Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Visiting Fellow

I’m a NERC Independent Research Fellow and the fundamental goals of my research are to understand the controls over volcanic explosivity, how to improve eruptive style forecasting and how we can best understand and minimise the impacts from large magnitude explosive eruptions.

To understand these aspects, I use a combination of fieldwork and experimental & analytical petrology and machine learning/statistical methods. I work on volcanoes based in Indonesia, Mexico, Iceland, Chile and the Caribbean.


2022: Associate Professor of Volcanology, University of Birmingham (Visiting Fellow at University of Oxford)

2022: Visiting Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge

2017 2022: NERC Independent Research FellowUniversity of Oxford

2014  2016: Humboldt Research FellowJohannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany

2013 – 2014: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Plymouth University

2012  2014: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, University of Southampton

2012: Research Assistant, University of Cambridge

2008 – 2012PhD (NERC studentship) – Ocean and Earth Science,University of Southampton

2007 –  2008: MSc – Volcanology and Geological Hazards, Lancaster University

2006: Volunteer Research AssistantUniversity of Colima and UNAM, Mexico

2003 – 2006: BSc – Geology, University of Bristol

Experimental volcanology lab

I have recently constructed Cold Seal Pressure Vessels (CSPVs) which are capable of simulating temperatures and pressures experienced in magma reservoirs underneath silicic volcanoes (up to ~900°C & 200 MPa).

Photo by Ian Wallman

DPhil Student Supervision

Amber Madden-Nadeau (Now completed)

Annika Voight

Anna Brookfield

Kyra Cutler

Kerys Meredew (Birmingham)



  • Co-PI NERC Urgency grant (2019). Interactions between eruptive activity and sector collapse at Anak Krakatau, Indonesia (Value: £65,000)
  • PI of Diamond Light Source Synchrotron proposal (2018). Tracking magmatic changes prior to large explosive and effusive eruptions’ (Value: £57,564)
  • PI of NERC Ion Microprobe facility (2018) entitled ‘Towards monitoring temperature and water variations in shallow magma bodies using volcanic gases’ (Value: £24,000)
  • PI of DFG German Standard Grant (2016) ‘What controlled the explosivity and sulfur release of the largest recent explosive eruption on Earth?’ Transferred to a full 3.5 year PhD-funded project to Oxford in 2018. (Value: €192,200)
  • PI of NERC Independent Research Fellowship (2017-2022) entitled, ‘Towards improved forecasting of volcanic explosivity: Investigating the role of magma mixing’ (Value: £528,280)
  • PI of Alexander von Humboldt 2 year Independent Fellowship (2015-2017) entitled, ‘Effusive or explosive: What controls the eruptive behaviour of volcanoes?’ (Value: €87,066)
  • Co-PI of COSMO-SkyMed Radar Science and Innovation Research (CORSAIR) Programme, UK Space Agency, 30 CosmoSkyMed Radar scenes. “The 2014 eruption of Kelud volcano, Indonesia: integration of geodetic, petrological and surface change observations”, Ebmeier, Cassidy & Watt (Commercial value: €35,000)
  • Co-PI of Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET) Small grants 2016, “The 2014 eruption of Kelud volcano, Indonesia: integration of geodetic, petrological and surface change observations,” Ebmeier, Cassidy & Watt (Value: £2,650)
  • Co-PI of NERC grant award for 15 radiocarbon dates in 2010 (Value: £7,000)

Listen about our work:

2019: Here I speak to BBC World Service (Science in Action) about the 2018 Anak Krakatau collapse and volcanic activity

2017: Click here to listen to our PhD student Amber and I talk on ‘Science in Action’ on the BBC World Service about our work on volcano experiments and Krakatau volcano. Click here to listen to us on ‘Inside Science’ on BBC Radio 4 also.

