Photo: Erik Thor/YAS

About Steffi's research

Before a volcano erupts it usually shows signs of unrest, which can be measured e.g. as earthquakes. However, the processes that cause the unrest are hard to interpret, because it is impossible to access the interior of active volcanoes. Therefore I study extinct and eroded volcanoes, similar to a pathologist who analyses dead bodies. I try to understand how magma is transported and stored within a volcano, how a magma chamber forms, and what parameters control whether there will be an eruption or not. Apart from studying volcanoes in the field, I use numerical models and analogue experiments that simulate magma dynamics on a more accessible scale. Since magma plumbing systems are very complex and controlled by interacting mechanical, chemical, and thermal processes that occur from crystal to crustal-scale and from seconds to millions of years, I collaborate with experts in the fields of geophysics, geochemistry, and geodesy. Ultimately, we want to be able to understand what is going on in a volcano at unrest and predict whether there will be an eruption.

In brief

Born: 1982
Family: lives in Germany
Interests: Exercise and nutrition, landscape photography, mountain hiking, to discover new things
Other: I like to use food when teaching about geological structures and material properties. 

I am part of the Young Academy of Sweden to make a difference for young researchers who want to build a sustainable career in academia. The keys to that are openness, commitment, and networking across disciplinary boundaries. And those principles are what the Young Academy of Sweden stands for.


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