Professor Victoria C. Smith

Research Profile

Research Activities

I am a specialist in volcanology and the characterisation of volcanic ash (tephra) layers to date and correlate sedimentary records. I completed my PhD in Geology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and moved to the University of Bristol for a 3-year postdoctoral research project in 2006. I joined the School of Archaeology in 2009 to head the Tephrochronology Research Group and manage specialist laboratories to identify and chemically characterise volcanic ash layers.


My current research focusses on building detailed records of the composition of explosive volcanism across the globe such that ash layers can be used for far-reaching chronology in both space and time. I am particularly interested in the frequency, size and impact of large eruptions, and the magmatic processes in the lead up to these events. I am currently working on collaborative projects in Mexico, Italy, Japan, Azores and Canary Islands.



Postgraduate teaching

Course convenor and lecturer for the MSc/MSt in Archaeological Science.