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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Dr Madeleine Humphreys

Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42343
Room number: Rm 318

(email at


My research is in igneous petrology, volcanology and magmatism, with a focus on understanding processes of magma storage, chemical evolution and migration within the crust using both natural materials and experimental approaches. My current research interests include (i) using crystal textures to understand and quantify magma solidifcation and the physical behaviour of crystal mushes, and (ii) volatiles in volcanic processes, including the timing of fluid exsolution and the enrichment and migration of metals in volcanic settings. 

Current and recent research projects include:

  • using crystal textures combined with apatite geochemistry to interpret crystal mush behaviour in the lead-up to big eruptions (ERC Consolidator; PI)
  • using plagioclase crystal textures to understand mush processes in intermediate arc magmatic systems (NERC; PI)
  • defining speciation and structural environments for metals and volatiles complexes in silicate melts (in collaboration with Alex Iveson; Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship)
  • exploiting volatile diffusion in apatite to monitor magmatic processes and timescales (NERC; led by Dr Richard Brooker, University of Bristol)
  • developing the use of apatite as a tool to understand and quantitatively interpret the pre-eruptive evolution of volatiles in magma (NERC; PI)

We have a very active volcanology-petrology group in Durham. Currently working with me are: (i) Dr Martin Mangler, working on plagioclase-rich crystal mushes in subduction zone magmas; (ii) Dr Alex Iveson (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow), working on halogens and trace elements in evolved melts; and (iii) Dr Charline Lormand, who is working on the behaviour of volatiles in apatite.

Current PhD students include Madeleine Stow, who is working on transition metal stable isotope fractionation in granites (primary supervisor Julie Prytulak); Kris Sokól (St Andrews) who is working on fenite alteration around alkaline intrusions (primary supervisor Adrian Finch); Annabelle Foster, who is working on sintering textures in obsidian (primary supervisor Fabian Wadsworth); and Ceri Allgood, who is working on textures and experiments related to dyke propagation and flow (primary supervisor Ed Llewellin). MScR student Eshbal Geifman has been conducting high-temperature crystallisation experiments using a microscope-mounted heating stage.

I am always happy to hear from potential graduate students or post-docs interested in developing projects at Durham.

Two fully funded PhD studentships available!

Two fully funded PhD studentships are available through ERC-STEMMS project on magma mush storage and eruption. The projects are funded for 3.5 years starting from October 2022 with stipend and fees paid at the UK rate (see here for further information). Please get in touch by email for any informal enquiries.

To apply: Please send (i) a CV, (ii) covering letter explaining why you want to apply for the project and what skills and experience you would bring to it, and (iii) a personal statement of your research interests, to by 19th January 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview during late January/ early February 2022.

PhD 1 A crystal's eye view on mushy magma storage and remobilisation

PhD 2 The plutonic record of crystal mush storage and solidification

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

  • Geochemistry Research Group
  • Volcanology Research Group

Teaching Areas

  • L3 Volcanology and Magmatism (GEOL3051)

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Show all publications


Indicators of Esteem

  • 2020: Associate Editor, Journal of Petrology:
  • 2019: Wager Medal, IAVCEI:
  • 2017: Editorial board member, Geology:
  • 2012: Max Hey medal, Mineralogical Society of Great Britain:
  • 2008: President's Award, Geological Society of London:

Selected Grants

  • 2020: Magma mush eruptibility: the lifetime of mobile magma (£492261.42 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
  • 2020: STEMMS: Storage and Eruption of Mushy Magma Systems (£1513850.77 from Interreg (ERDF) Europe)
  • 2018: Apatite as a Monitor of Magmatic Processes and Timescales (£8283.00 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
  • 2016: RF050272: Royal Society University Research Fellowship Renewal, The Royal Society, £278k
  • 2016: RF050291: Reconstructing eruptive processes from volatile distribution in volcanic glass, NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, £482k
  • 2014: Volatiles, Geodynamics and Solid Earth Controls on the Habitable Planet (£403276.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2010: Co-I, NERC Knowledge Exchange grant, £31k, Applying petrological research to volcanic risk assessment
  • 2008: R-Co-I, NERC standard grant, £181k, Solidification in mafic magma chambers
  • 2013: PI, RF050219: University Research Fellowship, The Royal Society, £658k (transferred from University of Oxford, October 2013)
  • 2013: PI, RF050236: Apatite as a quantitative tool for tephrochronology and magmatic evolution, NERC, £199k
  • 2013: PI, RF050241: The structure and rheology of crystal mushes, NERC, £10.9k