I am a physical volcanologist interested in tephrostratigraphic studies of poorly-known volcanoes, in order to constrain past eruptive behaviour which allows us to assess how the system changes over time and can contribute to volcanic hazard assessment. This type of work is typically strongly based on detailed field studies and is complemented with geochronological, petrological, geochemical, textural and sedimentological data. Using these combined datasets, we can obtain constraints on frequency-magnitude relationships, eruptive (e.g. volume, eruption rate and eruption column height) and pre-eruptive (e.g. temperature, pressure, volatile contents) parameters, and understand the factors that may control the behaviour of volcanoes and individual eruptions. By integrating terrestrial with lacustrine sediment records, we can furthermore reconstruct high-resolution age models of volcanic activity at a regional scale, which can be used to fine-tune age models of various palaeoenvironmental archives, and also to investigate interactions of volcanic activity and the environment.
I work on volcanoes in different tectonic settings, from alkaline rift volcanoes in Tanzania and Ethiopia, to oceanic and continental arc volcanoes in the Philippines, Indonesia and Chile. A better understanding of the volcanic geology and most recent (ca. last 10,000 years) eruptive histories as well as eruptive styles at these volcanoes is a fundamental contribution to volcanic hazard assessment and risk mitigation. Apart from studying volcanoes from a hazards perspective, I am also interested in understanding the natural resources related to volcanism. Particularly in East Africa many rift volcanoes offer vast geothermal resources that are equally important in the context of sustainable development.