The impact of volcanism on Earth's atmosphere: from present-day volcanic 'pollution' to geological mass extinction events

Abstract

Volcanic activity can have impacts on Earth's atmosphere and environment on a range of different spatial and temporal scales: from global changes in climate to often more local effects like acid rain and impacts on air quality. In this talk I will explore some of the ways that we study these effects in the present-day and their implications for lives and livelihoods. I will also explore how lessons learnt sitting on the edge of an active volcano today can give us insights into some of the most profound environmental changes in geological history including mass extinction events.

Biography

Tamsin Mather is a volcanologist and professor of earth sciences at the University of Oxford. She holds a Master of Chemistry and History and Master of Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and, after a year working in Europe, returned to Cambridge completing her PhD on the atmospheric effects of volcanism in 2004. Before joining Oxford in 2006, she was an intern with the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and a Royal Society Research Fellow. She has won the 2018 Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award and she has participated in numerous science festivals, broadcasts and podcasts. Tamsin is 2020 Monash University distinguished speaker.