Ben Kennedy

Associate ProfessorBen Kennedy

Physical Volcanology
West 321
Internal Phone: 94437
My research and teaching are driven by a love of volcanoes, and fueled by experiments and projects that are fun, exciting, and important to society


Research Interests

I love rocks and working out why volcanoes erupt in various different ways. To do this I travel to various volcanoes all around New Zealand (e.g. Tongariro, Ruapehu, White Island, Auckland, Banks Peninsula and the world (e.g. Krafla, Iceland, Puyueyue, Chile, Kilauea, Hawaii, Yasur, Vanuatu) and collect rocks.
I then take the rocks back to UC and do various experiments to learn more about the eruptions that they originated from.
Some fun projects I am involved in at the moment are:
Shaking Magma to drive volcanic eruptions.
Drilling into a magma chamber at Krafla in Iceland to make geothermal energy.
Mapping the hazard and impact from volcanic ballistics using drones and cannons.
Making lava flows in the lab
Researching how students learn on virtual and real fieldtrips.
Linking eruption video observations with monitoring data at White island, New Zealand and Yasur, Vanuatu

Recent Publications

  • Ashwell PA., Kennedy BM., Edwards M. and Cole JW. (2018) Characteristics and consequences of lava dome collapse at Ruawahia, Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY 80(5) ARTN 43
  • Cook SCW., Kennedy BM. and Villeneuve MC. (2018) Engineering geology model of the Crater Lake outlet, Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand, to inform rim breakout hazard. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
  • Gomez C. and Kennedy B. (2018) Capturing volcanic plumes in 3D with UAV-based photogrammetry at Yasur Volcano – Vanuatu. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 350: 84-88.
  • Holdaway RN., Duffy B. and Kennedy B. (2018) Evidence for magmatic carbon bias in 14C dating of the Taupo and other major eruptions.. Nat Commun 9(1): 4110.
  • Jolley A., Brogt E., Kennedy B., Hampton S. and Fraser L. (2018) Motivation and connection to Earth on geology field trips in New Zealand: Comparing American study abroad student with local undergraduates. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad XXX(3): 72-99.