Updated on September 5, 2022

Welcome to my website! 


I am a petrologist-geochemist-volcanologist from Sichuan China. 


Before moving to Cambridge, U.K. where I am working as a postdoc, I spent six years (2008-2014) in Beijing for my undergraduate and master studies at Peking University, and another six years (2014-2020) in Singapore for my Ph.D. study at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) (see my latest CV). 

I will be an assistant professor (and curator of the Stephen Hui Museum - excited!) at the University of Hong Kong from October 2022. I will have fundings/would love to help seek fundings for Ph.D. students, RAs and postdocs. Please do email me (weiranli AT hku.hk) if you are interested. 

My research combines petrological observations, chemical analyses, thermodynamic/diffusion modelling (Python/Matlab), and high-temperature experiments to unravel:

(1) volcanoes: mechanisms of volcanic eruptions, eruptions sizes and styles, the architecture of volcano plumbing systems, and volcanic hazards

(2) volatiles in subduction-zone magmatism

(3) timescales of magmatic processes (diffusion chronometry) and geological events (Ar-Ar and U-Th dating)

(4) mantle temperature-lithology, and mantle upwelling (current project).

(5) REEs (rare earth elements) and magma-related ore generation

My research areas include Merapi volcano (Indonesia), Mount Erebus (Antarctica), Changbaishan volcano (China), and Mayon volcano (Philippines). 

I have been intensively working on investigating volcanic effusive-explosive transition at subduction-zone volcanoes using a volatile-bearing mineral - apatite (check out modelling tools we developed shown on research projects and models/tools pages). Whilst in the U.K., I am working on using ocean island basalts to estimate mantle potential temperatures and lithologies, as part of the MC2 project funded for five years by NERC.

p.s. I am trying to update this website at the beginning/end of every month.




Seeking Ph.D. students in Petrology-Volcanology/Research Assistants/Postdocs to join our team at the University of Hong Kong.

Check Vacancies page for details.


Check out our new paper in Geology about the cause of an explosive-effusive-explosive eruption transition at Rabaul volcano, Papua New Guinea, with insights from apatite


March 17th  

I gave an invited talk over Zoom (in Chinese) for Southwest University (西北大学). The recorded talk can be found on "PRESENTATIONS" page.

February 24th 

I gave an invited talk at the Bochum diffusion seminar series about applications of apatite diffusion chronometry to estimating magma ascent time-rates. See the link to the recorded talk on "PRESENTATIONS" page.


A new python package called pyAp is released!

See "MODELS/TOOLS" page for details. 


See more activities on "UPDATES" page

Feel free to email me:

weiranli AT hku.hk