Dr Simon Barker

PhD, MSc, BSc (hons)

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Honorary Academic


My academic background is in volcanology and igneous petrology with a strong foundation in geochemistry. I am originally from Auckland, where I did my undergraduate and honours degrees (Geology) at the University of Auckland. I moved to Wellington in 2009 to undertake MSc study at Victoria University, researching the petrogenesis of evolved, explosive magmas in the Kermadec arc. In 2011 I was awarded a Victoria Doctoral Scholarship to study the post-Oruanui supereruption recovery, reconstruction and evolution of Taupo volcano. After completion of my PhD I travelled in the USA and Canada before starting a post-doctoral research fellow position at the University of Auckland in 2015. I am currently researching trace element signatures of volcanic eruptions in speleothems around the TVZ to determine eruptive frequencies and environmental impacts of large silicic eruptions. I am also very interested in the petrogenesis of both mafic and silicic magmas in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. I have worked with a range of scientists from multiple institutions both in New Zealand (National Institute for Water and Atmosphere, Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington) and worldwide (Stanford University, Australia National University, Open University, National Oceanographic Centre, University of Leeds, University of Bristol). 

Research | Current

1) Petrogensis of magma in the Taupo Volcanic Zone

2) Dynamics of large silicic supereruptions

3) Geochemical signatures of volcanic ash in speleothems

4) Submarine volcanism in the Kermadec arc

Teaching | Current

ESCI 301 Field Volcanology

ESCI 304 Petrology and Geochemistry

Areas of expertise

Volcanology, field geology, silicic volcanism, eruptive processes, igneous petrology, geochemistry, geochronology, tephrochronology, analytical techniques

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Wilson, C. J., Morgan, D. J., Charlier, B. L., & Barker, S. J. (2017). Comment on "Rapid cooling and cold storage in a silicic magma reservoir recorded in individual crystals". Science, 358 (6370)10.1126/science.aap8429
  • Cronin, S. J., Brenna, M., Smith, I. E. M., Barker, S., Tost, M., Ford, M., ... Vaiomounga, R. (2017). New volcanic island unveils explosive past. Eos, 98 (9), 18-23. 10.1029/2017EO076589
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41024
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shane Cronin, Murray Ford
  • Somoza, L., Gonzalez, F. J., Barker, S. J., Madureira, P., Medialdea, T., de Ignacio, C., ... Palomino, D. (2017). Evolution of submarine eruptive activity during the 2011-2012 El Hierro event as documented by hydroacoustic images and remotely operated vehicle observations. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18 (8), 3109-3137. 10.1002/2016GC006733
  • Allan, A. S. R., Barker, S. J., Millet, M. A., Morgan, D. J., Rooytakkers, S. M., Schipper, C. I., & Wilson, C. J. N. (2017). A cascade of magmatic events during the assembly and eruption of a super-sized magma body. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 172 (7), 1-34. 10.1007/s00410-017-1367-8
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/43865
  • Barker, S. J., Wilson, C. J. N., Morgan, D. J., & Rowland, J. V. (2016). Rapid priming, accumulation, and recharge of magma driving recent eruptions at a hyperactive caldera volcano. Geology, 44 (4), 323-326. 10.1130/G37382.1
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35328
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Rowland
  • Rotella, M. D., Wilson, C. J., Barker, S. J., Schipper, C. I., Wright, I. C., & Wysoczanski, R. J. (2015). Dynamics of deep submarine silicic explosive eruptions in the Kermadec arc, as reflected in pumice vesicularity textures. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 301, 314-332. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.05.021
  • Barker, S. J., Wilson, C. J., Allan, A. S., & Schipper, C. I. (2015). Fine-scale temporal recovery, reconstruction and evolution of a post-supereruption magmatic system. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 170 (1)10.1007/s00410-015-1155-2
  • Rotella, M. D., Wilson, C. J., Barker, S. J., Cashman, K. V., Houghton, B. F., & Wright, I. C. (2014). Bubble development in explosive silicic eruptions: Insights from pyroclast vesicularity textures from Raoul volcano (Kermadec arc). Bulletin of Volcanology, 76 (8)10.1007/s00445-014-0826-6

Contact details

Alternative contact

027 2395069

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