• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined Strathclyde in 2019 as a Chancellor’s Fellow in Energy, and hold a joint appointment as a lecturer in both Civil & Environmental Engineering and Chemical and process Engineering.  I am a geologist by background, but my research routinely bridges disciplines. Having spent time in Geoscience, Materials Science and Engineering departments, I regularly bring methods across traditional subject and area boundaries, especially at the interfaces between geology, materials science, environmental science and engineering.  

My main research interests lie in understanding the behaviour and evolution of both natural and man-made materials. More specifically it is questions about how the microstructure of a material evolves through time, and therefore changes the properties and behaviour of the larger system that underpins most of my work. To do this, I use x-ray computed tomography to see inside materials and objects and quantify their internal structures, and a range of experimental and analytical methods to observe the physical, chemical and biological changes within the sample overtime.

After a BSc (Hons) in Earth Sciences & Physics at Durham University in 2001, I volunteered at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory before completing my PhD in Geology at the University of Glasgow (2007). I then stayed at Glasgow for a postdoctoral position, before moving to Materials Science at the University of Manchester in 2011. This position was based at the Research Complex at Harwell to work extensively at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility and develop new opportunities fir geological and engineering applications of x-ray tomography. In 2014 I moved to Ludwig Maximillians Universität, Munich for a Postdoctoral Fellowship applying in situ x-ray and synchrotron imaging to challenges in volcanology, and then in 2016 I was awarded a NERC Independent Research Fellowship to study multiphase flows and the rheology of complex fluids (in this case magmas) using the latest x-ray imaging methods, first at Durham University, and now at Strathclyde. 

Research Interests

I apply x-ray tomography to investigate the textures within natural and man-made materials. The method is non destructive, and can be applied to a wide range of samples and sample sizes, and can be used on samples as they are heated, cooled, compressed, stretched, twisted, stirred or inundated by a range of different fluids.

My work focusses on the latest state-of-the-art 3D and real time 4D imaging techniques. In 4D studies, the ability to inside the sample as it undergoes a change allows us to collect a "movie", where each frame is a full 3D x-ray tomography image. In my own core research, the individual 3D images of the movie are each collected in under a second. For other studies it is enough to image every few seconds, few hours, or even every few months depending on the rate and magnitude of change you wish to observe. This allows me to track the location and interactions between particles or between bubbles, to quantify fracture propagation, to capture dissolution or precipitation as it occurs, to observe fluids passing through pore throats, or corrosion, or sintering, or root growth. The opportunities are almost endless.

Current research projects include:

  • Multi-phase flows and rheology in complex and concentrated fluids (NERC-IRF)
  • Understanding pore scale controls on slope stability to improve embankment and cutting resilience to climate change (ACHILLES)
  • Diffusion and bubble growth in silicate melts
  • In situ deformation of composite materials
  • Damage zone development
  • Continuous manufactuing
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Environmental management and remediation
  • Sintering and densification processes
  • Permeability evolution in the subsurface
  • Subsurface fluid flow and fluid-rock interactions
  • Pore scale processes
  • Soil mechanics
  • The physical-chemical-biological interactions that control soil fertility


PhD projects Available for 2020 start

I have three projects available for start in 2020.  Please follow the links or contact me to find out more information about any of the projects below.  If you are interested in working in another of the areas listed above, please contact me to discuss your project ideas.

  • Exploiting thermally and microbially induced carbonate precipitation to improve reservoir storage integrity

More information
Available through the GeoNetZero CDT. More informaion and details of the application process can be found here.

  • From fines migration to filter cake formation and back again: state-of-the-art in situ observation to understand pore scale processes

More information
Fully funded for students meeting the eligibility requirements.

  • Pore-Scale Imaging of Cross Fault Flow in High Porosity Sandstones using High Pressure-Temperature Fluid Tomography

Please contact me for further information
No funding in place, but scholarship opportunites are still available for 2020 start.


 Current PhD Students


  • Izabella Otalega University of Strathclyde, Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Oil and Gas


  • Tariro Gwandu Durham University,Enineering

Soil Mechanics, Sustainability


  • Eloise BretagneDurham University, Earth Sciences

Magmatism, Complex fluids


  • Catriona Sellick Durham University, Earth Sciences

Enhanced Oil Recovery


  • Bridie Davies University of East Anglia, Enviornmental Sciences

Volcanism, Hazard


  • Nikos Apeiranthitis University of Durham, Earth Sciences

Enhanced Oil Recovery


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Science


  • Energy
  • Materials science
  • In situ Imaging
  • X-ray tomography
  • Geology
  • Sub surface Engineering
  • Multiphase flows
  • Permeability

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Research Output

  • 36 Article
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 Conference contribution book

Time resolved in situ X-ray tomographic microscopy unraveling dynamic processes in geologic systems

Marone, F., Schlepütz, C. M., Marti, S., Fusseis, F., Velásquez-Parra, A., Griffa, M., Jiménez-Martínez, J., Dobson, K. J. & Stampanoni, M., 14 Jan 2020, In : Frontiers in Earth Sciences. 7, 20 p., 346.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Vesicle shrinkage in hydrous phonolitic melt during cooling

    Allabar, A., Dobson, K. J., Bauer, C. C. & Nowak, M., 12 Feb 2020, In : Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 175, 19 p., 21.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access