Photo of Prof. Gregg.


University of Illinois
Department of Geology
Office: NHB 3016

Patricia M. Gregg

Assistant Professor of Geophysics
Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Current Position

07/2014 - present: Assistant Professor of Geophysics


Ph.D. Marine Geophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, 2008
Advisor: Jian Lin

B.S. Geology and Geophysics, University of Missouri-Rolla, 2000
Magna Cum Laude, Student Marshal

Honors & Awards

09/2018 - Present: NSF CAREER Awardee (UIUC)
11/2018 - Present: Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (UIUC)
 07/2017 - 07/2018: National Center for Supercomputing Applications Faculty Fellowship (UIUC)
09/2011 - 06/2014: CEAOS Institutional Research Associate Postdoc (OSU)
09/2009 - 08/2011: NSF EAR Postdoctoral Fellowship (LDEO, OSU)
09/2003 - 08/2006: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (MIT/WHOI)
06/2002 - 08/2003: Hollister Graduate Research Fellowship (MIT/WHOI)
08/1996 - 12/2000: V.H. McNutt Geology Scholarship (UMR)
08/1997 - 12/2000: Society of Exploration Geophysicists Scholarship (UMR)
08/1996 - 05/2000: Missouri Bright Flight Scholarship (UMR)

Professional Experience

09/2011 - 06/2014: Oregon State University, Institutional Research Associate
09/2010 - 09/2011: Oregon State University, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
09/2008 - 09/2009: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
09/2006 - 05/2008: WHOI, Graduate Research Fellow
01/2007 - 06/2007: Boston College, Adjunct Lecturer
09/2003 - 09/2006: MIT/WHOI, NSF Graduate Research Fellow
06/2002 - 08/2003: WHOI, Hollister Graduate Research Fellow
06/2001 - 06/2002: Sprint, Project Manager & Associate Engineer Summer
2000: Sandia National Laboratories, Summer Intern Summer
1999: WHOI, Summer Student Fellow
08/1999 - 05/2000: University of Missouri-Rolla, Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience (OURE) Fellow
01/1998 - 05/2000: KMNR FM Campus Radio Station, Music Director & D.J. Summer
1995: University of Missouri-Rolla, Jackling Student Fellow

Courses Taught at UIUC

GEOL 450 - Probing the Earth's Interior (Spring term, even years: 2016, 2018, 2020, etc)
GEOL 593P - Mid-Ocean Ridge Tectonics (Fall term, odd years: 2015, 2017, 2019, etc)
GEOL 350 - Volcanoes (Spring term, odd years: 2017, 2019, 2021, etc)
GEOL 593V - Physical Volcanology 
GEOL 593K - Methods in Applied Geophysics (Fall term, even years: 2018, 2020, etc)

Field Experience

2018: Chief Scientist, AT42-06 OASIS-2 ECS Expedition, 8 20N Seamounts, EPR (18 days)
2018: Co-Leader and Professor, GEOL 415/515 Field trip to Scotland (2 weeks)
2016: Chief Scientist, AT37-05 OASIS Expedition, 8 20N Seamounts, EPR (31 days)
2014: 5th International Workshop on Collapse Calderas, Taupo, New Zealand
2012: 4th International Workshop on Collapse Calderas, Vulsini Calderas, Italy
2012: Oregon State University, Adv. Igneous Petrology field trip, Long Valley, CA
2008: Chief Scientist, R/V New Horizon, Costa Rica Seismic Experiment (30 days)
2004-2007: WHOI Geodynamics – Hawaii (’04), Iceland (’06), and Maine (’07)
2005: Ridge 2000 Cyprus Ophiolite Field School 2003: MIT Carbonate Sedimentology field trip, the Bahamas
2003: MIT Continental Deformation field trip, Greece 2002: Shipboard Scientific Party, R/V Melville, Vancouver Leg 1, EPR (28 days)
2001: Shipboard Scientific Party, R/V Atlantis, AT4-4, MAR (28 days)
1996-2000: Participated in several geophysical data collection projects with the UMR Geophysics Group (GPR, EM, Seismic, and Resistivity)
1998: Boston University Summer Field Camp, Western Ireland (5 weeks)

Professional Affiliations

American Geophysical Union
Geological Society of America
International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior
Commission on Collapse Calderas


