Allan Lerner

Allan Lerner profile picture
  • Title: Petrology Lab Manager and Research Assistant
  • Office: 224 Cascade Hall
  • Interests: geochemistry; petrology, volcanic degassing; magmatic volatiles; volcanic hazards
  • Curriculum Vitae


Allan Lerner was born and raised in Queens, New York. He obtained his BA in geology from Amherst College, MA, studying a pumice fall in the Aleutian Islands as his senior thesis. He spent time as a research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory, followed by interning at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and at the University of Colima, Mexico. Allan came to the University of Oregon after completing his Masters Degree at Oregon State University, where he investigated the petrologic utility of zircon-hosted melt inclusions from the ridiculously large Youngest Toba Tuff (Sumatra, Indonesia) eruption.

Allan has been part of the Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology (VGP) group at UO, working with Dr. Paul Wallace and colleagues at USGS Volcano Observatories to pursue his fondness for petrology and volcanic gases. He completed his PhD in 2020, with a dissertation entitled: The Depths and Locations of Magma Reservoirs and their Consequences for the Behavior of Sulfur and Volcanic Degassing.

Allan continues to conduct research in the UO Department of Earth Sciences and helps to manage the Wallace petrology lab.


Geochemistry; Magmatic degassing and volcano monitoring; the role of volatiles in explosive volcanism; Physical volcanology; Volcanic hazards

Current projects include:

  • Linking petrology with magmatic degassing during eruptions of Kilauea Volcano (HI). Specific focuses have been on the recent 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption, and the 1500-1820 CE Keanakakoi Tephra sequence.
  • Studying sulfur degassing at Mount St. Helens (WA) and Augustine Volcano (AK) during the 1980s and 2000s eruptive episodes.
  • Monitoring volcanic emissions from US volcanoes (USGS partnership).
  • Exploring the occurrence of laterally offset magma reservoirs worldwide.

Photos from the Field


  • ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7208-1493

Lerner, A.H., Muth, M.J., Wallace, P.J., Lanzirotti, A., Newville, M., Gaetani, G.A., Chowdhury, P., Dasupta, R. (2021). Improving the reliability of Fe- and S-XANES measurements in silicate glasses: Correcting beam damage and identifying Fe-oxide nanolites in hydrous and anhydrous melt inclusions. Chemical Geology, 586, 120610.

Lerner, A.H., Wallace, P.J., Shea, T., Mourey, A.J., Kelly, P.J., Nadeau, P.A., Elias, T., Kern, C., Clor, L.E., Gansecki, C., Lee, R.L., Moore, L.R., Werner, C.A. (2021). The petrologic and degassing behavior of sulfur and other magmatic volatiles from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi: melt concentrations, magma storage depths, and magma recycling. Bulletin of Volcanology, 83, 43.

Rose-Koga, E.F., Bouvier, A.-S., Gaetani, G.A., Wallace, P.J., Allison, C.M., Andrys, J.A., de la Torre CA, A., Barth, A., Bodnar, R.J., Ajj, B.G., …Lerner, A., et al. (2021). Silicate melt inclusions in the new millennium: A review of recommended practices for preparation, analysis, and data presentation. Chemical Geology 120145.

Lerner, A.H. (2020). The depths and locations of magma reservoirs and their consequences for the behavior of sulfur and volcanic degassing. PhD Dissertation, University of Oregon. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28022240.

Lerner, A.H., O'Hara, D., Karlstrom, L., Ebmeier, S.K., Anderson, K.R., Hurwitz, S. (2020). The prevalence and significance of offset magma reservoirs at arc volcanoes. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, 14.

Kern, C., Lerner, A.H., Elias, T., Nadeau, P., Holland, L., Kelly, P.J., Werner, C.A., Clor, L.E., Cappos, M.J. (2020). Quantifying gas emissions associated with the 2018 rift eruption of Kīlauea Volcano using ground-based DOAS measurements. Bulletin of Volcanology, 82, 55.

Lanzirotti, A., Lee, L., Head, E., Sutton, S., Newville, M., McCanta, M., Lerner, A., Wallace, P. (2019). Direct Measurements of Copper Speciation in Basaltic Glasses: Understanding the Relative Roles of Sulfur and Oxygen in Copper Complexation in Melts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 267, 164-178.

Primulyana S., Kern C., Lerner A., Saing U.B., Kunrat S.L., Alfianti H., Marlia M. (2019). Gas and ash emissions associated with the 2010-present activity of Sinabung Volcano, Indonesia. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 382, 184-196.

