Associate Professor Jan Marie Lindsay

BSc/MSc (University of Auckland), PhD (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen & GFZ-Potsdam)

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Associate Professor


I grew up in Rotorua, Western Samoa and Auckland, all places that are known for their volcanoes, although my serious interest in geology was not sparked until university.

After my MSc project on Little Barrier volcano off the coast of Auckland in 1994, I took up a research assistant position in the geothermal programme at the GNS Science (then IGNS) Wairakei Research Centre in Taupo. This was great timing, as it provided me with first-hand experience in emergency management when Ruapehu erupted in 1995.

In 1996 I moved to Germany to take up a PhD at the GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam, where I worked on a project unraveling the history of the large La Pacana caldera in the Altiplano-Puna plateau in Chile.

After a short post-doc at the GFZ, in 2000 I moved to the warmer climes of Trinidad and Tobago, where I spent four years as a Research Fellow in the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies. Whilst in the Caribbean I was involved in the monitoring and hazard assessment of the volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles, and related outreach programmes.

In 2006 I returned to The University of Auckland to take up a New Zealand Earthquake Commission (EQC)-funded research fellowship in volcanic hazard and risk, originally in the Institute of Earth Science and Engineering (IESE).

Outside of work I enjoy yoga, reading, camping, and going on adventures with my German partner Volker and our two sons Tom (born 2003) and Leon (born 2005).

Research | Current

I am interested in all aspects of volcanoes, including the petrogenesis of their magmas, the surficial deposits they generate and the hazards they pose. My main areas of research and interest are:

  • Volcanic geology, hazard and risk assessment of monogenetic basaltic fields. I co-lead two multi-agency, multi-disciplinary projects in this research area: Determining Volcanic Risk in Auckland (DEVORA), and Volcanic Risk in Saudi Arabia (VORiSA).
  • Developing effective methods of communicating volcanic hazard and risk. This requires a holistic approach, and encompasses outreach activities, volcano monitoring, volcanic hazard assessment and hazard mapping techniques, eruption response plans and eruption forecasting tools, such as BET_EF.
  • Geological history and geochemistry of the volcanic islands of the Caribbean, in particular Dominica and Saint Lucia; geology, hazards and seismicity of the submarine volcano Kick ‘em Jenny. Most of my work in the Caribbean is summarised in the Volcanic Hazard Atlas for the Lesser Antilles.
  • Volcanological and magmatic evolution of large silicic systems, most recently through U-Th and (U-Th)/He zircon dating of eruptions and magmatic processes as a tool for identifying magmatic longevity and cyclicity.

Teaching | Current

Course coordinator

EARTHSCI 105/105G Natural Hazards in New Zealand

EARTHSCI 705 Geohazards

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students

  • Sophia Tsang: Modelling and consequences of lava flows in urban environments
  • Seethal Sivarajan: Volcanic ash impacts on pastural soils
  • Elaine Smid: Magmatic processes from source to surface
  • Daniel Blake: Volcanic impacts on ground transportation

PhD completions

  • Hugo Mucia (PhD): Volcanology of basaltic fields in Saudi Arabia (2015)
  • Melody Runge (PhD): Volcanic hazard in Saudi Arabia (2015)
  • Gabor Kereszturi (PhD): Scoria cone morphometry (2015)
  • Javier Augustin-Flores (PhD): Controls on phreatomagmatic volcanism (2016)
  • Tracy Howe (PhD): Silicic magmatism in the Lesser Antilles island arc (2015)
  • Mary-Anne Thompson (PhD): Probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis and communication (2015)
  • Nicolas LeCorvec (PhD): Physical controls on monogenetic volcanism (2013)
  • Sonja Storm (PhD): Magmatic processes at Okataina volcano (2013)
  • Aleksandra Zawalna-Geer (PhD): Cryptotephra record in Auckland (2013)
  • Lucy McGee (PhD): Petrology of the Auckland Volcanic Field (2012)
  • Erouscilla Joseph (PhD): Geothermal geochemistry of volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles (2008)


Chair: School of Environment Research Committee

Co-leader of the Hazard Hub @ University of Auckland

Areas of expertise

Volcanic hazard; volcanic risk, volcanology, igneous petrology, monogenetic volcanism

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Thompson, M. A., Owen, S., Lindsay, J. M., Leonard, G. S., & Cronin, S. J. (2017). Scientist and stakeholder perspectives of transdisciplinary research: Early attitudes, expectations, and tensions. Environmental Science & Policy, 74, 30-39. 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.04.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mary Anne Thompson, Shane Cronin
  • Blake, D. M., Deligne, N. I., Wilson, T. M., Lindsay, J. M., & Woods, R. (2017). Investigating the consequences of urban volcanism using a scenario approach II: Insights into transportation network damage and functionality. JOURNAL OF VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH, 340, 92-116. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores2017.04.010
  • Leonard, G. S., Calvert, A. T., Hopkins, J. L., Wilson, C. J. N., Smid, E. R., Lindsay, J. M., & Champion, D. E. (2017). High-precision 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dating of Quaternary basalts from Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand, with implications for eruption rates and paleomagnetic correlations. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.05.033
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Elaine Smid
  • Grocke, S. B., de Silva, S. L., Iriarte, R., Lindsay, J. M., & Cottrell, E. (2017). Catastrophic Caldera-Forming (CCF) Monotonous Silicic Magma Reservoirs: Geochemical and Petrological Constraints on Heterogeneity, Magma Dynamics, and Eruption Dynamics of the 3·49 Ma Tara Supereruption, Guacha II Caldera, SW Bolivia. Journal of Petrology10.1093/petrology/egx012
  • Thompson, M. A., Lindsay, J. M., Wilson, T. M., Biass, S., & Sandri, L. (2017). Quantifying risk to agriculture from volcanic ashfall: a case study from the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Natural Hazards, 86 (1), 31-56. 10.1007/s11069-016-2672-7
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mary Anne Thompson
  • Shane, P., Maas, R., & Lindsay, J. (2017). History of Red Crater volcano, Tongariro Volcanic Centre (New Zealand): Abrupt shift in magmatism following recharge and contrasting evolution between neighboring volcanoes. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.04.008
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Phil Shane
  • Cadag, J. R., Driedger, C., Garcia, C., Duncan, M., Gaillard, J. C., Lindsay, J., & Haynes, K. (2017). Fostering Participation of Local Actors in Volcanic Disaster Risk Reduction. In C. Fearnley, D. Bird, G. Jolly, K. Haynes, B. McGuire (Eds.) Observing the Volcano World: Volcano Crisis Communication (pp. 1-17). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 10.1007/11157_2016_39
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: JC Gaillard
  • Thompson, M. A., Lindsay, J. M., & Leonard, G. S. (2017). More than meets the eye: Volcanic hazard map design and visual communication. In C. Fearnley, D. Bird, G. Jolly, K. Haynes, B. McGuire (Eds.) Observing the Volcano World: Volcano Crisis Communication (pp. 1-20). Springer. 10.1007/11157_2016_47
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mary Anne Thompson