BTN: Illinois researchers dive deep to one of Earth’s final frontiers: LiveBIG 2017-18
Forbes: Yellowstone's Hyperactive Geyser Is Nothing Like Real Supervolcano Eruption Warning Signs
Newsweek: When will the next supervolcano erupt? New model suggests it depends on local plate tectonics
UIUC News Bureau: Study suggests ample warning of supervolcano eruptions
The News-Gazette (Champaign): Trash-Cano makes science a blast
The News-Gazette (Champaign): Trashcano!
Intel iQ Magazine: OASIS Expedition Uses Sophisticated Tech to Probe the Ocean Floor
Intel iQ Magazine: OASIS Scientists Catch High-Tech Ride to the Bottom of the Sea
Storied at the University of Illinois: Three kilometers under the sea
BigTen Network: Illinois geologist dives deep to study deep-sea volcanoes
LAS News Bureau: 3 kilometers under the sea: Illinois leads expedition to explore underwater volcanoes
OSU Press Release: Scientists find possible trigger for volcanic ‘super-eruption’
The Daily Mail: Scientists reveal why pressure builds inside ‘super volcanoes’
OSU Press Release: Scientists find possible trigger for volcanic ‘super-eruption’
The Daily Mail: Scientists reveal why pressure builds inside ‘super volcanoes’
WHOI News Release: Fragmented Structure of Seafloor Faults May Dampen Effects of Earthquakes:
T.V. News Broadcast: Underwater Earthquakes, Ivanhoe News Syndicate


§ Student Advisee, + Postdoc Advisee

§ 21. H. E. Cabaniss, P. M. Gregg, and E. B. Grosfils, The Role of Tectonic Stress in Triggering Large Silicic Caldera Eruptions. Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2018GL077393, 2018.  

+ 20. F. Albino, F. Amelung, and P. M. Gregg, The Role of Pore Fluid Pressure on the Failure of Magma Reservoirs: Insights From Indonesian and Aleutian Arc Volcanoes. J. Geophys. Res, 123, 1328-1349, 10.1002/2017JB014523, 2018. 

§ 19. Y. Zhan, P. M. Gregg, E. Chaussard, Y. Aoki, Sequential Assimilation of Volcanic Monitoring Data to Quantify Eruption Potential: Application to Kerinci Volcano, Sumatra, Front. Earth Sci.,, 2017.

§ 18. Y. Zhan and P. M. Gregg, Data assimilation strategies for volcano geodesy, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.02.015, 2017.  

§ 17. H. Lé Mévèl, P. M. Gregg, and K. L. Feigl, H. Lé Mévèl, P. M. Gregg, and K. L. Feigl, Magma injection into a long-lived reservoir to explain geodetically measured uplift: Application to the 2007-2014 unrest episode at Laguna del Maule volcanic field, Chile, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JB013066, 2016.

§ 16. Y. Zhan, G. Hou, T. Kusky, P.M. Gregg, Stress development in heterogenetic lithosphere: Insights into earthquake processes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Tectonophysics, 671, 56-62, 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.01.016, 2016.

15. M. E. Pritchard and P. M. Gregg, Geophysical evidence for crustal melt: Where, what kind, and how much? in press Elements, 2016.

14. P.M. Gregg and J.C. Pettijohn, A multi-data stream assimilation framework for the assessment of volcanic unrest, J. Volcano. Geotherm. Res, 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.11.008, 2016.

13. P.M. Gregg, E. B. Grosfils, S. L. de Silva, Catastrophic caldera-forming eruptions II: The subordinate role of buoyancy, J. Volcano. Geotherm. Res, 305, 100–113, doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.09.022, 2015.

12. S.L. de Silva SL, Mucek AE, P.M. Gregg, and Pratomo I Resurgent Toba—field, chronologic, and model constraints on time scales and mechanisms of resurgence at large calderas. Front. Earth Sci. 3:25. doi: 10.3389/feart.2015.00025, 2015.

11. E.B. Grosfils, P.J. McGovern, P.M. Gregg, G.A. Galgana, D.M. Hurwitz, S. Long, S. Chestler, Elastic Models of Magma Reservoir Mechanics: A Key Tool for Understanding Planetary Volcanism. In Massironi, M., Byrne, P., Hiesinger, H., Platz, T. (Eds.), Volcanism and Tectonism across the Solar System. In: Special Publications. Geological Society, London, SP401, 2015.

10. S.L. de Silva and P.M. Gregg, Thermomechanical feedbacks in magmatic systems: Implication for growth, longevity, and evolution of large caldera-forming magma reservoirs and their supereruptions, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,, 2014.

9. P.M. Gregg, S. L. de Silva, and E. B. Grosfils, Thermomechanics of shallow magma chamber pressurization: Implications for the assessment of ground deformation data at active volcanoes, Earth and Planetary Science Letters,, 2013.