Neal, C.A., Brantley, S.R., Antolik, L., Babb, J.L., Burgess, M., Calles, K., Cappos, M., Chang, J.C., Conway, S., Desmither, L., Dotray, P., Elias, T., Fukunaga, P., Fuke, S., Johanson, I.A., Kamibayashi, K., Kauahikaua, J., Lee, R.L., Pekalib, S., Miklius, A., Million, W., Moniz, C.J., Nadeau, P.A., Okubo, P., Parcheta, C., Patrick, M.R., Shiro, B., Swanson, D.A., Tollett, W., Trusdell, F., Younger, E.F., Zoeller, M.H., Montgomery-Brown, E.K., Anderson, K.R., Poland, M.P., Ball, J.L., Bard, J., Coombs, M., Dietterich, H.R., Kern, C., Thelen, W.A., Cervelli, P.F., Orr, T., Houghton, B.F., Gansecki, C., Hazlett, R., Lundgren, P., Diefenbach, A.K., Lerner, A.H., Waite, G., Kelly, P., Clor, L., Werner, C., Mulliken, K., Fisher, G., Damby, D. (2019). The 2018 rift eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea Volcano. Science, 363, 367–374.

Lerner, A.H., Crowley, P.D., Hazlett, R.W., Nicolaysen, K.P. (2018). Stratigraphy, distribution, and evidence for mafic triggering of the ca. 8.5 ka Driftwood Pumice eruption, Makushin Volcano, Alaska, U.S.A. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 357, 362-377.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.05.006

Damby D.E., Peek S., Lerner A.H., and Elias T. (2018). Volcanic ash leachate chemistry from increased 2018 activity of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey data release. DOI: 10.5066/P98A07DC

Lerner A. (2015). MSc Thesis: Insights into the Geochemical Evolution of the Youngest Toba Tuff (Sumatra, Indonesia) Magma Chamber Through the Lens of Zircon-hosted Melt Inclusions. Oregon State University, Scholar’s Archives.

Cassidy, M., Cole, P.D., Hicks, K.E., Varley, N.R.., Peters, N., Lerner, A.H. (2015). Rapid and slow: Varying magma ascent rates provide the mechanism for small Vulcanian eruptions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 460, 73-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.025

Wang, P., Hudak, M.R., Lerner, A.H., Grubbs, R.K., Wang, S., Zhang, Z., Karapetrova, E., Hickmott, D.D., and Majewski, J. (2014). X-ray scattering of calcite thin films deposited by atomic layer deposition: Studies in air and in calcite saturated water solution. Thin Solid Films 565, 277-284.  DOI 10.1016/j.tsf.2014.06.032

Wang, P., Lerner, A.H., Taylor, M., Baldwin, J.K, Grubbs, R.K., Majewski, J., and Hickmott, D.D. (2012). High-pressure and High-Temperature Neutron Reflectometry Cell for Solid-Fluid Interface Studies. European Physics Journal Plus 127: 76, 1-15.  DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2012-12076-0


2015-2020   PhD, University of Oregon.  Research adviser: Dr. Paul Wallace       

  • The Depths and Locations of Magma Reservoirs and their  Consequences for the Behavior of Sulfur and Volcanic Degassing

2013-2015   MSc, Oregon State University, OR.  Research adviser: Dr. Adam Kent        

  • “ Tracking Volatile Evolution in Magma Chambers using Zircon-Hosted Melt Inclusions: A Case Study of the 74 ka Youngest Toba Tuff, Sumatra “

2013   Volcanology Intern, Centro de Intercambio y Investigación en Vulcanología, Universidad de Colima, Mexico   

2012-13   Gas Geochemistry Intern, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, HI

2011-12   Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM

2010   B.A. Geology, Amherst College, MA.  Research adviser: Dr. Peter Crowley

  • " The Eruption Dynamics of the 8.5 ka Driftwood Pumice-fall, Makushin Volcano, Alaska "


Teaching Assistantships at University of Oregon:

  • Introductory Petrology (Dr. Paul Wallace, 2019; Dr. Ilya Bindeman 2020)
  • Mineralogy (Prof. Dave Blackwell, 2018)

Teaching Assistantships while at Oregon State University:

  • Volcanology (Dr. Anita Grunder, 2015)
  • Global Change and Earth Science (Dr. Peter Clark, 2015)
  • Environmental Justice (Dr. Stephen Lancaster, 2015)
  • Environmental Geology (Dr. Kaplan Yalcin, 2015)
  • Teaching Assistant for Physical Geology for Science Majors (Dr. Kaplan Yalcin, 2014)
  • Living with Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest (Dr. Matthew Nyman, 2014)