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Clive Oppenheimer

Professor of Volcanology


Career & qualifications

  • since 1994 University Teaching Officer, University of Cambridge
  • 2010-11 “Le Studium” Research Associate, Institut des Sciences de la Terre d’Orléans
  • 2007-08 Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Fellow, New Mexico Tech.
  • 1993-94 Earth Observation Fellow (NERC), University of Cambridge
  • 1993 Visiting researcher, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • 1991-92 Research Assistant, Open University
  • 1991 PhD (Open University) Volcanology
  • 1987 Seismologist, Geophysics Division, DSIR, Wellington, NZ
  • 1986 BA (University of Cambridge) Natural Sciences


Clive is a geoscientist and filmmaker. His interests include magmatic and volcanic processes; volcanic hazards and volcano monitoring; the long-range climatic and societal impacts of eruptions; geoarchaeology; paleoclimatology; and atmospheric science.

Supervision / mentoring

Clive has (co)supervised >50 PhD students and always welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduates. Some PhD topics are advertised via the C-CLEAR NERC Doctoral Training Partnership.

He also welcomes enquiries from postdoctoral volcanologists.

Public engagement


Selected speaking engagements (last five years)

  • 2022 Joly Lecture, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2022 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
  • 2022 Bloom, Copenhagen
  • 2022 Royal Geographical Society, Monday evening lecture (member login)
  • 2021 “Wine & Science lecture”, Natural History Museum of Denmark
  • 2019 “Rhetoric & Knowledge” lecture, University of Tübingen
  • 2019 “Science & Cinema”, Copenhagen (CPH:DOX)
  • 2019 Futures Congress, Santiago and Temuco, Chile
  • 2018 NSF Documentary Filmmakers Retreat, Woods Hole
  • 2018 Royal Museums Greenwich, Literature festival

Selected broadcasting

  • 2018 The Life Scientific, BBC Radio 4
  • 2018 The Infinite Monkey Cage, BBC Radio 4
  • 2017 The Museum of Curiosity, BBC Radio 4
  • 2016 Midweek, BBC Radio 4
  • 2016 In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, ‘1816, the Year without a Summer’
  • 2015 The Erebus Enigma, Red Bull Media House (Antarctica)
  • 2012 Volcano Live, BBC (Antarctica)
  • 2012 The Forum, BBC World Service
  • 2009 How science works – Journey to Etna, Teachers’ TV (Mt. Etna)
  • 2009 Raging Planet – Volcano, Discovery Channel (Mt. Etna, Stromboli & Kawah Ijen)
  • 2008 Earth – the Power of the Planet, BBC (Erta ‘Ale, Ethiopia)
  • 2007 Encounters at the End of the Word, Werner Herzog (Antarctica)
  • 2001 Lava Lake, National Geographic (Ethiopia)


  • Founding member and co-deputy director of the Mt. Paektu Research Centre
  • Member of the International Jury at the BIOGRAFILM festival, Bologna, 2017
  • Discoverer of ‘lost’ campsites from the ‘Terra Nova’ Antarctic expedition on Mt. Erebus. Now catalogued as Historic Sites and Monuments (#89 and #90) under the Antarctic Treaty System.


[Publications will load automatically from the University’s publications database…]