Dr Emma Humphreys-Williams MSci, PhD

Emma Williams
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Science Facilities department
  • Imaging and Analysis Centre
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


My research concerns understanding how melting occurs in the Earth's mantle, with a focus on intraplate volcanism. My masters research focused on ocean island basalts (OIB), examining the influence of the lithosphere thickness on the composition of erupted lavas. My PhD research focused on continental volcanism and rapidly erupted volcanic carbonatites as tools to examine melting beneath the continents. Using petrology and geochemistry, my research focused on the composition of the mantle as detailed by mantle xenoliths, and the composition of primitive melts in such environments. My continuing research uses petrology and geochemistry to further understand these melts and the xenolithic load they carry.



2007–2012 PhD, Earth Sciences, University of Bristol.
Carbonatite-silicate volcanism and mantle metasomatism: Case studies from Calatrava, Spain.
Supervised by: Prof. Ken Bailey, Prof. Chris Hawkesworth, Prof. Frances Wall, Dr Chris Coath

2003–2007 MSci, Earth Sciences, University of Durham, UK, 1st class honours.
Thesis: The effect of lithospheric thickness variation on the geochemistry of ocean island basalts.
Supervised by: Prof. Yaoling Niu


  • Niu, Y., Wilson, M. Humphreys, E., O'Hara, M.J. ( 2012 ) A trace element perspective on the source of ocean island basalts (OIB) and fate of subducted ocean crust (SOC) and mantle lithosphere (ML) Episodes 35 : 310-327 .
  • Niu, Y., Wilson, M., Humphreys, E.R., O'Hara, M.J. ( 2011 ) The origin of intra-plate ocean island basalts (OIB): the lid effect and its geodynamic implications Journal of Petrology 52, 7-8 : 1443-1468 . doi: 10.1093/petrology/egr030
  • Humphreys, E.R., Bailey, D.K., Hawkesworth, C.J., Wall, F., Najorka, J., Rankin, A. ( 2010 ) Aragonite in olivine from Calatrava, Spain - Evidence for mantle carbonatite melts from
    >100 km depth Geology 38, 10 : 911-914 . doi:10.1130/G31199.1
  • Humphreys, E.R., Niu, Y.     ( 2009 ) On the composition of ocean island basalts (OIB): The effects of the lithospheric thickness variation and mantle metasomatism Lithos 112, 1-2 : 118-136 . doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2009.04.038