More public engagement info here


Google Scholar citations


  • A Voigt, M Cassidy, JM Castro, DM Pyle, TA Mather, C Helo, M Abdurrachman, IA Kurniawan “Experimental Investigation of Trachydacite Magma Storage prior to the 1257 Eruption of Mt Samalas” Journal of Petrology, (2022)
  • Cassidy, M., Iveson, A., Humphreys, M.C.S., Mather, T.A., Helo, C., Castro, J.M., Ruprecht, P, Pyle, D.M., EIMF  “Experimentally-derived F, Cl and Br fluid/melt partitioning of intermediate to silicic melts in magmatic systems” American Mineralogist (in press)
  • Cutler, Watt, Cassidy, Madden-Nadeau, Engwell, Abdurrachman, Nurshal, Tappin, Carey, Novellino, Hayer, Hunt, Day, Grilli, Kurniawan ‘Downward-propagating eruption following vent unloading implies no direct magmatic trigger for the 2018 lateral collapse of Anak Krakatau’ Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2022)



  • Priyanto, Hunt, Hanif, Tappin, Permana, Cassidy, Yulianto ‘Bathymetry and Shallow Seismic Imaging of the 2018 Flank Collapse of Anak Krakatau’ Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Dobson, Allabar, Bretagne, Coumans, Cassidy, Cimarelli, Coats, Connolley, Courtois, Dingwell, Di Genova, Fernando, Fife, Fyfe, Gehne, Jones, Kendrick, Kinvig, Kolzenburg, Lavallée, Liu, Llewellin, Madden-Nadeau, Madi, Marone, Morgan, Oppenheimer, Ploszajski, Reid, Schauroth, Schlepütz, Sellick, Vasseur, von Aulock, Wadsworth, Wiesmaier, Wanelik ‘Quantifying microstructural evolution in moving magma’ Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Novellino, A., Engwell, S., Grebby, S., Day, S., Cassidy, M., Madden-Nadeau, A., Watt, S., Pyle, D., Abdurrachman, M., Nurshal, Tappin, D.T., Kurniawan, I.A., Hunt, J.A. ‘Mapping Recent Shoreline Changes Spanning the Lateral Collapse of Anak Krakatau Volcano, Indonesia’ Applied Sciences, (2020)


  • Cassidy, M., S. Ebmeier, C, Helo, S.F.L. Watt, C. Caudron, A. Odell, K, Spaans, P. Kristianto, H, Triastuty, H, Gunawan, J.M. Castro. ‘Explosive eruptions with little warning: Experimental petrology and monitoring observations from the 2014 eruption of Kelud, Indonesia’. G Cubed https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC008161


  • Cassidy, M., Manga, M., Cashman, K., Bachmann, O. ‘Controls on explosive-effusive volcanic eruption styles’. Nature Communications, 9, 2839
  • Hunt, J.E., Cassidy, M., Talling, P.J. ‘Multi-stage volcanic island flank collapses with coeval explosive caldera-forming eruptions’ Scientific Reports 8 (1), 1146


  • Jutzeler, M., M. Manga, J.D.L. White, P.J. Talling, A.A. Proussevitch, S.F.L. Watt, M. Cassidy, R.N. Taylor, A. Le Friant, and O. Ishizuka, ‘Submarine deposits from pumice-rich pyroclastic density currents dispersing over water: an outstanding example from offshore Montserrat (IODP 340)’ GSA Bulletin, B31448 DOI: 10.1130/B31448.1
  • Coussens, M., Cassidy., M, Watt, S.F.L., Jutzeler, M., Talling, P.J., Barfod, D., Gernon, T., Taylor, R.N., Hatter, S.J., Palmer, M.R., Montserrat Volcano Observatory ‘Long-term changes in explosive and effusive behaviour at andesitic arc volcanoes: Chronostratigraphy of the Centre Hills Volcano, Montserrat’ Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (2017)


