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Durham University

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Dr Martin Mangler

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42347
Room number: ES309
Postdoctoral Research Associate - Earth Sciences in the Department of Physics

(email at


I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University. I am studying variations of plagioclase morphology as a function of the cooling and/or decompression paths of subduction zone magmas. This work is part of the NERC-funded project "Magma mush eruptibility: the lifetime of mobile magma", helmed by Madeleine Humphreys; co-investigators include Fabian Wadsworth, Alexander Iveson and Richard Brooker.

Plagioclase is one of the most abundant minerals in magmas worldwide: it crystallises at depth in magma reservoirs beneath volcanoes, and continues to nucleate and grow when magma ascends to shallow depths and eventually erupts. Due to its abundance, the shape of plagioclase crystals (e.g., equant vs elongated) has a profound impact on the rheological properties of magmas. These in turn control (1) how easily magma stored at depth is remobilised and primed for eruption, and (2) whether an eruption will be explosive or effusive in nature. I aim to constrain how variations in cooling/decompression rate and crystallisation timescales affect the aspect ratio of plagioclase crystals in silicic melts using high pressure and temperature experiments, as well as natural samples from subduction zone volcanoes. 

Biography and Research Interests

I obtained my MSc in mineralogy from the University of Tuebingen (Germany) and my PhD from Imperial College London in 2018. Before my appointment at Durham University, I worked at the Natural History Museum London as a postdoctoral research associate and at the University of East Anglia as teaching faculty (Lecturer in Volcanology).

My research focusses on magmatic processes leading to volcanic eruptions. I use compositions and textures of volcanic rocks and minerals to reconstruct magmatic conditions and dynamics during their formation. I have previously worked on the halogen budget of natrocarbonatites, the transcrustal petrogenesis of arc andesites, and on patterns of magma recharge into shallow volcanic plumbing systems prior to eruptions. Furthermore, I am part of an international collaboration charting societal and cultural responses to the eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano (Montserrat) and their role in building resilience: Mountain Aglow.

I am a keen science communicator and, as a former British Media Fellow, especially interested in the relationship between science/scientists and the media.

Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

Department of Physics


Conference Paper

Doctoral Thesis

Journal Article