Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Kendra J. Lynn, Ph.D.

My research leverages petrology and geochemistry to investigate the timescales of geologic processes operating in Earth’s mantle and volcanic systems – from the generation of magma during melting to its eruption. Understanding the timing and duration of magma storage and transport is critical for constraining the dynamic evolution of our planet and volcanic eruption scenarios.

A bit more about me: I am a first-generation college student who grew up in a small farm town in rural Minnesota and I have always loved volcanoes. As an undergraduate student at Winona State University, I did two senior thesis projects: one on soil chemistry for an organic farm and the second on structural geology and metamorphic petrology of a shear zone in Maine.

Professional Experience

  • CONVERSE H-SAC (Community Network for Volcanic Eruption Response Hawai'i Scientific Advisory Committee, HVO Representative), Volcano Science Center Seminar Series Committee (HVO Representative)

  • Research Geologist, US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (2020-present) - Petrologic and geochemical studies of Hawaiian volcanoes

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Delaware (2017-2020) - Aqueous fluid-rock and silicate melt-rock interactions that re-equilibrate hydrogen in peridotite nominally anhydrous minerals; high temperature hydrothermal alteration in Gakkel Ridge abyssal peridotites

  • Research Associate, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (2017-2020) - Redox and source heterogeneity of the arctic Gakkel Ridge

  • Research Fellow, East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes, Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University (2015) - Investigating magma ascent rate and eruption style at Kīlauea Volcano using diffusion modeling of element zoning in olivine crystals

  • Research Assistant, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (2012-2017) - Compositional Zoning in Kīlauea Olivine: A geochemical tool for investigating magmatic processes at Hawaiian Volcanoes

Education and Certifications

  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Ph.D. (2017) - Geology and Geophysics

  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, M.S. en route (2015) - Geology and Geophysics

  • Winona State University, B.S. (2012) - Geology

Affiliations and Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union

  • Geological Society of America

  • Mineralogical Society of America

  • Earth Science Women's Network

Honors and Awards

  • PI, Evaluating the causes of protracted explosive eruptions at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, National Science Foundation, EAR-1939964 ($255,595). Co-PI Jessica M. Warren

Abstracts and Presentations

  • Selected Conference Presentations

  • 2021 (Invited, Session Keynote) - Lynn, K.J. Big changes at Kilauea Volcano: The impact of 2018 summit collapse on magmatic processes recorded by the 2020 eruption. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, 53(6), doi: 10.1130/abs/2021AM-366992.

  • 2020 (Invited, Early Career Innovative Session on Petrology and Volcanism) - Lynn, K.J., Swanson, D.A., Rose, T., Trusdell, F.A. Leveraging geochemistry and petrology to explore the origins of explosive vs. effusive eruptive periods at Kīlauea Volcano (HI). Abstract INV10d-0003, AGU Virtual Fall Meeting.

  • 2020 (Invited) - Lynn, K.J., Rose, T., Swanson, D.A. Olivine and glass chemistry record cycles of plumbing system evolution after summit collapse at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. Virtual Goldschmidt Conference. doi: 10.46427/gold2020.1670.

  • 2019 (Invited) - Lynn, K.J., Garcia, M.O., Shea, T. Phosphorus coupling obfuscates lithium geospeedometry in olivine. Abstract V43A-06, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Science and Products