In the news

COMET has a significant presence in the media, whether it’s expertise provided by our scientists or news about COMET itself.  You can read a selection of recent media coverage below.

Expert comment: Professor Walker on the Türkiye/Syria earthquake disaster
COMET scientist, Professor Richard Walker (University of Oxford) describes the background to the 6 February 2023 Kahramanmaraş earthquake sequence which has caused widespread destruction both in Türkiye and Syria. (University of Oxford news, 24.02.2023)

The day the Earth moved
COMET data used in article and quotes from COMET director, Professor Tim Wright (University of Leeds). (Reuters, 17.02.2023)

Turkish earthquake, Satellite analysis shows Fault misalignment Use of COMET SAR image and analysis from COMET director, Professor Tim Wright (University of Leeds). (Nikkei Japanese newspaper, 14.02.2023)

What caused the earthquake in Turkey?
Science Interviews: Interview with COMET scientist, Professor James Jackson, University of Cambridge. (The Naked Scientists, 10.02.2023)

Turkey earthquake fault lines mapped from space
COMET director, Professor Tim Wright (University of Leeds) quoted throughout BBC article on COMET’s Sentinel-1A mapping of earthquake faults (3rd most read article on BBC website on 10.02.2023). (BBC News, 10.02.2023)

Turkey earthquake opened 190-mile-long fissure, satellite images show
COMET data used in article and quotes by COMET director, Tim Wright and COMET researcher, Milan Lazecky (University of Leeds) (, 10.02.2023)

Why is it so hard to predict earthquakes?
COMET director, Professor Tim Wright (University of Leeds) quoted throughout the article. (Aljazeera, 09.02.2023)

COMET scientist, Dr Ekbal Hussain (BGS) provided a radio interview and analysed the devastating impact of the Turkey/Syria Earthquake and shared his knowledge on why earthquakes happen and whether they can be predicted and what happens after an earthquake? (Voice of Islam Radio, 9.02.2023)

COMET director, Professor Tim Wright (University of Leeds) took part in a live panel discussion discussing the impacts of the Turkey-Syria earthquake alongside Kaan Saner, Turkish Red Cresent and Ali Pinar, Seismologist at Bogazici University. (TRT World, 06.02.23)

Landslide risk remains years after even weak earthquake
Satellite observations have revealed that weak seismic ground shaking can trigger powerful landslide acceleration — even several years after a significant earthquake.  The research was led by COMET associate Professor Zhenhong Li (Newcastle University). (Mirage, 01.12.2022)

How Mauna Loa Went From a Hot Blob to the Biggest Volcano in the World
COMET scientist, Professor David Pyle (University of Oxford), quoted in article on the history of Mauna Loa. (Newsweek, 30.11.2022)

Mauna Loa eruption: what is happening inside the world’s largest volcano?
Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, is erupting for the first time since 1984. COMET scientist, Professor Andrew Hooper (University of Leeds) says: “There have been some signs of magma welling up over the past 10 years, but there has been no eruption until now.” (BBC News, 30.11.2022)

When did Mauna Loa last erupt and what happens when it next blows?
COMET scientist, Professor Matt Watson (University of Bristol), told Newsweek there is a line to be crossed between “being prepared” and not being an “alarmist” when it comes to these increases in activity. (Newsweek, 25.10.2022)

US Volcano that has been dormant for 800 years appears to be waking up
COMET scientist, Professor David Pyle (University of Oxford), provides his thoughts on the activity detected under a dormant volcano near Sitka, Alaska. (Nature World News, Newsweek, 27.10.2022)

Multiple factors make Afghan communities vulnerable to earthquakes
COMET scientist, Professor Richard Walker (University of Oxford), contributes to an article explaining Afghanistan’s long-standing vulnerabilities when an earthquake strikes. (Temblor, 10.08.2022)

