Author: VolcaKnowledge Podcast

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A podcast exploring how the world of volcanoes interacts across nature, culture and society
10 Episodes
In our final episode for Series 1, we're stepping off this world as Dr. Natalie Starkey takes us on a journey to volcanic activity across the solar system, and how she came to write a book all about it: Fire and Ice. Dr Natalie Starkey (she/her) is an accomplished science communicator and currently an Outreach and Public Engagement Officer for Physical Sciences at The Open University. Natalie’s work focusses on promoting the physical sciences to under-represented groups by using outreach and public engagement activities in schools and public settings. Natalie moved into science communication following a decade-long research career focussing on geology and space science. She has since written two popular science books on space science, Catching Stardust and Fire & Ice, as well as writing popular science articles for leading publications. Natalie has hosted shows for Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular StarTalk Radio in New York on which she is also a regular science expert guest, and has appeared on television and radio as a science expert and presenter. In 2019 Natalie was the scriptwriter for the Hayden Planetarium’s space show, Worlds Beyond Earth, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, crafting the narrative of the show which was narrated by the award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. Website: Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @StarkeyStardust Books: Catching Stardust: Fire & Ice:
In this episode, we talk with Professor Christopher Jackson about the power of TV, media, and public lectures, as outreach tools to engage people from all backgrounds with the geosciences. Join us for a special discussion that takes us to the summit of one of Earth's largest lava lakes! Chris Jackson (he/him/his) is Chair in Sustainable Geoscience at the University of Manchester. Chris works in the general area of sedimentary basin analysis. When not studying rocks, Chris gives geoscience lectures to the public and in schools, having appeared on several, Earth Science-focused, television productions and podcasts. Chris is engaged in efforts to improve equality, diversity, and inclusivity in Higher Education. Royal Institution Christmas Lecture 2020: Expedition Volcano (BBC): Audible series: Twitter: Instagram:
In this episode, we talk to Dr. Natasha Dowey (she/her) about her journey through the geoscience industry, work as a volcanologist, and the developing of networks to address issues and the future of geoscience and sustainable development. Natasha Dowey is a geoscientist passionate about hazard analysis, geoscience for sustainable development, and equity in geoscience. Her career has taken some twists, with a PhD in volcanology leading to a seven-year career as a research geoscientist in the energy sector. She returned to academia in 2019 as a Lecturer in Geology at the University of Hull, and joined the team at Sheffield Hallam University in 2021. She is currently Course Lead of Sheffield Hallam's Environmental Science degree. In her spare time, she leads the Geoscience for the Future initiative, is trustee of the charity Geology for Global Development, and does her best to juggle academia, parenthood and as much time outdoors in the Peak District as possible. Twitter: website: insta/twitter: VOICES: GfGD:
In this episode, Dr. Jeffrey Marlow takes us from the inside of lava lake craters to the bottom of the oceans to tell us about the extreme environments that life can develop AND thrive. Microbes can actually live right next to lava lakes!! Dr. Jeffrey Marlow (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Boston University, where his lab studies microorganisms inhabiting some of Earth's most extreme environments, from the deep sea to active volcanoes. He is particularly interested in mapping the metabolic activity and interactions of distinct cells using microscopy and stable isotope probing approaches. Dr. Marlow is also a science writer, a science policy advisor, and the executive director of the Ad Astra Academy, an educational organization that harnesses the power of exploration to inspire young learners around the world. Marlow Lab website: Twitter page: Lab instagram: Marum lava lake research:
