Rebecca Williams

Dr Rebecca Williams

Lecturer/ Geology Subject Group Head

Faculty of Science and Engineering

01482 465578

Rebecca is a volcanologist and igneous geologist. Her research aims to understand the processes occurring in hazardous volcanic flows in order to better inform hazard assessments.

She has an interdisciplinary approach to research, which integrates many techniques such as terrestrial and marine field work, tephrochronology, geochemical analyses and computer modelling, used to understand complex geological problems.

Rebecca is a dedicated science communicator, appearing on national radio and international news.


Research Interests

  • Hazardous volcanic flows

  • Modelling volcanic processes

  • Geochemistry and petrology of volcanic rocks

Research groups

  • Hull Geochemistry and Geobiology

  • Modelling Environmental Systems Research Group

  • PI of the Catastrophic Flows Research Cluster; an interlinked group of projects which all focus on modelling extreme flow events with the potential for significant human hazard. This collaboration brings together experts in numerical modelling, physical modelling and field studies and supports PhD students investigating flows as varied as volcanic flows, deep marine flows and floods on Mars.


Dyer S, Walkington H, Williams R, Morton K, Wyse S, 2016, 'Shifting Landscapes: from Coalface to Quick Sand?', Teaching Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in Higher Education, Area, 48, 3, 308-316.

Tejada M G, Hanyu T, Ishikawa A, Senda R, Suzuki K, Fitton G, Williams R, 'Re-Os Isotope and Platinum Group Elements of a FOcal ZOne Mantle Source, Louisville Seamounts Chain, Pacific Ocean', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16, 2, 486-504.

Williams R, Branney M J, Barry T L, 2014, 'Temporal and Spatial Evolution of a Waxing then Waning Catastrophic Density Current Revealed by Chemical Mapping', Geology, 42, 2, 107-110.

Koppers A A P, Yamazaki T, Geldmacher J, Gee J S, Pressling N, Hoshi H, Anderson L, Beier C, Buchs D M, Chen L-H, Cohen B E, Deschamps F, Dorais M J, Ebuna D, Ehmann S, Fitton J G, Fulton P M, Ganbat E, Hamelin C, Hanyu T, Kalnins L, Kell J, Machida S, Mahoney J J, Moriya K, Nichols A R L, Rausch R, Sano S-i, Sylvan J B and Williams R, 2012, 'Limited Latitudinal Mantle Plume Motion for the Louisville Hotspot', Nature Geoscience, 5, 911–917.

Williams R, Stinton A J and Sheridan M F, 2008, 'Evaluation of the Titan2D Two-Phase Flow Model using an Actual Event: Case Study of the 2005 Vazcun Valley Lahar', Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 177, 4, 760-766.


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Geohazards

  • Magmatic and Metamorphic Rocks

  • Volcanoes and their Hazards

Research PhDs

Rebecca welcomes PhD applications in volcanic flows, igneous petrology, modelling volcanic processes, volcanic stratigraphy (including tephrostratigraphy) and historical/social/cultural volcanology.

Completed PhDs 

Jordan N, 2015, Eruptive History of the Peralkaline Caldera Volcano at Pantelleria, Italy, University of Leicester.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc Geology, Royal Holloway, University of London

  • MS Geology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

  • PhD Geology, University of Leicester

Awards and accolades

2017 Charles Lyell Award Lecture, British Science Association