The VolcanoDiscovery TeamWe love nature and geology, which includes a passion for accurate reporting about volcanoes and earthquakes. Our team is spread over many continents and countries, including Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Russia, the UK and US. From the caldera of Santorini to the slopes of Krakatoa, we’re constantly touring and studying volcanoes while at the same time building digital connections with all major seismological institutes and agencies around the world.
Many in our team are members in geological associations such as the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI), the Geological Society of America (GSA) and the European Geophysical Society (EGS). We’re also proud to work closely with international scientists from volcanological institutes and observatories all over the world.
Our trusted VolcanoDiscovery monitoring service has benefited is popular not only with special interest groups and individuals but also with media outlets such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, the BBC, CNN and Geo. We’ve also put our passion for study and exploration into our volcano and geo-tours to create safe and often exhilarating experiences through our European-based travel agency.
If you’re a geology expert and would like to contribute to our efforts, we welcome authoritative articles and input that you would like to share with us.
German volcanologist Dr. Tom Pfeiffer, founder and general manager of VolcanoDiscovery, has been passionate about volcanoes and geological phenomena ever since he first saw an eruption on Mt. Etna. He has been guiding and organizing tours since 1997 and founded VolcanoDiscovery back in 2004.
Tom earned his PhD degree, which shed new light on the Santorini volcano eruptions, from Denmark’s prestigious Aarhus University in 2003 and subsequently worked at volcano observatories in Hawaii and Vesuvius. Today, besides organizing VolcanoDiscovery tours, he personally guides many of the European tours as well as more hardcore volcano expeditions when an important eruption occurs.
During his travels, Tom awoke one his strongest passions today, that of nature photography, which enabled him to share his knowledge and live adventures outside the scientific community. His photographs and articles about volcanoes have been published in newspapers and magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American (April 2003 issue about Etna), and others. Some of his favorite achievements include supporting documentary film productions about Santorini (The myth of the lost city of Atlantis and Mystery Hunters, both on Discovery Channel), as well as about Stromboli (Quarks and co: Vulkane, aired by the German television channel WDR), contributing as well to the series Volcanic Odysseys by Canadian filmmaker Michael Dalton.
An important part of Tom’s work involves collecting and processing seismological data from numerous academic and official sources so that the whole world can benefit from rapid reporting through the VolcanoDiscovery website and mobile application. These platforms are considered among the fastest online to present complex geological data in near-real time.
A seasoned explorer, traveler and academic, Tom is fluent in Danish, English, Greek and Italian fluently, beside his native German, with good working knowledge of French and Spanish. He practiced his occupation in geology for two years in Italy (Rome, Sicily, and the Naples Volcano Observatory) as well as one year on Santorini, Greece, in addition to working for several months at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. He lived in Denmark for seven years before moving in 2004 to Athens, Greece, where he regularly conducts volcano tours in between the ongoing digital dissemination of authoritative geological data.
Adi Susanto Rosadi ("Andi") from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is our principal expedition organizer and famous as volcano tour guide in Indonesia. He's been traveling around the country's many active volcanoes since he was a teenager and knows them better than anyone else, and maintains close contacts with volcanologists.
Andi is also Chairman of the Central Board of Special Interest Tour Guide Association of Indonesia (ITGA), National Trainer of Volcanological and Geo-tourism Tour Guides in Indonesia, Member of Indonesian Geologist Association (IAGI ) NPA 6339, and also Member of Volcanological Society e.V. based in Germany.
In 2017, Eleanor Wrightgraduated from the University of Reading with a First-Class Hons in Environmental Science. She developed a strong passion for volcanology and the earth’s natural hazards so pursued a Master’s at University College London (UCL) in Geophysical Hazards, obtaining a Distinction in Autumn 2020.
Both of Eleanor’s BSc and MSc dissertations had a strong volcanological focus – investigating climatic and societal impacts from the 1815 eruption of Tambora using historical records, and modelling ash hazard and its associated impact to European aviation from a hypothetical eruption of Furnas, the Azores, respectively. The latter of these was inspired following an internship with the IVAR Academy, University of the Azores. She began volunteering for the team in 2020 helping write volcano news articles, in particular on our new blog about volcanoes and volcanism.
Dr. Evelyne Pradal is a trained geologist and volcanologist with a passion of showing and teaching her subject to the general public. Born in Aurillac, in the heart of the Auvergne, Central Europe's youngest volcanic field, she studied in the renowned Center of Earth Science of the university of Clermont-Ferrand, one of France's leading research institutes in the field of volcanology.
Her research led her to study volcanoes in Mexico, the Caribbean, Ethiopia and other areas.
After completing her doctorate degee in 1990 she went on to work as consultant and teacher in earth sciences, and she has been organizing expeditions and study trips to volcanoes in Italy, France, the Caribbean, Ethiopia and Tanzania designed to share knowledge and the fascination of her subject, the beauty of our living earth, to the general public. She also co-authored the book "Au coeur des volcans" (2004, Ed. Fleurus - Geo Ados). Evelyne with her charming smile joined our team in 2010 and guides trips to Etna, Ethiopia, the Caribbean, and a new study trip in the Auvergne, her homeland.
