What we do

The commission is comprised of five or seven elected commissioners including one past leader. They are supported by non voting roles of Secretary and Special Project Coordinators. In addition to the executive team, there is a membership of approximately 200 individuals across the volcano community. 

Roles and responsibilities of the commission:

  • Facilitates the selection of Cities on Volcanoes (COV) Conference venues every 2 years.
  • Provides advocacy and advice where needed to the planning and running of these conferences.
  • Supports the ongoing mission of COV conferences through regular communication with its membership.
  • Manage and maintain a membership database.
Graham Leonard at CoV9 in Chile

Graham Leonard at CoV9 in Chile

The commission supports the CaV Conference mission:

    • The mission of Cities on Volcanoes (COV) conferences is creating connections between volcanologists, city authorities, sociologists, psychologists, emergency managers, economists and city planners to evaluate volcanic crises preparedness and management in cities and populated areas
    • Community and disaster/emergency management participants must be proactively encouraged to participate, and supported where possible
    • The conference should promote active engagement rather than passive listening, and with prioritization of plenary and oral sessions, and other high visibility activities, aligned with the COV mission
    • The conference should promote diverse and inclusive participation, including role, discipline, gender, geographic balance, career stage, and disability

To see more about applying to be the next venue please see our hosting page.

The commission also supports the activities of the Volcanic Ash Impacts Working Group, including its five main themes:

Theme 1: More Effective Ash Fall Warning Messages
Theme 2: Protocols for Ash Fall Data Collection and Analysis
Theme 3: Checklist of Topics and Indicators to Collect Impact Data Following Eruptions
Theme 4: Ash Impacts Loss-damage Functions for Risk Calculations
Theme 5: Improve International Ash Fall Impact Data and Image Repository

The commission has developed a relationship with the Springer Journal of Applied Volcanology and maintains a scope that is complementary to the Bulletin of Volcanology.

Current commissioners (2023-2026)

Natalia Deligne – Natalia is a Research Geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, USA. Her research focuses volcanic hazards and the consequences of volcanic eruptions. She has worked closely with emergency and infrastructure managers prior to volcanic eruptions, responded to eruptions in New Zealand and Hawai’i, and provided support to eruptions in Vanuatu. Natalia is fluent in English and French, and proficient in Spanish.

Angela Doherty – Principal Science Advisor at Auckland Emergency Management, part of Auckland Council, New Zealand. As Principal Science Advisor to the largest Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group in the country of New Zealand, I work to bridge the science and public sectors, and ensure good science and evidence-based decision making is at the heart of our emergency planning and operations across the “4R’s of Emergency Management” (Reduction, Readiness, Response and Recovery). My background is in volcanology and hazard management, with a PgDipSci in Geology from Auckland University and a Master’s degree in Disaster and Hazard Management from the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, NZ. During my masters I worked across all-perils, but my thesis with Tim Davies and Jim Cole focussed on “Blue-sky” volcanic eruptions and monitoring systems.

Alana Weir – Postdoctoral Research Fellow | Lecturer (fixed-term), University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, New Zealand. I am a multi-disciplinary early-career researcher in volcanic hazard and risk assessment. I have a focus on quantifying volcanic multi-hazard risk in urban and rural contexts, particularly for prolonged, complex volcanic hazard sequences. I have over five years experience in co-producing volcanic hazard and risk assessment tools and knowledge with stakeholders and end-users, and have considerable experience in developing relevant, usable risk management tools for emergency management practitioners.

Diego Mauricio Gómez Martínez – Colombian Geological Survey (SGC) and Pasto Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (SGC-OVSPA), Colombia. Diego Mauricio Gómez Martínez is a Civil Engineer, with a Specialization in Ecology with an emphasis on Environmental Management and a Master’s in Sciences – Geophysics and has been linked for approximately 34 years with the research and monitoring of volcanic activity in Colombia.

Graham Leonard – Graham is a Senior Scientist within the Volcanology team at GNS. His particular research interests are in Taupo Volcanic Zone volcanic mapping; New Zealand volcanic geology, stratigraphy and geochronology; developing effective response to warning systems, especially for volcanic, tsunami & landslide/debris-flow processes; and quantifying/characterising & mitigating the impacts of natural hazard events.

Special project coordinator: Carina FearnleyCarina is an Associate Professor in Science and Technology Studies at University College London in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Her research draws on relevant expertise in the social sciences to enable concepts of scientific uncertainty, risk, and complexity to be re-framed and communicated within the context of Disaster Risk Reduction and provide practical insights into how, early warning systems specifically, can be made more effective. Carina is also interested in the trans-disciplinary potential of science and art collaborations around environmental hazards, and the role of geopolitics in the production of risk.


Secretary: Danielle Charlton – Danielle is a Hazard and Risk Scientist at GNS Science. She is currently researching and working on applied projects aiming to improve natural hazard and risk communication approaches in New Zealand. The focus of Danielle’s PhD was volcanic hazard mapping at one of Europe’s most dangerous caldera volcanoes, Campi Flegrei in Southern Italy. Previous to her PhD (University College London) and volcanology Masters (University of Bristol). Danielle also worked for local government in the UK in flood risk and GIS and enjoys exploring new and visual ways of communicating hazard and risk science.

How to become an elected member?

Elections are held every four years. The next round of elections will be held in 2026.