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PhD position in igneous petrology and volcanology at the University of Georgia (USA)

Magma Mia
Project title:

The excess gas paradox at volcanoes: does CO2 favor gas accumulation in mafic magmas?


University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia, USA)

Project details:

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD-level graduate student to investigate the factors that control the competition between gas retention and release in magmas, which, in turn, influence how volcanoes erupt. The candidate will seek answers by studying the potential link between the porosity of volcanic rocks erupted during explosive eruptions and the chemistry of volcanic gas emissions monitored via ground-based measurements. Mt Etna (Sicily, Italy), the largest volcano in Europe, is the key site for testing the project hypotheses. The candidate will undertake a set of multidisciplinary tasks, which include rock sampling and processing of volcano data monitoring, laboratory analyses at UGA and at synchrotron facilities in the U.S. and Germany, and volatile solubility modelling. The successful candidate will also be encouraged to develop additional research questions related to the prime questions of the project. The candidate will gain skills in literature study, data acquisition, processing, and interpretation, and STEM skills and leadership that can be distilled in both academia and private sector.

Project team:

The PhD candidate will join the MAGMA MIA research group led by Dr. Mattia Pistone, PI of the NSF-sponsored project, and will work closely with Drs. Rosa Anna Corsaro, Nicole Bobrowski, Giuseppe Salerno, Marco Liuzzo, and Alessandro La Spina of the Osservatorio Etneo of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) in (Italy), and with Dr. Michael Stuckelberger from the DESY synchrotron facility in Hamburg (Germany).


This is an NSF-funded project (Award# 2322935) that includes analytical and salary funds for the student working at 50% FTE for 12 months each year for three years at the University of Georgia. Position starts January 2024 for Spring enrollment (preferred) or May 2024 for summer enrollment.

Desired qualifications:

Applicants must have an M.S. in Earth Sciences or a closely related field, strong academic credentials and work ethics, previous experience working in petrology and/or volcanology. Desirable skills and experience (or demonstrated potential) include intensive field sampling (requiring hiking to some study sites and carrying rock samples and field gear), laboratory analyses, and knowledge of statistical methods. This project will involve traveling away from campus for fieldwork in Italy and flexibility to travel between institutions (INGV, DESY, and U.S. synchrotron centers) for extended periods. Experience (or demonstrated potential) in educational outreach and inclusive fieldwork and teaching techniques is a great plus.

How to Apply:

If you are interested, please contact Dr. Mattia Pistone via email ( To apply, email 1) a statement of research interests and experience, 2) resume/CV, 3) unofficial transcripts and 4) contact information for three professional references to Dr. Mattia Pistone (, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geology, University of Georgia. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more information about Mattia's research: and

Type of News/Audience:

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