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William Hutchison

Research Fellow, University of St Andrews

My research is focused on active and ancient magmatic-hydrothermal systems. I integrate geophysical, geochemical and geological data sets to understand the fundamental processes that drive these systems, and how we can safely and sustainably develop the resources they offer.

My PhD, which I undertook at the University of Oxford, focused on active peralkaline volcanoes in the East African Rift. I used a variety of techniques to explore structural controls on volcanism, volcanic degassing processes, causes of ground deformation and the impacts that large explosive eruptions had on our hominin ancestors

A key focus of my PhD was the processes that take place at the interface between the magmatic and hydrothermal reservoirs. I'm now investigating the "fossilized" equivalents of these East African volcanoes in Greenland's Gardar Province as part of the HiTech AlkCarb consortium ( The goal is to improve our understanding of volatile behaviour in the roof zones of peralkaline magma chambers, and hopefully draw parallels with the active volcanic systems I've studied previously.


  • –present
    Research Fellow, University of St Andrews