In this episode, Sam speaks with Dr. Cansu Culha about her combined passions of dance and science, and turning volcanic processes and earth science into an art form. What would your research look like if you danced it?! Dr. Cansu Culha (she/her) earned her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in geophysics. She researches fluid and thermodynamic processes in Earth Sciences. One of her favourite applications is in understanding volcanic processes. Her mother is from the foothills of Erciyez Volcano in Turkey, and thus, her ancestral relationship with volcanoes fuels her excitement and curiosity for researching them. Ironically, her first time seeing a volcanic eruption was after she defended her Ph.D. thesis on volcanic processes. Dr. Culha’s research spans a wide range of topics, from lava flow mechanics to magma reservoir convection. Her research has been recognized through various awards like the Lieberman and NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Awards, but she is most honoured to be working with other budding scientists. In addition to her research efforts, she has co-founded an initiative called Art as Science Communication Initiative (Art-SCI), where members find creative ways to engage with their research and communicate them to others. Instagram: @cansu44 Twitter: @CansuCulha2 Website: Art-SCI: Apokalani music: Kumu Pa'a i Ka 'Aina:
In this episode, Sam talks to Diamond Tachera about how volcanoes have influenced the native history, culture, education, and even water supply, of the Hawaiian Islands for thousands of years. Diamond Tachera (she|her) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She is kanaka ʻōiwi (Native Hawaiian), born and raised on the island of Oʻahu. Her dissertation focuses on the geochemical changes of water as it moves through the water cycle, to better understand the source, flow, and interconnectivity of aquifers in Hawaiʻi. She is also very passionate about linking her Hawaiian heritage and culture within her scientific work in geology and hydrology. Instagram: @dmndkt Website:
In this episode, Sam talks with Leif Karlstrom about his work combining geophysical signals (from geysers and volcanoes) with visualization and sonification, inspired by his background as a musician. Who knew that the Earth made such amazing music?! Dr. Leif Karlstrom (he/him), University of Oregon,  is an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences. He studies fluid motions in and on volcanoes, landscape evolution, glaciology, and geodynamics. Leif also has an active professional music career as a classically trained violinist. Personal website: , VLP site: , twitter handle: @VolcanoListener
In this episode, Sam talks to Dr Jazmin Scarlett (She/Her) about seeing volcanic eruptions through the eyes of history, social science, and local island communities. Jazmin takes us on a personal journey of how her research on past eruptions can help communities today. Dr Jazmin Scarlett is a Historical and Social Volcanologist, researching how people lived in the past and the present with active volcanoes. Previous research has researched the people and volcanoes of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, Germany and Italy. She also has interests in heritage studies, hazard analysis, disaster studies concepts and theories and science communication and outreach pedagogy. Dr Scarlett did her undergraduate in BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards at Coventry University, MSc Volcanology and Geological Hazards at Lancaster University and PhD in Earth Science at the University of Hull. She has been a visiting researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark, previously a Lecturer in Physical Geography at Newcastle University and is currently working for Queen Mary University of London in Student Support. Blog: Twitter: @scarlett_jazmin
In this episode, Sam talks to Dr. Janine Krippner about the advantages and challenges of communicating volcano science and natural hazards through the world of social media. There are more volcanologists on Twitter than you might have thought! Dr Janine Krippner (she/her) is a volcanologist based in New Zealand, working remotely for the Global Volcanism Program as well as projects on Ngauruhoe volcano (Mount Doom!) with the University of Waikato. Her passions are all things volcanoes and helping people understand what they do and how to stay safe. On top of her job, her communication work includes a blog, a podcast, a YouTube video series, media interviews, and using platforms like Twitter to connect with people about this beautiful yet dangerous part of life on our planet. Twitter: Website: Youtube: Blog: Global Volcanism Program:
Welcome to VolcaKnowledge! A new podcast all about how volcanoes interact across nature, culture and society, hosted by volcanologist Sam Mitchell and produced by science presenter Huw James.  Every week will feature a new guest exploring their unique work and experiences with volcanoes all around our planet and beyond! In this episode, Sam and Huw talk about the inspiration behind this podcast series, their personal connections to the world of volcanoes, and what volcanoes mean to us as a society. You can find out more information about VolcaKnowledge through our website: And get to know more about Sam and Huw through their websites: and
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