Carl Stevenson

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Dr Carl Stevenson is a structural geologist with a focus on the emplacement and subsurface distribution of geological materials from magma to sediment to salt. His research uses rock magnetism, geophysics and petrology to determine the large-scale geometry and internal architecture of intrusions and has led to breakthroughs in understanding magma transport and accommodation in the Earth’s crust.


Dr Stevenson was born in Northern Ireland and studied geology in Belfast before moving to Birmingham to study for PhD on granite emplacement. He was appointed lecturer in Geology at Birmingham in 2007.

2007-current Lecturer in Geology, GEES, University of Birmingham
2005-2007 Teaching fellow in Earth Sciences, University of Birmingham
2001-2005 PhD Earth Sciences (Birmingham) 
1998-2001 BSc Geology (Belfast)


BSc in Geology, Queens University Belfast 
PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Birmingham

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Carl Stevenson’s principal research uses rock magnetic techniques to measure very weak or subtle mineral alignment fabrics in igneous rocks. He is a specialist in anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) analysis. This technique can be employed in a number of different settings and Dr Stevenson uses it to detect ‘frozen in’ evidence for magma flow in igneous intrusions from granite plutons to dykes and sills that form the roots of deeply eroded ancient volcanoes. This data can then be used to test theories about how magma travels through the crust and how large igneous intrusions (or fossil magma chambers) are constructed, essentially assessing the volcano plumbing. Dr Stevenson is developing the application of AMS to study the fabrics of glacial sediments. If the sediment and till are frozen to the base of the glacier they will deform much less than if they are not frozen and behave like soft mud. AMS provides a wealth of information including the direction of ice flow and the conditions at the base of the glacier. Dr Stevenson welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.