  • Cassidy, M., Castro, J.C., Helo, C., Troll, V., Deegan, F., Muir, D. Neave, D.A., Meuller, S.P. ‘Volatile dilution during magma injections and implications for volcano explosivity‘ Geology 12. 1027-1030 DOI:10.1130/G38411.1 44 no. [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Jutzeler, M., M. Manga, J.D.L. White, P.J. Talling, A.A. Proussevitch, S.F.L. Watt, M. Cassidy, R.N. Taylor, A. Le Friant, and O. Ishizuka, ‘Submarine deposits from pumice-rich pyroclastic density currents dispersing over water: an outstanding example from offshore Montserrat (IODP 340)’ GSA Bulletin, B31448 DOI: 10.1130/B31448.1 [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Coussens, M., Wall-Palmer, D., Talling, P.J. Watt, S.F.L., Cassidy, M., Jutzeler, M., Gernon, T., Clare, M., Palmer, M.R., Hatter, S., Boudon, G., Endo, D, Fujinawa, A., Hatfield, R., Hornbach, M,, Ishizuka, O., Kataoka, K., Le Friant, A., Maeno, F., Manga, M., McCanta, M., Stinton, A. ‘On the relationship between eruptive activity, flank collapse and sea-level at volcanic islands: a long-term (>1 Ma) record offshore Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’ Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. Doi: 10.1002/2015GC006053
  • Edmonds, M., Kohn, S.C., Hauri, E.C., Humphreys, M.C., Cassidy, M. ‘Extensive, water-rich magma reservoir beneath southern Montserrat’ Lithos 252, 216-233
  • Coussens, M.F., D. Wall-Palmer, P.J. Talling, S.F.L. Watt, S.J. Hatter, M. Cassidy, M. Clare, M. Jutzeler, R. Hatfield, M. McCanta, K.S. Kataoka, D. Endo, M.R. Palmer, A. Stinton,A. Fujinawa, G. Boudon, A. Le Friant, O. Ishizuka, T. Gernon, T. Adachi, M. Aljahdali,C. Breitkreuz, A. J. Frass, M.J. Hornbach, E. Lebas, S. Lafuerza, F. Maeno, M. Manga,M. Martinez-Colon, J. McManus, S. Morgan, T. Saito, A. Slagle, K.S.V. Subramanyam, Y. Tamura, J. Trofimovs, B. Villemant, F. Wang, and the Expedition 340 scientists ‘Synthesis: stratigraphy and age control for IODP Sites U1394, U1395, and U1396 offshore Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles’ Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Volume 340 doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.340.204.2016
  • Palmer, M.R., Hatter, S.J., Gernon, T.M., Taylor, R.N., Cassidy, M., Johnson, P., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka ‘Discovery of a large 2.4. Ma Plinian eruption of Basse-Taerre, Guadeloupe from the marine sediment record’. Geology [OPEN ACCESS] Doi: 10.1130/G37193.1


  • Cassidy, M., Watt, S.F.L., Talling, P.J., Palmer, M.R., Edmonds M., Jutzeler, M., Wall-Palmer, D., Coussens, M., Gernon, T., Manga, M., Taylor, R.N., Michalik, A., Inglis, E., Breitkreuz, C., Boudon, G., McCanta, M.C., Adachi, T., Hornbach, M.J., Colas, S.L., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Kataoka, K.S., Maeno, F., Tamura, Y., Wang, F., Ishizuka, O., Le Friant, A., and Shipboard Science Party ‘ Rapid onset of mafic magmatism facilitated by volcanic edifice collapse’ Geophysical Research Letters doi:10.1002/2015GL064519 [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Cassidy, M., Cole, P.D., Hicks, K.E., Varley, N.R., Peters, N., Lerner, A. ‘Rapid and slow: Varying ascent rates as a mechanism for Vulcanian explosions’ Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 420: 73-84. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.025 [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Cassidy, M., Edmonds, M., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Gernon, T., ‘Arc basalt origin by hybridisation in andesite-dominated arcs’. Journal of Petrology. 56 (2): 325-346. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egv002


