photo of kim

Kimberly Genareau

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director
Field Course Director


  • PhD, Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, 2009
  • BA, Philosophy, University of South Florida, 2003; BS, Physics, University of South Florida, 2003; BS, Geology, University of South Florida, 2003

Research Areas

  • High-Temperature Geochemistry and Petrology



Current Research Projects

I am currently funded by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with my colleagues at The University of Alabama in Huntsville to explore the effects of lightning on volcanic ash and measure the properties of volcanic ash that may contribute to lightning generation.

In the Tephra Lab, we examine evidence of lightning in ashfall deposits from explosive volcanic eruptions and study the physical properties of volcanic ash that may affect infrastructure and the environment.

Courses Taught

  • GEO 502/602 Communicating Geology
  • GEO 495: Field Course
  • GEO 314: Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEO 416/516: Volcanology
  • GEO 424/525: SEM Methods in Geology

Selected Publications

  • Woods, T. W., Feinberg, J. M., Genareau, K., Park, C., Won, H., & Hong, Y. K. (2023), Magnetic Properties of Lightning‐Induced Glass Produced From Five Mineral Phases. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 128(9), e2023JB026561.
  • Cimarelli, C., Behnke, S., Genareau, K., Harper, J. M., & Van Eaton, A. R. (2022). Volcanic electrification: recent advances and future perspectives. Bulletin of Volcanology, 84(8), 78.
  • Cimarelli, C., & Genareau, K. (2022), A review of volcanic electrification of the atmosphere and volcanic lightning. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 422, 107449.
  • Woods, T. W., Genareau, K., and Klüss, J. (2021), Alteration of volcanic ash glass chemistry due to lightning. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 107340.
  • Schultz, C.J., Andrews, V.P., Genareau, K., and Naeger, A.R. (2020), Observations of lightning in relation to transitions in volcanic activity during the 3 June 2018 Fuego Eruption. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-12.
  • Genareau, K., Gharghabi, P., Klüss, J. (2020), Influence of shock propagation on lightning evidence in volcanic ashfall deposits. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 535, 116124.
  • Woods, T. W., Genareau, K., and Wallace, K. L. (2020), Influence of grain size and shape on volcanic ash electrical conductivity. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 106788.
  • Genareau, K., Hong, Y.-K., Lee, W., Choi, M., Rostaghi-Chalaki, M., Gharghabi, P., Gafford, J., Klüss, J. (2019), Effects of Lightning on the Magnetic Properties of Volcanic Ash. Scientific Reports, 9, 1-11, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41265-3.
  • Genareau, K., Wallace, K.L., Gharghabi, P. and Gafford, J. (2019), Lightning Effects on the Grain Size Distribution of Volcanic Ash. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2018GL081298.
  • Genareau, K., Gharghabi, P., Gafford, J. and Mazzola, M. (2017), The elusive evidence of volcanic lightning. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 15508, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-15643-8.
  • Genareau, K., Wardman, J.B., Wilson, T.M., McNutt, S.R., and Izbekov, P. (2015), Lightning-induced volcanic spherules. Geology, 43(4),  319-322, doi:10.1130/G36255.1.