an image showing red and orange lava

The lecture is free to attend and open to all, but registration is required in advance. 

Location: Lecture Theatre 200, City & Guilds Building, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ

Event Link:

Please click on the link above to access the event if you are joining virtually.

If you would like to watch the livestream of the event instead of attending in-person, you can also register to receive the live event link instead via the Eventbrite registration link.

Please note that in-person seating is offered on a first come first served basis. It is mandatory to register for a ticket if you would like to attend this event in-person. Unfortunately, we are unable to permit entry to those without a ticket on the evening.

If the main lecture theatre reaches capacity you will only be able to register for a virtual event ticket.


Volcanoes and past climate

Volcanoes are spectacular natural phenomena. Earth has experienced volcanism since its beginnings and observing a volcanic eruption is a truly primeval experience.

Volcanoes have shaped our planet and have been key in creating and maintaining its habitability. However, they can also be deadly natural hazards and are implicated in some of the greatest environment crises in Earth’s history, such as mass extinction events. 

In this talk, volcanologist Professor Tamsin Mather will explore some of the different types of volcanic activity that we see on Earth today and have seen over its geological history. Volcanism is intimately linked with our planet’s geological carbon cycle and therefore its long-term climate. This talk will reveal how studying volcanic gases and rocks today can give us fundamental insights into some of the drivers of long-term global climate evolution and many of the most profound environmental changes in geological history including mass extinction events.


Tamsin Mather is a volcanologist and Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, UK where she has been on the faculty since 2006. 

She took an undergraduate Masters degree in Chemistry and a Masters degree in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. After a year working in Germany and then Brussels doing a placement for the European Commission, she returned to Cambridge, completing a PhD on the atmospheric chemistry of volcanic plumes and their environmental effects in 2004. 

Since then her research has broadened to explore the diverse ways in which volcanoes interact with Earth’s environment, the processes driving volcanic unrest and eruption processes and the hazards they pose. Before joining Oxford she was a Research Council Fellow at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow in Cambridge. In 2008 she was a UNESCO/L’Oréal UK & Ireland Women in Science awardee; she won Philip Leverhulme prize in 2010, was UK Mineralogical Society Distinguished Lecturer in 2015/16 and the winner of the 2018 Rosalind Franklin Award and Lecture from the Royal Society. She has been deputy director of the NERC Centre for Observation & Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes & Tectonics, an editor of Earth and Planetary Science Letters and has sat on NERC Science Committee. She is currently associate head of department (research), holds an ERC grant to study signals for large-scale volcanism in deep time and is a member of the International Continental Drilling Program Science Advisory Group . She has participated in numerous science festivals, broadcasts and podcasts including BBC Radio 4’s Life Scientific and The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Getting here

Registration is now closed. Add event to calendar
See all events