Professional mountain climber and adventure tour guide from Java, Yohannes Tyas Galih Jati ("Galih") has been leading many of our tours and expeditions in Java and other parts of Indonesia, working closely together with Andi. His passion for volcanoes, knowledge about them and his country, people and organization skills are outstanding. People love Galih also for his extraordinary patience, balance and humor on many levels. Over the years, he has become one of our most trusted tour guides.
Charming Irina Vakhitova from Saint Petersburg, Russia, is our general sales & product manager for our tours and expeditions. Her year-long experience and training in the tourism industry, in particular when working in outdoor tour operators in Russia, gave herthe perfect background to work with us on worldwide destinations. Her passion and love for traveling joins her ability to keep all details in place and help you answer any question you might have!
Irina (left) with Enku and Marina in Ethiopia
Irina is not only our sales manages, but she actively co-guides some expeditions, in particular Kamchatka where she actually grew up before moving to Saint Petersburg!
Dr. Marco Fulle, Italian astronomer and volcano expert is considered world-wide as among the elite of volcano photographers. His specialty is Mt. Etna and with his photographs he is co-author of the popular educative website Stromboli Online.
Marco and Tom, as a proven team and close friends, have lived many volcano adventures together since 1999 and started offering tours on Etna and beyond since 2002. Marco guides some of the volcano tours in Italy, in particular to Etna volcano - in fact, the volcano he loves most and calls his "second home".
Marina Morozova from Saint Petersburg, Russia, joined our team in 2017, to become one of our on- and off-site managers of our expeditions in the far east of Russia. She's the head behind organizing our great Kamchatka and Kurile Islands volcano expeditions, which can be very demanding logistically. Close friend with Irina, Marina has also been working in Russia's outdoor tourism industry for many years. She shares a deep love and passion for nature and the outdoors, combined with a very warm, welcoming and always optimistic attitude.
Marina (l) and Irina on the Assale salt lake in Ethiopia's Danakil
In addition to organizing and coordinating our activities in remote areas, Marina is also the main manager of our social channels.
Martin Kelko from Slovakia holds a master´s degree in physical geography and geoecology and is currently becoming a volcanologist through studies and traveling. He is extremely enthousiastic about everything around volcanoes and has become one of our main volcano news editors, helping us to keep up to date on volcanic events as they occur worldwide.
Martin Kelko, our latest team member, at Etna's Valle del Bove
Martin is also passionate about traveling, especially South America, nature and mountains in particular, mountain and winter sports in particular. In fact, he spends as much time as possible outdoors. Some of you will probably meet him on one of our next expeditions when he'll be a co-guide in training.
American-Brasilian volcanologist Philip Ong manages VolcanoDiscovery Hawaii. His friendly charm and sympathetic nature are contagious. Having worked intensively on the volcanoes of Hawaii, his passion and knowledge - not only about volcanoes, but almost every corner on the island, will easily transform your stay into a rare and unforgettable experience.
German photographer Tobias Schorr has been a passionate hobby geologist, mineral collector and fan of Greece since his childhood. In 2005, together with Tom, he co-founded the previous tour company of VolcanoDiscovery, which was split up into two new companies in 2015, to better accommodate the different focus of the growing variety of tours offered.
For many years, Tobias has been running www.methana.com - an extensive website dedicated to the Greek volcanic areas, in particular his second home Methana with a myriad of information and pictures about nature, history and culture of this hidden gem of Greece. His tour company offers a wide range of natural-history and photography interest tours in Europe and beyond: Nature Discovery Tours.
Ulla Lohmann (1977) is an internationally recognized adventurer, team organizer, documentary filmmaker and photojournalist with Australian university degrees in Natural Resource Management and journalism. Her latest work includes the documentaries "Expedition Papua New Guinea" (BBC NHU, Discovery Channel, NDR, in production), "Into the unknown" (Darlow Smithson for Discovery Channel), "Wild Spaces" (National Geographic Television) and many others.
Multilingual Ulla has lived, studied, worked and travelled extensively in many parts of the globe, but her specialist area is the South Pacific including the wild archipelago of Vaunatu. Her love for volcanoes and adventure travel, her passion for storytelling, her organisation skills and the thorough knowledge of the South Pacific and its envionments makes her the perfect guide for our new tours to Vanuatu.
You can find out more about Ulla and her activities on the website www.ullalohmann.de.
French volcanologist Yashmin Chebli is convincing when he says that has always been fascinated by the raw power and the beautiy of our planet and the univers. This passion led him to study volcanoes at university and brought him to Peru and Italy. To share his passion and his skill in organizing and communicating allowed him to start a parallel career as expedition organizer to volcanoes on Hawaii, Indonesia, Vanuatu and elsewhere. He is 15 years of experience with accompanying groups and individuals, exploring new adventurous destinations all over the world. His talent and enthusiasm in what he's doing is second to none.