Iceland eruption may be the start of decades of volcanic activityA second outburst of lava in under a year strongly suggests that the country’s Reykjanes Peninsula will become one of the most volcanically dynamic parts of the planet for several generations. COMET associate, Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya, University of Leeds : “It’s still early days, but it looks like the eruption will be similar to 2021.” (National Geographic, 04.08.2022)

Understanding Volcanoes
COMET scientist, Prof Tamsin Mather based at the University of Oxford, provides an insight into her research in this 15 minute interview.
(NHK World Japan, Direct talk, 06.07.2022 )

Nepal to move Everest base camp from melting glacier
Dr Scott Watson (COMET researcher) is interviewed about the news that Nepal intends to move a camp at the foot of Everest to a lower altitude because global warming and human activity is making the current position on the Khumbu glacier unstable. He also comments on the story in a variety of other outlets, with the original BBC article (“Everest base camp to be moved from melting glacier”) and others referring to research he co-authored in 2018. (BBC World News and News24, 19.06.2022)

Podcast and interview with COMET scientist, Professor Marie Edmonds talking about implications of her recent paper. (Singing lava helps predict volcanic eruptions, The Naked Scientists, 17.06.22)

Professor Tamsin Mather and Professor David Pyle appear in this new book about volcanoes aimed to increase the disaster resilience of children globally from COPE Champions. (Cope Disaster Champions, 19.05.22)  Download free here:
COPE_Volcanoes.pdf (

COMET PhD researcher, Olivia Hogg and Professor John Blundy explain the transition to net zero is creating unprecedented demand for metals and discuss the role for volcanoes as a novel route to a more sustainable future. (Mining the Brine, Geoscientist, 16.05.22)

COMET Director, Tim Wright and COMET Manager, Charlie Royle (University of Leeds) wrote an article on monitoring tectonic processes from space in the latest Geography Review A-Level magazine, available to all secondary schools through a quarterly subscription. (Hodders Magazine, 14.04.22)

COMET scientist, Prof. Mike Burton (University of Manchester) told Xinhua that the volcano in Tonga might go quiet after eruption but that the possibility of further explosions can’t be excluded. Possibility of further volcanic eruptions in Tonga can’t be excluded, says expert.’ (Xinhua, 19.01.22)

COMET scientists Prof. Tamsin Mather and Prof. David Pyle (University of Oxford) provide quotes on the impact of when an underwater volcano erupts in an article titled: How do underwater volcanoes form?  (DTNext, Newsclick, DW, 19.01.22)

‘Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai in the south Pacific erupts violently’ written report by COMET Scientist Prof. Marie Edmonds (University of Cambridge) on the Tonga volcano eruption. Questions remain about the cause of the eruption and subsequent tsunami, which damaged nearby islands in Tonga. (temblor, 18.01.22)

COMET researcher Cat Hayer and PhD student Ana Pardo (University of Manchester) provide an insight into collecting the gas measurements of the La Palma eruption and whether the eruption has contributed to the long term impact on our atmosphere. ‘What’s the real role of volcanoes in climate change?‘ (euronews,17.01.22)

‘Be prepared: It’s impossible to predict an earthquake’.  COMET Scientist Prof. James Jackson (University of Cambridge) is quoted throughout the article describing the study of earthquakes. (Science Blog, 10.11.21)

COMET Scientist  Prof. Tamsin Mather (University of Oxford) provides details on the risk of airports been affected by the La Palma eruption. (inews, 03.10.21)

La Palma volcano eruption: More ‘explosive activity’ likely, Canary Islands authorities warn – COMET Scientist Prof. Mike Burton, based at the University of Manchester is quoted in ‘The Times’ article. (The Times, 22.09.21)

Credit: CCO, Gary Saldana, Unsplash

COMET Scientist Dr David Pyle (University of Oxford) provides an interview in article titled: Sea level influences volcanic eruptions (The Naked Scientists, 10.08.2021).  New research on the Santorini volcano which indicates how sea level change influences volcanic activity.

