Paul Albert

Dr Paul Albert

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Tephrochronology (Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow)

Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art
Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3QY

Tel: +44 (0)1865 285202

Fax: +44 (0)1865 285220


Research interests 

Tephrochronology, volcanology, geochronology and Quaternary palaeoclimatology 

My main research interest is in the application of tephrochronology as a tool for refining the chronologies of palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records and enabling their synchronisation over wide geographical areas. My research also focuses on utilisation of volcanic ash layers (tephra) preserved in distal sedimentary archives as crucial records of eruptive history. This is particularly important in volcanic settings where the preservation or exposure of tephra deposits associated with past eruptions is limited. This research relies heavily on the application of micro-analytical techniques (EPMA and LA-ICP-MS) to precisely geochemically characterise volcanic glasses of both proximal and distal tephra deposits, this detailed chemical fingerprinting allows precise tephra correlations and thus the reliable exchange of chronological information between the volcanic stratigraphy and the distal sedimentary archives.

Primary Geographic Areas

Japan, Iceland and the Central Mediterranean.

Current Activities

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship: Lake Suigetsu and volcanic ash, the key to synchronising palaeoclimate archives. 

This research looks to maximise the tephrochronological potential of the Lake Suigetsu (Honshu, Japan) sedimentary record through the identification of cryptotephra horizons, both in terms of facilitating the synchronisation of this key paleoclimate archive with other important climate records, but also enabling the reconstruction of a more complete record of volcanic history for the region.


In press

Blockley, S.,  Pellegrini, M., Colonese, A. C., Lo Vetro, D., Albert, P.G., Brauer, A., Di Giuseppe, Z., Evans, A., Harding, P., Lee-Thorp, J., Lincoln, P., Martini, F., Pollard, M., Smith, V.C., Donahue, R. Dating human occupation and adaptation in the southern European Last Glacial refuge: the chronostratigraphy of Grotta del Romito (Italy). Quaternary Science Reviews


Albert, P.G., Tomlinson, E.L., Smith, V.C., Di Traglia, F., Pistolesi, M., Morris, A., Donato, P., De Rosa, R., Sulpizio, R., Keller, J., Rosi, M., Menzies, M.A., 2017. Glass geochemistry of pyroclastic deposits from the Aeolian Islands in the last 50 ka: A proximal database for tephrochronology. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 336, 81-107.

Giaccio, B., Niespolo, E., Pereira, A., Nomade, S., Renne, P.E., Albert, P.G., Arienzo, I., Regattieri, E., Wagner, B., Zanchetta, G., Gaeta, M., Galli, P., Mannella, G., Peronace., E., Sottili, G., Florindo, F., Leicher, N., Marra, F., Tomlinson, E.L., 2017. First integrated tephrochronological record for the last ~190 kyr from the Fucino Quaternary lacustrine succession, central Italy. Quaternary Science Reviews 158, 211-234.


Bourne., A. J., Abbott, P.M., Albert, P.G., Cook, E., Pearce, N.J.G., Ponomareva, V., Svensson, A., Davies, S.M., 2016. Underestimated risks of recurrent long-range ash dispersal from northern Pacific Arc volcanoes. Nature Scientific Reports 6, 2983. doi:10.1038/srep29837

Donato, P., Albert, P.G., Crocitti, M., De Rosa, R., Menzies, M.A., 2016. Tephra layers along the southern Tyrrhenian coast of Italy: Links to the X-5 and X-6 using volcanic glass geochemistry. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 317, 30-41.

Chen, X-Y., Blockley, S.P.E., Tarasov, P.E.,  Xu, Y-G., McLean, D., Tomlinson, E.L., Albert, P.G., Liu, J-Q., Müller, S., Wagner, M., Menzies, M.A., 2016. Clarifying the distal to proximal tephrochronology of (B-Tm) eruption, Changbaishan Volcano, northeast China. Quaternary Geochronology 33, 61-75.

McLean, D., Albert, P.G., Nakagawa, T., Staff, R., Suzuki, T., Suigetsu 2006 Project Members; Smith, V.C., 2016. Identification of the Changbaishan 'Millennium' (B-Tm) eruption in the Lake Suigetsu (SG06) sedimentary archive, Japan: Synchronisation of hemispheric-wide palaeoclimate archives. Quaternary Science Reviews 150, 301-307.

Pistolesi, M., Isaia, R.,  Marianelli, P., Bertagnini, A., Fourmentraux, C., Albert, P.G., Tomlinson, E.L.,  Menzies, M.A., Rosi, M., Sbrana, A., Simultaneous eruptions from multiple vents at Campi Flegrei (Italy) highlight new eruption processes at calderas. Geology 44 (6), 487-490.

Smith, V.C., Isaia, R., Engwell, S., Albert, P.G., 2016. Tephra dispersal during the Campanian Ignimbrite (Italy) eruption: implications for ultra-distal ash transport during the large caldera-forming eruption. Bulletin of Volcanology 78:45.


Albert, P.G., Hardiman, M., Keller, J., Tomlinson, E.L., Bourne, A.J., Smith, V.C., Wulf, S., Zanchetta, G., Sulpizio, R., Müller, U.C., Pross, J., Ottolini, L., Matthews, I.P., Blockley, S.P., Menzies, M.A., 2015. Revisiting the Y-3 tephrostratigraphic marker: a new diagnostic glass geochemistry, age estimate, and details on its climatostratigraphic context. Quaternary Science Reviews 118, 105-122.

