Kim Genareau

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
  • Geophysics, Tectonics, and Structural Geology



Current Research Projects

I am currently funded by the National Science Foundation through a CAREER grant (EAR1553878) to explore the effects of volcanic lightning on both natural and manufactured volcanic ash samples through a series of lightning experiments.  We also examine evidence of lightning in ashfall deposits from explosive volcanic eruptions and examine the properties of volcanic ash that may contribute to lightning generation.

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., 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., Perez-Huerta, A. Laiginhas, F. (2019), Atom Probe Tomography Analysis of Exsolved Mineral Phases. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 152.
  • 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., Cloer, S., Primm, K., Tolbert, M. and Woods, T. (2018), Compositional and Mineralogical Effects on Ice Nucleation Activity of Volcanic Ash. Atmosphere, 9(7), 238, doi:10.3390/atmos9070238.
  • 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.
  • Wadsworth, F.B., Vasseur, J., Llewellin, E.W., Genareau, K., Cimarelli, C. and Dingwell, D.B. (2017), Size limits for rounding of volcanic ash particles heated by lightning. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 122(3), 1977-1989, doi:10.1002/2016JB013864.
  • Schill, G., Genareau, K., and Tolbert, M. (2015), Deposition and Immersion Mode Nucleation of Ice by Three Distinct Samples of Volcanic Ash Using Raman Spectroscopy. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 15, 7523-7536, doi:10.5194/acp-15-7523-2015, 2015.
  • 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.