Matthew Kemp

Matthew Kemp


My research interests span geophysics and geology, as I attempt to take a holistic approach to plate reconstruction by using both seismological imaging of the deep mantle alongside studies of the surface terranes. Alaska is my primary site of interest and I hope to unravel the enigma of its origin and formation.

I studied for an integrated Master’s in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge from 2013-2017, focusing in the last few years on Earth Sciences. In my final year I gained a first class for my project on deep Earth seismology. From 2017-2018 I worked as a Research Assistant in the Earth Sciences Department at Cambridge, continuing with the research I started in my Master’s Project as well as demonstrating and supervising Earth Sciences undergraduates. This research culminated in a paper entitled: X-discontinuity and transition zone structure beneath Hawaii suggests a heterogeneous plume.

I am a keen science communicator having run many outreach projects in schools, produced documentaries and educational videos, and written and performed stand-up comedy and musicals about science. As one half of “Geologise Theatre” (@wearegeologise) I have performed in Oxford and Cambridge at a variety of events.

My PhD is funded by NERC through the Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research. If you would like to know more about my research, the DTP programme, or life at Oxford, please feel free to get in touch.

Journal Articles


Kemp, M., Jenkins, J., Maclennan, J., Cottaar, S., 2019. X-discontinuity and transition zone structure beneath Hawaii suggests a heterogeneous plume. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 527, 115781.


Invited Presentations


Kemp, M., Pugh, S., Jenkins, J., Maclennan, J., Cottaar, S., 2020. X Marks the Spot: Seismic Signals of Silica and Hidden Hawaiian Heterogeneities. AGU Fall Meeting 2020.


Other Conference Abstracts


Kemp, M., Parsons, A., Sigloch, K., Mihalynuk, M., and Stephenson, S., 2021. Tomotectonic constraints on the assembly of the western Arctic region and central Alaska: progress, problems and future direction. EGU General Assembly 2021, online, EGU21-12554.


Kemp, M., Diaz, L. P., 2020. The Scientist’s Journey: Finding the “Hero” in the Research. AGU Fall Meeting 2020.


Journal Articles


Mohadjer, S., Mutz, S. G., Kemp, M., Gill, S. J., Ischuk, A., and Ehlers, T. A., 2020. Using paired teaching for earthquake education in schools. Geoscience Communication Discussions.


Conference Abstracts


Wilkinson, R., Kemp, M., 2020. A Science Musical: Combining Theatre and Song for Science Communication. AGU Fall Meeting 2020.


Mohadjer, S., Mutz, S., Kemp, M., Gill, S., Ischuk, A., and Ehlers, T., 2020. Paired teaching approach to earthquake education: a cross-country comparison between Dushanbe, Tajikistan and London, United Kingdom. EGU General Assembly 2020, EGU2020-11230.


Cottaar, S., Pugh, S., Kemp, M., Jenkins, J., Boyce, A., 2019. Observations of the X-discontinuity-at 280-350 km depth-beneath hotspot locations. AGU Fall Meeting 2019


Cottaar, S., Kemp, M., Pugh, S., Maclennan, J., Jenkins, J., 2019. Seismic observations of deep eclogitic ponds beneath Hawaii and other Pacific hotspots. Geophysical Research Abstracts 21


Cottaar, S., Kemp, M., Jenkins, J., Maclennan, J., 2018. Seismic observations of Hawaii’s compositionally heterogeneous plume. AGU Fall Meeting, Washington D.C..


Mohadjer, S., Mutz, S., Amey, R., Drews, R., Kemp, M., Kloos, P., Mitchell, L., Nettesheim, M., Gill, S. J., Starke, J. & Ehlers, T. A., 2018. Using Paired Teaching for Earthquake Education in Schools. EGU General Assembly, Vienna.