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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Dr Madeleine Humphreys

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

(email at


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham. I previously held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (at University of Oxford and then at Durham) and a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. I obtained my PhD from the University of Bristol in 2006.

My research interests are broadly in igneous petrology, geochemistry and volcanology, with a focus on understanding processes of magma generation, migration and storage. I use the chemistry of the rock record to answer fundamental questions relating to the formation and differentiation of the Earth's crust through volcanic processes. I have particular interests in understanding the role of volatiles in the generation and eruption of magmas at subduction zone volcanoes; and in constraining and tracking oxidation state during magma fractionation and ascent. I am also interested in using crystal textures to understand and quantify solidifcation processes, and the role of crystal mush microstructure in controlling its physical behaviour and permeability. For further information please see the links at the bottom of this page.

Current and recent research projects include:

 - exploiting volatile diffusion in apatite to monitor magmatic processes and timescales (led by Dr Richard Brooker, University of Bristol)

 - developing the use of apatite as a tool to understand and quantitatively interpret the evolution of magmatic volatiles (see our group project webpages here)

 - developing new methods to track and quantify magma oxidation state and equilibrium melt composition, including using minerals such as amphibole and apatite.

I currently supervise three PhD students: (i) Josh Hughes, who is working on melt infiltration and volatile and trace element enrichment in syenites; (ii) Madeleine Stow, who is working on stable isotope fractionation in intrusive settings (primary supervisor Julie Prytulak); and (iii) Kris Sokól (St Andrews), who is working on fenite alteration around alkaline intrusions (primary supervisor Adrian Finch).

I also supervise three PDRAs: (i) Dr Jason Coumans, working on diffusion of water species in degassing rhyolites, with Prof Ed Llewellin; (ii) Dr Alex Iveson, who is working on volatile cycling and fractionation at subduction zones); and (iii) Emily Fallon (Bristol), who is working on constraining volatile diffusivities in apatite, with Dr Richard Brooker. Recent MSci students include Erin Thompson (2019; apatite geochemistry in Mt Damavand, Iran), and Jacob Sharp (2019; modelling of apatite volatile chemistry in porphyry systems).

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

Recent students include Dr Mike Stock (PhD 2016, now a Junior Research Fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge); Dr Jing Zhang (PhD 2016, now a post-doctoral researcher at Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences); Eloise Bretagne (MScR 2018, now a PhD student at Durham University); and Abigail Metcalfe (MSci 2018, now a PhD student at IPGP). Previous postdoctoral researchers include Dr Olivier Namur (now permanent academic staff, KU Leuven, Belgium) Dr Llewellyn Pilbeam (now a software developer, Oslo) and Dr Jenny Riker (now a permanent teaching fellow, University of Bristol).

Indicators of Esteem

  • 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:

Research Groups

Teaching Areas

  • L3 Volcanology and Magmatism (GEOL3051)


Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Show all publications