Credit: Emma Liu/USGS

Coverage of  the 2020 John Wahr Early Career Award won by COMET scientist Dr John Elliott (University of Leeds) that recognises “significant advances in geodetic science, technology, applications, observations, or theory.(Earth & Space Science News, 07.07.21)

“White chimneys” emerging from an underwater vent site.

COMET Associate David Ferguson (University of Leeds) features in articles highlighting the amount of energy released by volcanic eruptions deep in our oceans. (Environmental News Network,  Yahoo,  Advanced Science News, Natural World News, University News 22.04.2021, IGN 28.04.2021, Inverse 30.04.21) 


Photo by HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP via Getty Images

COMET Associate Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya (University of Leeds) is quoted in article: Volcanoes are a major source of air pollution and a serious public health threat, scientists warn (The I, 12.04.2021) Research led by the Universities of Leeds and Iceland examines the health impacts of pollution caused by the Holuhraun lava eruption in 2014-2015. The story was also covered in the Daily Mail, The Independent and Forbes.

COMET Associate Evgenia Ilyinskaya (University of Leeds) appeared on a pair of programmes to discuss the volcanic eruption in Iceland (BBC Science in Action and Inside Science 26.03.2021) 

COMET Deputy Director quoted in article: Radar satellite fleets are measuring movements on Earth like never before  (Bollyinside 24.03.2021) COMET Deputy Director Juliet Biggs (University of Bristol) comments on the InSAR satellite data findings on the East African volcanoes.

COMET Associate appears on Iceland’s national broadcaster  (RUV 22.03.2021) COMET Associate Evgenia Ilyinskaya (University of Leeds) appeared on Iceland’s national broadcaster in a piece discussing at the safety of people at the sites of the ongoing volcanic eruption. In Icelandic.

OneWeb: £400m public bailout to rescue an imperilled satellite internet firm (Sky News 22.03.2021) COMET Deputy Director Professor Marek Ziebart (UCL) provides an overview on the development and delivery of satellites by SpaceX and OneWeb.  The story was covered in another media source Fintech Zoom.

© Photograph by Jeremie Richard, AFP via Getty Images

COMET Associate quoted in article: Eruption in Iceland may mark the start of decades of volcanic activity  (National Geographic 22.03.2021) COMET Associate Evgenia Ilyinskaya (University of Leeds) describes the experience of getting close to the Geldingadalur eruption site. The story was covered in another media source MSN, Press From.

© Haldor KolbeinsAFP via Getty Images

COMET Associate quoted in article: Iceland on high alert as increased seismic activity raises volcano threat (Financial Times 12.03.2021) COMET Associate Evgenia Ilyinskaya (University of Leeds) comments on the impact of any eruption which is likely to be less disruptive compared to the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.

COMET researcher quoted in article: Uttarakhand Dam Disaster: What Caused India’s Deadly Flood?   (Sky News 16.02.2021) COMET Researcher Scott Watson (University of Leeds) is quoted (and appears) in the Sky news article on using satellite imagery to analyse the cause of the flood that has devastated Uttarakhand in northern India.

Article showcasing research led by COMET PhD student Aisling O’Kane (University of Cambridge 02.02.2021) COMET PhD student Aisling O’Kane (University of Cambridge) leads research on helping scientists understand why some sedimentary basins are particularly prone to hazardous ground shaking following earthquakes.

COMET researcher quoted in article: It Spied on Soviet Atomic Bombs. Now It’s Solving Ecological Mysteries (New York Times 05.01.2021) COMET Staff Scientist Dr Scott Watson is quoted in this New York Times article about images from the Cold War’s Corona satellites that are helping scientists understand how we have changed our planet in the past half-century:

Laura Gregory discusses the recent Aegean earthquake in Greece and Turkey (BBC Inside Science 05.11.2020)  COMET Scientist Laura Gregory (University of Leeds) discusses the recent earthquake under the Aegean Sea on BBC Inside Science, Radio 4 (from from around 9:30 minutes in).


