Graduate Students

Samantha Tramontano | PhD

Samantha Tramontano is a PhD graduate student and adjunct lecturer with positions at The Graduate Center, Queens College, and the College of Staten Island studying volcanology, petrology, and mineralogy. Most of her graduate research examines the evolution of magma systems prior to eruption, and many of her projects combine analytical geochemistry methods, field work, and computational thermodynamic modelling. As part of a geo-education project during her Master's work at Vanderbilt University, Samantha has developed videos and associated quizzes to aid in teaching optical microscopy - they are available as an open-source educational resource at Currently, she is deciphering how and why volcanoes erupt after quiet periods of 100 years (or more). She is a huge advocate for including field methods in research, and is very grateful for meeting the rocks in New Zealand, Brazil, California, Nicaragua, New York, and New Jersey.


Tramontano, Samantha., Gualda, Guilherme.,  Ghiorso, Mark. (2017). Internal triggering of volcanic eruptions: tracking overpressure regimes for giant magma bodies. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 472. 142-151. 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.05.014.

Advisor: Marc-Antoine Longpré

Lisa Hlinka | MA

Lisa is interested in igneous petrology and volcanology. Her thesis research is focused on the Masaya volcano in Nicaragua, a persistently active basaltic system currently hosting a dynamic lava lake, however it is also known to have generated highly explosive Plinian type eruptions within the last six thousand years. Lisa's research involves studying magmas, volatiles, and how they inform us about volcanic systems. Using analytical techniques including SIMS, EMPA, and LA-ICP-MS, she analyzes melt inclusions from the eruptive products of effusive and explosive activity at Masaya.

Advisor: Marc-Antoine Longpré

Jazlyn Natalie | MA

Jazlyn Natalie is an MA graduate student interested in geophysics, volcanology, physical oceanography, and petrology. Her graduate research focuses on examining short-term variations in the rates of crustal deformation (calculated from ocean bottom pressure measurements) and seismicity at Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano on the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge. She seeks to investigate how well these variables co-vary during the inter-eruption time period. The principal goal of her project is to better understand the patterns of magma storage and delivery beneath the Axial summit caldera and provide constraints for the development of improved predictive models.

Advisor: Dax Soule

Annie Stoeth | PhD

Annie Stoeth is a PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Her research focus is the role of anthropogenic waste in urban soil ecology, with an emphasis on its interaction with soil fauna.  She is interested in how invertebrates and waste affect each other, and in examining questions of toxicity, incorporation, transport, and decomposition/bioremediation. She’s also interested in science education and has worked for two semesters at Queens College to summarize the effects of peer mentoring and experiential learning modules on student engagement with environmental science. 

Advisor: Jeffrey Bird

Francesca King | MS

Francesca King is a part-time MS student interested in groundwater modeling and water quality assessment. She is employed in the public sector as a health sanitarian in water resources. Francesca’s interests are in utilizing groundwater models for epidemiological analysis, understanding remediation techniques, and generating public interest in the maintenance of groundwater quality. 

Advisor: TBD

John Zayac | PhD

John Zayac is a PhD Candidate who studies explosive volcanic systems. In particular, John combines field, stratigraphic, and analytical methods to decipher the eruptive history, magma systematics, and eruption trigger dynamics of arc volcanoes. His dissertation research is focused on two volcanic systems in northwestern Nicaragua: Cosigüina and Momotombo-Monte Galán. Aside from volcanoes and geology, John is also passionate about expanding the role general education science courses play in furthering all students’ scientific and quantitative literacy.

Advisor: Marc-Antoine Longpré

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