Florentine Zwillich

Florentine is a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, focusing on geochemistry and volcanology. She grew up in a small village in the northern part of Bavaria, Germany. Although there are no active volcanoes in this area, it was always her interest to understand the genesis of such natural phenomena. So, from 2012 until 2018, she completed her bachelor's and master's degrees in geosciences, focusing both theses on volcanological-related topics. At the beginning of 2018, she volunteered as an intern at the Colima Intercambio e Investigación de Volcanología in Colima, Mexico, where she had one of her first experiences studying an active volcano.


Since the end of 2018, she has been studying at McGill University. She visited Saba several times since 2019 to collect rock samples from different areas on Saba to understand better the magmatic system beneath. These rocks contain specific crystals, called plagioclase, which she uses to study the evolution of the magmatic system over time. Besides looking at crystals, she also is interested in soil degassing on the island, including measurements of carbon dioxide and noble gases. These gases can be a reliable tool to assess diffuse and concentrated degassing and efficiently detect earthquake-volcano interactions in periods of quiescence at active volcanoes. Analyzing these gas emissions is strategic for detecting and interpreting precursory signals of changes in volcanic activity and, in the case of Saba, retrieving the first information on background levels across the island.

Presentation: Sunday, October 23rd