Geohazards and Risk

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Research Interest

My research is in the area of volcanology, especiallythe physical nature of volcanic processes. My research encompasses the study of the driving forces and controlling parameters of volcanic eruptive activity from the subsurface to the external environment, the emplacement mechanisms of volcanic flows, and the analysis of volcanic hazards. I employ a combination of approaches to study these processes including: (1) field-based studies on the resultant deposits in order to infer emplacement mechanisms; (2) deployment of instruments and collection of monitoring data to measure dynamical aspects of the processes as they ensue; (3) laboratory analog experiments to study simplified systems in a controlled environment in order to elucidate the controlling parameters and; (4) application of computational models to recreate conditions of past events and forward-model for investigating potential future hazards. Much of my work involves multi-disciplinary collaborations, especially with colleagues from the fields of applied mathematics, engineering and statistics. Other aspects of my work involve direct application of the outputs of volcanic hazard research which is often undertaken in collaboration with volcano observatories or government institutions responsible for mitigation of volcanic hazards.

Professor of Mathematical Geoscience

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 8515

Research Groups: 

  • Earth System Science - From Crust to Core
  • Earth Resources
  • Observation and Imaging
  • Geohazards and Risk
  • Porous Media

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Research Interest

Seismics, Mathematical or Quantitative Geology, Seismology, Inverse Theory. Elicitation and herding theory.

Senior Lecturer in Structural Geology

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 6755

Research Groups: 

  • Earth System Science - From Crust to Core
  • Earth Resources
  • Observation and Imaging
  • Geohazards and Risk
  • Porous Media

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Professor of Seismology and Rock Physics; Degree Programme Convenor, Geophysics; Director of Research

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 4911

Research Groups: 

  • Earth Resources
  • Observation and Imaging
  • Geohazards and Risk
  • Porous Media

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Research Interest

Seismology: earthquake hazard; earthquake predictability; non-linear dynamics and statistical mechanics of earthquake sources; earthquake triggering. Rock Physics: fluid flow in fractured media; fracture scaling; fluid-rock interactions during deformation; coupling of mechanical, chemical and hydraulic processes; time-dependent deformation.

Lecturer

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 4918

Research Groups: 

  • Earth Resources
  • Observation and Imaging
  • Geohazards and Risk

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Research Interest

Modelling of Detrital Fission Track Age Data

  • Quantification of bias and uncertainty using a bootstrap approach
  • Application of OpenBUGS to infer closure age distributions

Modelling Spatio-Temporal Behaviour for Earthquake Hazard

  • Models of cluster identification and classification
  • Use of INLA to model earthquake distribtuions

Lecturer in Volcanology

Email: 

Telephone: 

+ 44 (0) 131 650 2544

Research Groups: 

  • Earth System Science - From Crust to Core
  • Geohazards and Risk

Research Institutes: 

  • Earth and Planetary Science
Research Interest

Volcanoes are exciting and dangerous phenomena that affect us globally. They appeal to our imaginations, but for those living in the shadow of an active volcano they represent a real threat. Although volcanoes have fascinated us for generations, there is still much we have yet to understand about them.

My research focuses on understanding the evolution of the eruptible magma that feed volcanic eruptions and the timescales over which this magma forms. Magma is composed of a mixture of molten rock, solid particles termed crystals and gas. The genesis of magma is complex. Although ultimately sourced from the mantle, the composition is often modified during assent through a combination of processes.

I use a combination of geochemical techniques including (SEM, (FEG)-EPMA, LA-ICPMS, TOF-SIMS, NanoSIMS) to interrogate the individual components of a magma to decipher its evolution during its complex history. This often includes a significant amount of development of new analytical protocols in order for us to obtain the analyses we will require.

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