School of Earth and Environment

Elena Maters Dr Elena Maters

Marie Curie Research Fellow

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Affiliation: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science


I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow leading the INoVA project ( funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 746695. This research investigates geochemical controls on the ice nucleating efficiency of volcanic ash.


2012-2016: PhD in Geochemistry. Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Thesis: An experimental study of volcanic ash chemical reactivity: Implications for atmospheric trace chemistry and ocean iron biogeochemistry. Supervisor: Prof. Pierre Delmelle.

2010-2012: MSc in Environmental Science and Management (with Distinction). Environment Department, University of York, United Kingdom.

2006-2010: BSc in Biological Sciences (with Distinction). Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Canada.


American Geophysical Union (AGU)

European Association of Geochemistry (EAG)

International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI)

The Aerosol Society

Research Interests

My research interests broadly relate to the reactivity of volcanic ash from explosive eruptions in the environment. Specifically, this work utilises a range of experimental and analytical techniques to investigate the properties and/or processes that govern:

  • The efficiency of ash particles as ice nuclei in the eruption plume/cloud and the ambient atmosphere
  • The capacity of ash surfaces to take up and react with trace gases (e.g., sulphur dioxide, ozone) in the eruption plume/cloud and the ambient atmosphere
  • The role of ash emissions as a source of soluble, and potentially bioavailable, iron for the surface ocean


  • Delmelle P; Wadsworth F; Maters E; Ayris P (2018) High Temperature Reactions between Gases and Ash Particles in Volcanic Eruption Plumes, In: King P; Fegley B; Seward T (Ed) Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Volume 84: High Temperature Gas-Solid Reactions in Earth and Planetary Processes, 84, Mineralogical Society of America, Geochemical Society, pp.285-308.
  • Maters EC; Delmelle P; Rossi MJ; Ayris PM (2017) Reactive Uptake of Sulfur Dioxide and Ozone on Volcanic Glass and Ash at Ambient Temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122, pp.10-088. doi: 10.1002/2017JD026993
  • Maters EC; Delmelle P; Gunnlaugsson HP (2017) Controls on iron mobilisation from volcanic ash at low pH: Insights from dissolution experiments and Mössbauer spectroscopy, Chemical Geology, 449, pp.73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.11.036
  • Paque M; Detienne M; Maters EC; Delmelle P (2016) Smectites and zeolites in ash from the 2010 summit eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, Bulletin of Volcanology, 78, . doi: 10.1007/s00445-016-1056-x
  • Maters EC; Delmelle P; Rossi MJ; Ayris PM; Bernard A (2016) Controls on the surface chemical reactivity of volcanic ash investigated with probe gases, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 450, pp.254-262. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.06.044
  • Maters EC; Delmelle P; Bonneville S (2016) Atmospheric Processing of Volcanic Glass: Effects on Iron Solubility and Redox Speciation, Environmental Science and Technology, 50, pp.5033-5040. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06281
  • Ayris PM; Delmelle P; Pereira B; Maters EC; Damby DE; Durant AJ; Dingwell DB (2015) Spatial analysis of Mount St. Helens tephra leachate compositions: implications for future sampling strategies, Bulletin of Volcanology, 77, . doi: 10.1007/s00445-015-0945-8
  • Delmelle P; Maters E; Oppenheimer C (2015) Volcanic Influences on the Carbon, Sulfur, and Halogen Biogeochemical Cycles, The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes, Elsevier.
  • Ayris PM; Delmelle P; Cimarelli C; Maters EC; Suzuki YJ; Dingwell DB (2014) HCl uptake by volcanic ash in the high temperature eruption plume: Mechanistic insights, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 144, pp.188-201. doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.08.028
  • Delmelle P; Ayris PM; Maters EC (2014) Comment on "Scavenging of sulfur, halogens and trace metals by volcanic ash: The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption" by Bagnato et al. (2013), Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 127, pp.381-384. doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2013.07.021