8. P.M. Gregg, S. L. de Silva, E. B. Grosfils, J. Parmigiani, Catastrophic caldera-forming eruptions: Thermomechanics and implications for eruption triggering and maximum caldera dimensions on Earth, J. Volcano. Geotherm. Res., doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.06.009, 2012.

7. P.M. Gregg, L. B. Hebert, L. G. J. Montesi, and R. F. Katz, Geodynamic models of mantle flow and melt extraction at mid-ocean ridges, Oceanography 25(1):78–88, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2012.05, 2012.

6. A.M. Shaw, M.D. Behn, S. Humphris, R.A. Sohn, P.M. Gregg, Evidence for deep pooling of low degree melts from volatile, major, and trace element chemistry of olivine-hosted melt inclusions and glasses from the ultra-slow spreading Gakkel Ridge, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., 289, 3-4, 311-322, 2010.

5. P.M. Gregg, M. D. Behn, J. Lin, T. L. Grove, The effects of mantle rheology and fault segmentation on melt generation and extraction beneath oceanic transform faults, J. of Geophys. Res., 114, B11102, doi:10.1029/2008JB006100, 2009.

4. P. M. Gregg, The dynamics of oceanic transform faults: constraints from geophysical, geochemical, and geodynamical modeling, Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 133 pp, 2008.

3. P. M. Gregg, J. Lin, M. D. Behn, L. G. J. Montési, Spreading rate dependence of the gravity structure of oceanic transform faults, Nature, 448, 183-187, 2007.

2. P. M. Gregg, J. Lin, D. K. Smith, Segmentation of transform systems on the East Pacific Rise: Implications for earthquake processes at fast-slipping oceanic transform faults, Geology, 34, 289-292, 2006.

1. D. K. Smith, M. A. Tivey, P. M. Gregg, L. S. Kong, Magnetic anomalies at the Puna Ridge, a submarine extension of Kilauea Volcano: Implications for lava deposition, J. of Geophys. Res., Vol. 106, No. B8, 2001.

GranTS & Funding


  1.  NASA – Earth Surface and Interior | PI P. Gregg, Co-I Zhong Lu (Southern Methodist University)
    A Geodetic Data Assimilation Framework for Monitoring Aleutian Volcanoes
    Total Award: $541,921
    Dates: January 2019 - December 2021
  2. NSF-CAREER | PI P. Gregg
    CAREER: Investigating the unrest and eruption potential of caldera forming volcanoes in the Aleutians
    Total Award: $485,063
    Dates: September 2018 - August 2023 
  3. NSF-EAGER | PI P. Gregg, Co-I Dorsey Wanless (Boise State University)
    EAGER: Early Career Training Cruise Opportunity - East Pacific Rise 9 50’N
    Total Award: $78,642
    Dates: June 2018 - May 2019 
  4. BlueWaters Illinois Allocation | PI P. Gregg
    Forecasting Volcanic Unrest and Eruption Potential Using Statistical Data Assimilation
    Total Award: 85,000 XE6 Node Hours, $52,700
    Dates: June 2018 - March 2019
  5. NSF-OCE Marine Geology & Geophysics | PI P. Gregg
    Testing eruption-triggering mechanisms at Axial Caldera using statistical data assimilation
    Total Award: $272,587
    Date: September 2016 – August 2019
  6. NSF-OCE Marine Geology & Geophysics | Lead PI P. Gregg, co-PI’s D. Fornari (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and M. Perfit (University of Florida)
    Collaborative Research: Melting in the Off-Axis Environment - Interdisciplinary Field and Modeling Studies of the 8° 20'N Seamount Chain, EPR.
    Total Award: $495,000
    Date: September 2016 – August 2019
  7. NASA – Earth Surface and Interior | PI F. Amelung (U Miami), Co-I P. Gregg
    Near-real time InSAR observations of precursory deformation during volcanic crises
    Total Award $350,000 
    Date: January 2015 – December 2018



  1. NCSA Faculty Fellow Program UIUC | PI P. Gregg
    A Data Assimilation Framework for Forecasting Volcanic Unrest
    Total Award: $25,000
    Date: July 2017 – July 2018 
  2. BlueWaters Exploratory Allocation | PI P. Gregg
    Building a data assimilation framework for forecasting volcanic activity 
    Total Award: 20,000 XE6 Node Hours, $12,400
    Dates: June 2016 - May 2017
  3. NSF EAR Postdoctoral Fellowship | PI P. Gregg 
    The role of diking in the evolution of continental rift systems 
    Total Award: $160,000
    Dates: September 2008 - August 2011
  4. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program| PI P. Gregg
    The seismicity of oceanic transform faults along the equatorial East Pacific Rise
    Dates: September 2003 - August 2006