Sara Osman


I am a PGR based in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds working with Dr Mark Thomas and Dr Steve Carver, and Dr Julia Crummy from the British Geological Survey, investigating volcanic ash loading leading to roof collapse. I previously completed a research Masters in volcanic ash modelling at the University of Bristol and a taught Masters in geohazards at the University of Portsmouth.


2018-2019 MSc by Research, University of Bristol.

2015-2017 MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards, University of Portsmouth.

2008-2013 BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences), Open University.

Research Interests

My research interests include tephra dispersion modelling and hazard/risk assessment related to tephra fallout. My Masters research included:

  • Assessing the hazard associated with the sedimentation of large clasts from lava fountain-fed plumes at Mount Etna.
  • Compiling grain size distributions for both phreatomagmatic and magmatic eruptions and using the NAME model to investigate how the grain size distribution used to initialise an ash dispersal model impacts the modelled ash plume.

Project Title

Assessing roof vulnerability to collapse from tephra fall loading, with relevance to Ascension Island


Dr Mark Thomas, University of Leeds

Dr Steve Carver, University of Leeds

Dr Julia Crummy, British Geological Survey


Panorama NERC DTP, 2019

Project outline

My PhD research focuses on the impact of volcanic ash loading on buildings, using Ascension Island as a case study. I aim to use field work to characterise building and roof types, laboratory work to understand how ash interacts with buildings, and tephra dispersion modelling to investigate possible eruptive scenarios. I then aim to undertake a probabilistic hazard and vulnerability assessment for Ascension Island. I am funded by the NERC Panorama DTP and the BGS University Funding Initiative (BUFI).