Barton, R.N.E., Lane, C.S., Albert, P.G., White, D., Collcut, S.N., Bouzouggar, A., Ditchfield, P., Farr, I., Oh, A., Ottolini, L., Smith, V.C., Van Peer, P., Kindermann. K., 2015. The role of cryptotephra in refining the chronology of Late Pleistocene human evolution and cultural change in North Africa.  Quaternary Science Reviews 118, 151-169. 

Bourne A.J., Albert, P.G., Matthews, I.P., Wulf, S., Lowe, J.J., Asioli, A., Blockley, S.P.E., Trincardi, F., 2015. Tephrochronology of core PRAD1-2 from the Adriatic Sea: insights into Italian explosive volcanism for the period 200-80ka. Quaternary Science Reviews, 116, 28-43.

Bronk Ramsey, C., Albert , P.G., Blockley, S.P.E., Hardiman, M., Housley, R.A., Lane, C.S., Lee, S., Matthews, I.P., Smith, V.C., Lowe, J., 2015. Improved age estimates for key Late Quaternary European tephra horizons in the RESET lattice. Quaternary Science Reviews118, 18-32.

MacLeod, A., Matthews, I.P., Lowe, J.J., Palmer, A.P., Albert, P.G., 2015. A second tephra isochron for the Younger Dryas period in northern Europe: the Abernethy Tephra. Quaternary Geochronology 28, 1-11.

Satow, C., Tomlinson, E.L, Grant, K.M., Albert, P.G., Smith, V.C., Manning, C.J., Ottolini, L., Wulf, S., Rohling, E.J., Lowe, J.J., Blockley, S.P.E., Menzies, M.A., 2015. A new contribution to the Late Quaternary tephrostratigraphy of the Mediterranean: Aegean Sea core LC21. Quaternary Science Reviews 117, 96-112.

Tomlinson, E.L., Smith., V.C., Albert, P.G., Aydar, E., Civetta, L., Cioni, R., Cubukcu, E., Gertisser, R., Isaia, R., Menzies, M.A., Orsi, G., Rosi, M., Zanchetta, G, 2015. The major and trace element glass compositions of the productive Mediterranean volcanic sources: tools for correlating distal tephra layers in and around Europe. Quaternary Science Reviews, 118, 48-66.


Tomlinson, E.L., Albert, P.G., Wulf, S., Brown, R., Smith, V.C., Keller, J., Orsi, G., Bourne, A.J., Menzies, M.A. 2014. Age and geochemistry of tephra layers from Ischia, Italy: constraints from proximal-distal correlations with Lago Grande di Monticchio. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 287, 22-39.

Bronk Ramsey, C., Albert, P.G., Blockley, S., Hardiman, M., Lane, C., Macleod, Matthews, I.P., Muscheler, R., Palmer, A., Staff, R., 2014. Integrating timescales with time-transfer functions: a practical approach for an INTIMATE database. Quaternary Science Reviews, 106, 67-80

Brown, R., Civetta, Arienzo, I., D’Antonio, M., Orsi, G., Tomlinson, E.L., Albert, P.G., Menzies, M.A., 2014. Assembly, evolution and disruption and distribution of a magmatic plumbing system before and after a cataclysmic caldera-collapse eruption at Ischia volcano (Italy). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 168 (3), 1-23.

Douka, K., Jacobs, Z., Lane, C., Grun, R., Farr, L., Hunt, C., Inglis, R.H., Reynolds, T., Albert, P., Aubert, M., Cullen, V., Hill, E., Kinsley, L., Roberts, R.G., Tomlinson, E.L., Wulf, S., Barker, G., 2014. The chronostratigraphy of Haua Fteah cave (Cyrenaica, northeast Libya). Journal of Human Evolution 66, 39-63.


Albert, P.G., Tomlinson, E.L., Lane, C.S., Wulf., S., Smith, V.C., Coltelli, M., Keller, J., Lo Castro,  D., Manning, C.J., Muller, W., Menzies, M.A., 2013. Late glacial explosive activity on Mount Etna: implications for proximal-distal tephra correlations and the synchronisation of Mediterranean archives. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 265, 9-26.


Albert, P.G., Tomlinson, E.L., Smith, V.C., Di Roberto, A., Todman, A., Rosi, M., Marani, M., Muller, W., Menzies, M.A., 2012. Marine-continental tephra correlations: Volcanic glass geochemistry from the Marsili Basin and the Aeolian Islands, Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 229-230, 74-94.

Lowe et al., 2012. Volcanic layers demonstrate resilience of Neanderthal and early Modern Humans to natural hazards and climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (34) 13432-13537.

Wulf, S., Keller, J., Paterne, M., Mingram, J., Lauterbach, S., Opitz, S., Sottili, G., Giaccio, B., Albert, P.G., Satow, C., Tomlinson, E.L., Viccaro, M., Brauer, A., 2012. The 100-133 ka record of Italian explosive volcanism and revised tephrochronology of Lago Grande di Monticchio. Quaternary Science Reviews, 58, 104-123.

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