Matthew Kemp

Academic Profile

I studied for an integrated Master’s in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge from 2013-2017, focusing in the last few years on Earth Sciences. In my final year I gained a first class for my project on deep Earth seismology. From 2017-2018 I worked as a Research Assistant in the Earth Sciences Department at Cambridge, continuing with the research I started in my Master’s Project as well as demonstrating and supervising Earth Sciences undergraduates. This research culminated in a paper entitled: X-discontinuity and transition zone structure beneath Hawaii suggests a heterogeneous plume.

I am a keen science communicator having run many outreach projects in schools, produced documentaries and educational videos, and written and performed stand-up comedy and musicals about science. As one half of “Geologise Theatre” (@wearegeologise) I have performed in Oxford and Cambridge at a variety of events.

Current Research

My research interests span geophysics and geology, as I attempt to take a holistic approach to plate reconstruction by using both seismological imaging of the deep mantle alongside studies of the surface terranes. Alaska is my primary site of interest and I hope to unravel the enigma of its origin and formation.


Kemp, M., Jenkins, J., Maclennan, J., Cottaar, S., 2019. X-discontinuity and transition zone structure beneath Hawaii suggests a heterogeneous plume. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 527, 115781.

Cottaar, S., Kemp, M., Jenkins, J., Maclennan, J., 2018. Seismic observations of Hawaii’s compositionally heterogeneous plume. AGU Fall Meeting, Washington D.C..

Mohadjer, S., Mutz, S., Amey, R., Drews, R., Kemp, M., Kloos, P., Mitchell, L., Nettesheim, M., Gill, S. J., Starke, J. & Ehlers, T. A., 2018. Using Paired Teaching for Earthquake Education in Schools. EGU General Assembly, Vienna.

Cottaar, S., Pugh, S., Kemp, M., Jenkins, J., Boyce, A., 2019. Observations of the X-discontinuity-at 280-350 km depth-beneath hotspot locations. AGU Fall Meeting 2019