Zoomposium 21: 23 June 2021

Published: 9 June 2021

Dr YING-QI WONG: 'Magma storage in the Earth’s crust: a mushy perspective' Dr CAI LADD: 'How plants, people and the physical environment shape coastal landscapes' Dr ANNEMARIE PICKERSGILL: 'Looking for life in all the wrong places…'

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Dr Ying-Qi Wong, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

'Magma storage in the Earth’s crust: a mushy perspective'

During eruptions, volcanoes withdraw magma from storage regions beneath the surface called magma reservoirs. In recent years, the volcanology community has evolved to conceive of these magma reservoirs as dominated by crystals with minor amounts of melt (a “mush”) that are tapped during eruptions, yet we do not have a good understanding of the mechanical behaviour of these magma mushes. I use computational models to understand how liquid magma moves through the mush, how the solid crystal matrix deforms as liquid magma flows, and, in the long term, the effect of low viscosity compressible fluids (volatiles) in promoting or impeding eruptions. I am interested in collaborating with experimentalists and numerical modelers from other fields who study the physics of multiphase systems, as well as machine learning experts who develop ways to accelerate computationally expensive physics-based simulations so that we can explore a broader range of model setups. 


Dr Cai Ladd, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

‘How plants, people, and the physical environment shape coastal landscapes’

Understanding how ecosystems like salt marshes, mangrove forests and sand dunes evolve has important consequences for the world’s coastal population that rely on them for flood protection, food provision, and carbon sequestration. A holistic view of plant-people-environment interaction is needed to truly understand how tidal landscapes work. I hope to collaborate with researchers across disciplines of remote sensing, coastal geomorphology, and social sciences to track the causes and consequences of coastal erosion and expansion. I’m now throwing my hat in for a research fellowship based here at Glasgow, to examine the impacts of global warming on Arctic coastal wetlands.


Dr Annemarie Pickersgill, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

‘Looking for life in all the wrong places…’

My research centres around hypervelocity impact craters which have been suggested to be habitats for early life on Earth, and possibly life on other planets, because they create warm and wet environments. My current project is to find evidence of past life in impact structures on Earth using high-resolution microscopy, and my upcoming fellowship is about determining how long such environments were habitable using a combination of radioisotopic thermochronometers and numerical simulations. 

I’m keen to collaborate with researchers experienced in geothermal systems, numerical simulations, and early life, and of course anyone else who finds this area interesting! 


First published: 9 June 2021