Associate Professor Jan Marie Lindsay

BSc/MSc (University of Auckland), PhD (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen & GFZ-Potsdam)

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Associate Professor
Associate Dean - Research


I grew up in Rotorua, Western Samoa and Auckland, all places that are known for their volcanoes, although my serious interest in geology was not sparked until university.

After my MSc project on Little Barrier volcano off the coast of Auckland in 1994, I took up a research assistant position in the geothermal programme at the GNS Science (then IGNS) Wairakei Research Centre in Taupo. This was great timing, as it provided me with first-hand experience in emergency management when Ruapehu erupted in 1995.

In 1996 I moved to Germany to take up a PhD at the GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam, where I worked on a project unraveling the history of the large La Pacana caldera in the Altiplano-Puna plateau in Chile.

After a short post-doc at the GFZ, in 2000 I moved to the warmer climes of Trinidad and Tobago, where I spent four years as a Research Fellow in the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies. Whilst in the Caribbean I was involved in the monitoring and hazard assessment of the volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles, and related outreach programmes.

In 2006 I returned to The University of Auckland to take up a New Zealand Earthquake Commission (EQC)-funded research fellowship in volcanic hazard and risk.

Outside of work I enjoy trail running, reading, camping, and going on adventures with my German partner Volker and our two sons Tom (born 2003) and Leon (born 2005).

Research | Current

My research focuses on making society more resilient to volcanic hazards through improving understanding of magmatic and volcanic processes, and developing and testing techniques for better communication between scientists and stakeholders to ensure efficient uptake of hazard and risk research. My main areas of research and interest are:

  • Volcanic geology, hazard and risk assessment of monogenetic basaltic fields. I lead a multi-agency, transdisciplinary project in this research area: Determining Volcanic Risk in Auckland (DEVORA), and between 2011 and 2013 I co-led a similar project on Volcanic Risk in Saudi Arabia (VORiSA).
  • Developing effective methods of communicating volcanic hazard and risk. This requires a holistic approach, combining volcano monitoring, volcanic hazard assessment, volcanic hazard mapping, eruption forecasting and outreach activities. I am particularly interested in what makes an effective hazard map, and also whether short-term probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment can be harnessed to help decision-makers in a volcanic crisis. 
  • Geological history and geochemistry of the volcanic islands of the Caribbean, in particular Dominica and Saint Lucia; geology, hazards and seismicity of the submarine volcano Kick ‘em Jenny. Some of my work in the Caribbean is summarised in the Volcanic Hazard Atlas for the Lesser Antilles.
  • Volcanological and magmatic evolution of large silicic systems, most recently through U-Th and (U-Th)/He zircon dating of eruptions and magmatic processes as a tool for identifying magmatic longevity and cyclicity.

Teaching | Current

Course Director

EARTHSCI 105/105G Natural Hazards in New Zealand

EARTHSCI 705 Geohazards

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students

  • Shreya Kanakiya: Geophysical signatures of hydrothermal alteration 
  • Daniel Bertin: Volcanic hazard in the Andean back-arc
  • Sophia Tsang: Modelling and consequences of lava flows in urban environments
  • Seethal Sivarajan: Volcanic ash impacts on pastural soils
  • Elaine Smid: Magmatic processes from source to surface
  • Alec Wild: Quantitative cost-benefit-analysis approaches for volcanic crisis management
  • Robert Constantinescu: Tephra sedimentation models: the next step

PhD completions

  • Daniel Blake (PhD): Volcanic impacts on ground transportation (2017)
  • Javier Augustin-Flores (PhD): Controls on phreatomagmatic volcanism (2016)
  • Hugo Mucia (PhD): Volcanology of basaltic fields in Saudi Arabia (2015)
  • Melody Runge (PhD): Volcanic hazard in Saudi Arabia (2015)
  • Gabor Kereszturi (PhD): Scoria cone morphometry (2015)
  • Tracy Howe (PhD): Silicic magmatism in the Lesser Antilles island arc (2015)
  • Mary-Anne Thompson (PhD): Probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis and communication (2015)
  • Nicolas LeCorvec (PhD): Physical controls on monogenetic volcanism (2013)
  • Sonja Storm (PhD): Magmatic processes at Okataina volcano (2013)
  • Aleksandra Zawalna-Geer (PhD): Cryptotephra record in Auckland (2013)
  • Lucy McGee (PhD): Petrology of the Auckland Volcanic Field (2012)
  • Erouscilla Joseph (PhD): Geothermal geochemistry of volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles (2008)


Associate Dean of Science (Research)

Areas of expertise

Volcanic hazard; volcanic risk, volcanology, igneous petrology, monogenetic volcanism, volcanic hazard maps

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lindsay, J. M., & Robertson, R. E. A. (2018). Integrating Volcanic Hazard Data in a Systematic Approach to Develop Volcanic Hazard Maps in the Lesser Antilles. Frontiers in Earth Science, 6.10.3389/feart.2018.00042
  • Thompson, M. A., Lindsay, J. M., & Leonard, G. S. (2018). More than meets the eye: Volcanic hazard map design and visual communication. In C. Fearnley, D. Bird, G. Jolly, K. Haynes, B. McGuire (Eds.) Observing the volcano world: Volcano crisis communication (pp. ). New York: Springer. 10.1007/11157_2016_47
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mary Anne Thompson
  • Leonard, G. S., Calvert, A. T., Hopkins, J. L., Wilson, C. J. N., Smid, E. R., Lindsay, J. M., & Champion, D. E. (2017). High-precision 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dating of Quaternary basalts from Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand, with implications for eruption rates and paleomagnetic correlations. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 343, 60-74. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.05.033
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Elaine Smid
  • Blake, D., Wilson, T., Cole, J., Deligne, N., & Lindsay, J. (2017). Impact of Volcanic Ash on Road and Airfield Surface Skid Resistance. Sustainability, 9 (8), 1389-1389. 10.3390/su9081389
  • Thompson, M. A., Owen, S., Lindsay, J. M., Leonard, G. S., & Cronin, S. J. (2017). Scientist and stakeholder perspectives of transdisciplinary research: Early attitudes, expectations, and tensions. Environmental Science and Policy, 74, 30-39. 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.04.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mary Anne Thompson, Shane Cronin
  • Bezard, R., Turner, S., Davidson, J., Schmitt, A. K., & Lindsay, J. (2017). Origin and Evolution of Silicic Magmas in Oceanic Arcs; an in situ Study from St Lucia, Lesser Antilles. Journal of Petrology, 58 (7), 1279-1318. 10.1093/petrology/egx053
  • Stirling, M., Bebbington, M., Brenna, M., Cronin, S., Christophersen, A., Deligne, N., ... Kennedy, B. (2017). Conceptual Development of a National Volcanic Hazard Model for New Zealand. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5.10.3389/feart.2017.00051
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shane Cronin, Phil Shane, Ian Smith
  • Blake, D. M., Deligne, N. I., Wilson, T. M., Lindsay, J. M., & Woods, R. (2017). Investigating the consequences of urban volcanism using a scenario approach II: Insights into transportation network damage and functionality. JOURNAL OF VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH, 340, 92-116. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.04.010


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 5, Room 557
New Zealand

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