LI Weiran Alex


My PhD research focuses on using petrology and mineralogy methods to study eruptive styles of subduction-zone volcanoes (e.g. Merapi).

To constrain magmatic volatile budgets and ascent rates, I use apatite as the tool which can record volatile information of pre-eruptive magmas. Based on thermodynamic theories, I developed a calculating method of using apatite to constrain volatiles concentrations (H2O and CO2) in magmas.

Moreover, I use diffusion to constrain timescales of magmatic processes especially those that occurred within relatively short durations, such as magma ascent. Specifically, I am trying to use multi-component diffusion of F-Cl-OH in apatite to constrain ascent rates of eruptions with different explosivities. To fulfill this, I did experiments to measure diffusivities of these anions at magmatic temperatures.

I am experienced in using various analysis techniques such as EPMA, SIMS, FTIR, TEM, NRA, XRD, etc. 

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in any collaboration. My email is: (or, 

Professional Activities:

My CV can be downloaded as a pdf file from this page (see above).

  • 2014-present Ph.D. Volcanology, Earth Observatory of Singapore, NTU
  • 2014 M.Sc. Tectonics, Peking University, China. Thesis: Research on key issues of laser 40Ar/39Ar isochron dating for extremely young volcanic rocks
  • 2012 B.Sc. Geochemistry, Peking University, China
Professional Experience:
  • Familiar with various techniques commonly used in petrology and mineralogy studies to analyze mineral compositions especially for volatile species, e.g. electron microscope (EPMA), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
  • Experienced in using nanoscale analysis techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA).
  • Able to independently perform high-temperature diffusion experiments.
  • Familiar with diffusion modelling using finite difference method.
Professional Activities:

Nov 2017. Principle lecturer of SEM workshop (“Studying petrography and mineralogy of volcanic rocks using SEM”) at BPPTKG, Yogyakarta (Indonesia).

Courses Taught:

2015/2016 spring, 2016/2017 spring: Teaching assistant in Earth Materials
2015/2016 fall, 2016/2017 fall, 2017/2018 fall: Teaching assistant in Natural Hazards
Teaching assistant certificate: Advanced level.

Honours and Awards:
  • July 2018: Best student presentation award’ by the16thInternational Symposium on Experimental Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry (EMPG) at Clermont-Ferrand (France).           
  • 2017-2018: Dr. Stephen Riady Geoscience Scholarship (External funding: 20,000 SGD) 

  • 2014-2019: Ph.D. Research Scholarship by Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

  • 2012-2013: Guang-Hua Scholarship by Peking University