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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Dr Fabian Wadsworth, PhD

Personal web page

Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42314
Room number: Rm 319

Contact Dr Fabian Wadsworth (email at


2016 - 2018. Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

2012 - 2016. PhD student (supervisors: Donald Dingwell & Bettina Scheu), Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

CV and publications

I have published 63 journal articles, and a range of book chapters, and opinion or editorial pieces. Find a full list of my journal and book publications here.

Research highlights

To date, I principally work in 3 areas of active research:

  • The permeability of random heterogeneous materials, with specific applications to volcanic and other crustal rocks. 
  • The coalescence of large heterogeneous arrays of viscous liquid droplets under surface tension, applied pressures, and chemical disequilibrium conditions.
  • The viscoelastic response of multiphase magmas to stress, including cycles of material rupture and healing.

I additionally have contributed to work involving bubble growth and bubble deformation during flow of magmas, the formation of obsidian, the motives and methods of producing vitrified forts in European antiquity, and the evolution of language use in modern poets, among other topics. 

Recent or current grants awarded

[7] Quantifying and communicating the risk of volcanic eruptions to the airline industry. Awarded by the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University. 2020-2021. Principal Investigator.

[6] From grains to rocks: The evolution of mechanical and hydraulic properties during diagenesis. University of Strasbourg doctorate grant. Awarded in 2017. Co-investigator (PI: Mike Heap)

[5] Bubble growth and resorption in magma: A quantitative study. Diamond Light Source synchrotron beamtime grant at i12. Awarded in 2017. Co-investigator (PI: Ed Llewellin).

[4] Testing the Wedgwood pyrometer of 1786. Studi_Forscht@GEO grant W18_F16. Awarded in 2017. Principal investigator.

[3] Hysteresis processes in large volcanic eruptions: the evolution from pumice to obsidian. Swiss Light Source synchrotron beamtime grant at TOMCAT x02DA. Awarded in 2016. Co-investigator (PI: Mathieu Colombier).

[2] In situ viscous sintering of volcanic ash. Swiss Light Source synchrotron beamtime grant at TOMCAT x02DA. Awarded in 2014. Principal investigator.

[1] The valves of a volcano. Deutscher Akademischer Austauchdienst (DAAD) grant to host a research internship. Awarded in 2012Principal investigator. 

Service to the community

Co-founder (with Dr Jamie Farquharson) of the first diamond open-access volcanology journal: Volcanica. We welcome submissions of your research across any aspect of volcanology.

STEM ambassador UK key stage 3 & 4 (age 11-18) 

Organiser of, and poet at Republic of Verse, an international poetry project providing poetry to anyone, anywhere, for free.

Supervising students

  • PhD students

[5] Annabelle Foster. Degassing dynamics in silicic eruptions. First supervisor. 2019-ongoing.

[4] Eloise Bretagne. Mechanical mobilization of magma mush. First supervisor. 2018-ongoing.

[3] Holly Unwin. Fracture outgassing of silicic eruptions. Co-supervisor. 2018-ongoing.

[2] Jenny Schauroth. Vesiculation of magmas under shear. Co-supervisor. 2018-ongoing.

[1] Ana Casas. High temperature gas-ash interactions at volcanoes. DAAD-Conacyt scholarship. Co-supervisors: Corrado Cimarelli, Donald Dingwell. 2015-ongoing

  • MSc students

[7] David Squirrell. Rise velocity of bubbles in osciating pressure fields. 
First supervisor. 2019-2020.

[6] Eleanor Smart. Dynamic mobilization of submerged granular media. First supervisor. 2019-2020.

[5] Tegan Havard. Sintering multiphase magmas. Co-supervisor: Kate Dobson. 2018-2019.

[4] Janina Adolf. The wettability of molten volcanic ash on carbon-based substrates. Co-supervisor: Wenjia Song. 2017-2018

[3] Caron Vossen. The sound of failure: Using acoustic emission signals to predict the rupture of viscoelastic silicate liquids. Co-supervisor: Jeremie Vasseur. 2017-2018

[2] Taylor Witcher. How slow can you flow? The viscous-to-brittle transition in silicate liquids. Co-supervisor: Bettina Scheu. 2016-2017.

[1] Jenny Schauroth. Sintering of natural volcanic ash at magmatic conditions. Co-supervisor: Bettina Scheu. 2015-2016.

Indicators of Esteem

Research Groups


Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Wadsworth, Fabian B., Witcher, Taylor, Vasseur, Jérémie, Dingwell, Donald B. & Scheu, Bettina (2017). When Does Magma Break?. In Volcanic Unrest: From science to society. Gottsmann, Jo, Scheu, Bettina & Neuberg, Juergen

Journal Article

Show all publications