Greece and Turkey earthquake driven by wild tectonics of the Aegean Sea (National Geographic 30.10.2020) COMET Scientist Laura Gregory (University of Leeds) describes the tectonic complexity behind the powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The story was covered in another media source Smithsonian Magazine.

New drone technology advances volcanic monitoring (Mirage 31.10.2020)  COMET Scientist Marie Edmonds (University of Cambridge), co-author, comments on new research on specially-adapted drones, that are transforming how we forecast eruptions.

Nanocrystals could drive explosive volcanic eruptions (Physics World 12.10.2020)  COMET Scientist Marie Edmonds (University of Cambridge) comments in article on why ‘Nanocrystals could drive explosive volcanic eruptions’.


Earthquake mapping using EDGE computing (BBC 04.08.2020) Professor Tim Wright (COMET Director) appears on BBC Digital World in a segment about earthquake mapping with localised EDGE computing. The piece starts at approximately 19 minutes, and Professor Wright appears at around 23 minutes.


COMET comments on earthquake models of California (National Geographic 13.07.2020) COMET scientist Pablo Gonzalez (University of Liverpool) highlights the “simplifying assumptions” that all models make about our “astoundingly complex planet”.


COMET scientist involved in pioneer project to protect Nepal’s future generations from earthquakes  (University of Bristol, 08.07.2020) COMET scientist Max Werner (University of Bristol) is co-investigator on the SAFER Nepal Project, the aims of which are described in this article.


COMET comments on Iceye’s small radar satellites and InSar (BBC 07.05.20) Professor Tim Wright (COMET Director) is quoted in a BBC article about Iceye’s microsatellites and their ability to provide InSar data.


How researchers can use satellite data to predict volcanic eruptions (Analytics India Magazine 13.12.2019) Article on the 2019 JGR Solid Earth research paper ‘Using Machine Learning to Automatically Detect Volcanic Unrest in a Time Series of Interferograms’ by COMET researchers.

Volcano cliffs can affect monitoring data (Science Daily 21.03.2019) Juliet Biggs, co-author, comments on new research that reveals that sharp variations of the surface of volcanoes can affect data collected by monitoring equipment. Also on University of Bristol

Copernicus Sentinel-1 reveals shared plumbing led to Agung awakening  ( 14.02.2019) Research published in Nature by COMET researchers Dr Fabien Albino and Professor Juliet Biggs at the University of Bristol was covered by a number of media sources, such as The Express, Science Daily and

How AI can help predict volcanic eruptions (Science 11.12.2018) Andy Hooper explains how artificial intelligence can help to detect volcano deformation patterns in millions of pieces of data.


Research into deadly 2016 Italian earthquakes could improve future seismic forecasts ( 23.08.18) Work by Richard Walters and Laura Gregory has shown that the clustering of the three 2016 Italian quakes might have been caused by a cross-cutting network of underground faults.

Turkish fault reveals seismic steadiness (JPL Space in Images 12.04.18) Ekbal Hussain’s work on the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey shows that tectonic strain builds up along this fault — one of the worlds most deadly earthquake zones — at a remarkably steady rate.

What volcanic plumes reveal about our planet (BBC R4 The Life Scientific 30.05.17)  Tamsin Mather explains how her work is helping to not only predict when a volcano may erupt, but to understand how volcanoes shape our planet both now and over geological time.

Sentinel satellites to monitor every volcano (BBC science website 19.04.17) Juliet Biggs and Andy Hooper explain how the Sentinel constellation will routinely map the planet’s surface, looking for signs that might hint at a future eruption.


The rapidly populating coastal region from the Gulf to Pakistan faces a huge tsunami risk (The Conversation 05.04.17) Camilla Penney explains how a 1,000 km long fault at the northern end of the Arabian Sea may pose a tsunami threat.


Kaikoura: Most complex quake ever studied (BBC science website 23.03.17) Tim Wright explains the mechanics behind this event which has prompted a rethink about how earthquakes are expected to behave in high-risk regions such as New Zealand.