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Dr Ricardo Dos Santos Ramalho

Dr Ricardo Dos Santos Ramalho

Dr Ricardo Dos Santos Ramalho
BSc(Lisbon), MSc(Lisbon), PhD(Bristol)

Research Fellow

Area of research

Origins and evolution of ocean island volcanoes

Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
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+44 (0) 117 33 15141


Origins and evolution of ocean island volcanoes and oceanic hotspots. Landscape evolution at ocean island volcanoes.

Oceanic hotspots probably constitute the best geodynamic setting to study the link between deep mantle processes and their surface manifestations, because they directly result from a transfer of mass and energy from the mantle to the surface. Yet, their origins are still very enigmatic. The evolution of ocean island systems is strongly influenced by plate velocity relative to the melting source, age/thickness of the lithosphere, proximity to a plate boundary, and melting source parameters. I aim to explore the role of this factors on ocean island evolution and ocenic hotpost dynamics. I am also interested in landscape evolution on volcanic islands, and how constructional processes compete with erosional processes to shape these landscapes. I am particularly interested on volcanic flank collapses and the associated effects of mega-tsunamis generated by these catastrophic events.


I graduated in Geology by Lisbon University in Portugal (2001) where I also completed a MSc in Dynamic Geology (2004) about volcano-stratigraphy, tectonics and geomorphology of Madeira Island (Portugal). Between 2002 and 2004 I have worked for Madeira University (Portugal) as a fulltime field geologist for the project that lead to the publication of the new geological mapping of Madeira Island, on the scale 1/50 000. During a short but very intense period bewteen January and October 2005 I have worked as project geologist for Iberian Resources Ltd, an Australian-based mineral exploration company with projects in Portugal. During this period I have worked on gold exploration on the Portuguese Proterozoic and Palaeozoic. In October 2005 I moded to Bristol where i worked on my PhD with Professors George Helffrich and Derek Vance, on the evolution of Cape Verde Archipelago, with a special emphasis on long-term uplift reconstructions using sea-level tracers. On 2011 I was awarded with the Springer Thesis Award for my work on the Cape Verdes. After the completion on my PhD, I briefly stayed in Bristol as a postdoc, after which I moved to Münster (Germany) where I worked as postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Geophysics, focusing on ocean island uplift of the Azores Island region. Currently I hold a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University, New York) as my Outgoing host and Bristol University as my Return host.




I have worked as teaching assistant on courses spanning Environmental Geoscience Fieldwork, Independent Mapping Project, Physical Volcanology, Applied Geophysics, Research Methods, and 1st year Geology Field Trip.


  • geology
  • volcanology
  • geomorphology
  • geodynamics
  • igneous processes
  • geochronology
  • natural hazards

Selected publications

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View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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