Welcome to my webpage


Hello and welcome to my webpage.

Volcanic eruptions have a significant potential to affect the climate system, environment and society. Our knowledge of their impacts, and the underlying cause-and-effect mechanisms is, however, far from complete. Volcanologists are aware of the consequences of historic Icelandic volcanic eruptions - the prime example being the 1783-1784 AD Laki eruption, which caused extreme environmental stress and led to increased mortality not only in Iceland but also in many parts of Europe. I am therefore researching the impacts of these large-scale Icelandic eruptions. I address fundamental physical processes driving the impact of these eruptions on the environment and the climate system using a Global Aerosol Model (GLOMAP) developed at the University of Leeds.

I carry my acquired knowledge forward by bridging the gap between volcanology, atmospheric science and epidemiology to quantify the potential hazard of a future Laki-style Icelandic eruption - a so-called "low-probability, high impact volcanic event" - for modern-day society. My results indicate that such a volcanic air pollution event would be a severe health hazard, increasing mortality in Europe by > 140,000 additional fatalities, which exceeds mortality due to seasonal influenza. I also show that such an event could pose a severe hazard to commercial aviation in Europe, particularly as a consequence of its SO2 emissions with implications for policy-makers, governmental bodies and the aviation industry.

If you want to learn more about my research feel free to have a look in the section "my research".


I received the 2016 William Smith Fund from the Geological Society of London, UK.

I am the 2015 recipient of the IAVCEI George Walker Award for volcanology.

We published a Nature Geoscience article on the environmental effects of magmatic sulfur from continental flood basalt eruptions.

I am one of the editors of the book Volcanism and Global Environmental Change.

Contact Details

Dr. Anja Schmidt
School of Earth and Environment
The University of Leeds
Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

e-mail: a.schmidt[at]see.leeds.ac.uk

phone: +44 (0) 113 34 36429


Visiting Eyjafjallajökull in August 2012.