Volcanologist Dr Teresa Ubide has been named a STEM Superstar for inspiring women to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. University of Queensland researcher Dr Ubide has been offered one of 60 coveted positions in the Science and Technology Australia (STA) Superstars of STEM program, which aims to change gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in STEM.

Dr Ubide said she was delighted to encourage the next generation of female scientists. “I’m truly honoured and extremely excited to represent women in science and help inspire the next generation of female scientists,” she said. “I hope to convey my excitement of science and discovery – especially in the field of volcanology – and empower girls to study in STEM fields.”

Dr Ubide was awarded the position for her ground-breaking research, focusing on how volcanoes work and what triggers them to erupt. “My team investigates processes that take place deep inside volcanoes, by studying crystals that are transported to the surface during eruptions,” she said. “These tiny crystals contain a very detailed record of pre-eruptive histories, but extracting that history can be very challenging. We develop and apply modern laboratory techniques to interrogate the crystals and extract as much information as possible from them. By understanding what led to eruptions in the past, we can better predict when they may erupt in the future, and help inform volcano monitoring efforts.”

Dr Ubide said her mother was her very own STEM superstar, supporting her to pursue her dream science career from an early age. Other role models have inspired her career in science, including: Marie Curie, Germaine Joplin and UQ’s own Dorothy Hill. “Young girls need to know that they can be whatever they want to be, and if they’re interested in a career in science, then it’s time they pursue it.”

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