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Graduate Student Researchers

Welcome to MOnSTER Lab


PI: Dr. Madison Myers

and her amazing


Megan Saalfeld

Bio: I am currently a third-year graduate student pursuing my Ph.D. I am interested in using geochemical approaches to answer questions about magmatic processes and magma ascent rates.


The objective of my research is to understand and quantify how differences in decompression history the extent to which preeruptive processes influence this behavior. To answer these questions, my PhD will focus on determining magma ascent rates for eruptions that formed both the upper and lower Bandelier tuff and the 1991 Pinatubo eruption. These two projects will afford us the opportunity to explore ideas such as 1) how preexisting conduits influence decompression rates 2) how decompression rates change when using 1D and 2D diffusion models 3) how decompression rates evolve over the course of an eruption from which we have observations of changes in eruptive parameters 4) how decompression rates obtained from diffusion modeling compares to other methods such as CSD and BND and 5) how reentrants are formed in the first place.


Behnaz Hosseini

Bio: I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the MonStER Lab. Prior to beginning my graduate studies at Montana State University, I received my B.A. in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley, and subsequently worked as a Guest Scientist/Geoscience Technician in Yellowstone National Park

for two years.


My undergraduate research on the 2012 submarine eruption of Havre volcano, my experience working in Yellowstone, and a brief stint as a volunteer with the Cascades Volcano Observatory all spurred my interest in pursuing graduate research in volcano science. I am broadly interested in magma ascent dynamics in explosive eruptions, and my primary research interest is decrypting timescales of magmatic processes recorded in crystals and glasses via volatile/trace element diffusion modeling. I am currently conducting a combined experimental-numerical evaluation of natural quartz-hosted embayments to determine how faithfully these glass pockets record various magma decompression rates and scenarios in silicic volcanic systems. Looking forward, I hope to begin research on the ascent dynamics of the 2009 eruption of Mount Redoubt. Outside of scientific research, I am interested in science outreach and communication; during my graduate tenure, I hope to work with other members of the MonStER Lab to establish enduring science outreach programs that will directly benefit the local community. My other interests (time-permitting) include ice skating and hockey, hiking, finger-style guitar, reading, and cooking.


Stacy Henderson

Bio: Stacy Henderson is a 1st year PhD student in the MonStER lab. Stacy received her B.S. in geology from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT. Her undergraduate research and thesis used 40Ar/39Ar dating and paleomagnetic data to determine ages of basalt flows within the Yellowstone Volcanic Field. Stacy has long had an interest in volcanoes and her undergraduate research experience solidified her excitement about studying volcanic systems. She then received her M.S. in geology from Idaho State University. Her thesis titled “Water-driven Basalt Alteration: Kilauea, Hawai’i as an Analog for Mars” examined hydrothermal alteration of basalts via fumarolic activity and the resulting geochemistry of the rocks in order to understand endolithic microbial community habitability. 

Her current research with the MonStER lab focuses on ignimbrite emplacement and magma chamber configuration of the 6.31 Ma Lava Creek Tuff eruption of the Yellowstone Volcanic Field. She is excited to continue this journey with Dr. Madison Myers at Montana State University. Stacy hopes to mentor undergraduates and work on outreach to get new generations excited about science and earth science during her time here and in the future.

Stacy was raised in Utah where she spent both her summers and winters playing in the mountains. She still loves spending time in the mountains and in her free time Stacy loves hanging out with her dog Athena, hiking, mountain biking, x-country skiing, snowboarding, camping, and more. She plays the drums and is learning to play the guitar. 

Natali Kragh

Bio: I am a first year master’s student at Montana State University working in Yellowstone National Park. I completed my B.S. in Geology at Montana State in 2017. Following graduation, I worked as a contract geologist making maps for the Wyoming State Geological Survey and as a jewelry sales associate specializing in Montana and Yogo sapphires.


My current research is developing a new geologic map of Yellowstone National Park at a 1:100,000 scale. I am thrilled to be a part of this project as it builds on my skills developed while mapping in Wyoming, is teaching me so much about volcanic rocks and requires an absurd amount of hiking around a national park, the whole reason I got into geology in the first place! Along with mapping, I am interested in geochemistry and mineralogy of volcanic, igneous, and metamorphic rocks as well as the intersection between art and geology. My non-academic interests include cooking, sitting in hot springs, camping, and playing pool (in fact, my go-to ice breaker is how a ghost named Fat Mike taught me how to play pool (ask me about it sometime!)) After finishing my master’s in 2022, I hope to earn a PhD and continue working on Montana and Wyoming’s geology.

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