  • Cassidy, M., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Trofimovs, J., Symons, W., Maclaren, S., Stinton, A. (2014) ‘Construction of volcanic records from marine sediment cores: A review and case study (Montserrat, West Indies)’. Earth Science Reviews. 138, 137-155 pp DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2014.08.008
  • Wall-Palmer, D., Coussens, M., Talling, P., Jutzeler, M., Cassidy, M., Marchant , I., Palmer M., Watt, S.F.L., Smart, C., Fisher. J., Hart, M., Fraas, A., Trofimovs, J., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Adachi, T., Aljahdali, M., Boudon, G., Breitkreuz, C., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Hatfield, R., Kataoka, K., Lafuerza, S, Maneo, M., Martinez-Colon, M., McCanta, M., Morgan, S., Saito, T., Slagle, A., Stinton, A., Konduri, S., Tamura, Y., Villemant, B., Wang, F., ‘Late Pleistocene stratigraphy of IODP Site U1396 and compiled chronology offshore of south and south west Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. DOI:10.1002/2014GC005402
  • Cassidy, M., Trofimovs, J., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Taylor, R.N., Gernon, T.M., Talling, P.J. and Le Friant, A. (2014) ‘Multi-stage collapse events in the South Soufrière Hills, Montserrat, as recorded in marine sediment cores’. In Wadge, G., Robertson, R. E. A. & Voight, B. (eds) The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 39, 381–395. http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/M39.20


  • Achterberg, E.P., Moore, M.C., Henson, S.A., Steigenberger, S., Stohl, A., Eckhardt. S., Cassidy, M., Hembury D., Klar, J., Lucas, M.I., Marsay, C.M., Ryan-Keogh, T.J., (2013) Natural iron fertilisation by the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption. Geophysical Research Letters 40, 1–6, doi:10.1002/grl.50221
  • Trofimovs, J., Talling, P.J., Fisher, J.K., Hart, M.B., Sparks, R.S.J., Watt, S.F.L., Cassidy, M., Le Friant, A., Moreton, S.G., Leng, M.J., Smart, C., (2013) ‘Timing, origin, and emplacement dynamics of mass flows offshore SE Montserrat in the last 110 ka: implications for landslide and tsunami hazards,eruption history, and volcanic island evolution.’ Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. doi: 10.1002/ggge.20052
  • Cassidy, M., Trofimovs, J., Palmer, M.R., Talling, P.J., Watt, S.F.L., Moreton, S., Taylor, R.N. (2013) ‘Timing and emplacement dynamics of newly recognised mass flow deposits at ~8-12 ka offshore Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat: how submarine stratigraphy can complement subaerial eruption histories’ Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1-14 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.12.002


  • Stevenson, J. A., C. Rae, J. S. Gilbert, S. Harangi, R. Lukács B. Højgaard, U. Árting, S. Pyne-O’Donnell, A. MacLeod, S. Loughlin, A.E. Milodowski and M. Cassidy. (2012) ‘Distal Tephra From the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 Summit Eruption’. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2011JB008904
  • Cassidy, M., Taylor, R.N., Palmer, M.R, Cooper, R., Stenlake C., Trofimovs, J., (2012) ‘Tracking the magmatic evolution of an island arc volcano: Insights from a high-precision Pb isotope record of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 13, Q05003 doi:10.1029/2012GC004064
  • Stevenson, J. A., Mitchell, N. C., Cassidy M., Pinkerton H., (2012), ‘Widespread inflation and drainage of a pāhoehoe flow field: the Nesjahraun,Þingvellir, Iceland’. Bulletin of Volcanology. 74 (1), 15-31, DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0482-z
  • Stevenson, J. A., Mitchell, N. C., Mochrie, F., Cassidy M., Pinkerton H., (2012), ‘Lava penetrating water: the different behaviours of pāhoehoe and ‘a‘ā at the Nesjahraun, Þingvellir,Iceland’. Bulletin of Volcanology. 74 (1), 33-46, DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0480-1

Pre 2012

  • Rouwet, D., S. Bellomo, L. Brusca, S. Inguaggiato, M. Jutzeler, R. Mora, A. Mazot, R. Bernard, M. Cassidy and Y. Taran (2009), ‘Major and trace element geochemistry of El Chichón volcano–hydrothermal system (Chiapas, México) in 2006–2007: implications for future geochemical monitoring’ Geofisica International. 48 (1), 55-72