Inner Earth

15th Nov - 29th Nov

From secret worlds to mystical doors, the concept of a subterranean land inside the Earth appeared in ancient mythology, folklore and legends in all kinds of flavours. But right under our feet lies an incredible force of nature, one capable of keeping us alive as well as posing existential threats. 

Created around one billion years ago, the Earth’s core can reach temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun. This continuous energy triggers events that changed our world forever. It is responsible for splitting our continents apart; for creating earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and much more. Yet, it is this very hot core that creates a magnetic field which protects us from damaging space radiation. 

But how could we possibly know all of this without being able to get all the way there ourselves? In this series, we venture all the way down into the world’s most secret place to learn about its inner working and mysteries.

View talks lineup
Dates15th Nov - 29th Nov
Talks structure30 minute lecture20 minute Q&A

3 talks in this Garden Series



Science & Nature
Geography & the World
What secrets do volcanoes hide?

When thinking about volcanoes, you are probably imagining an enormous mountain with some fumes on top of it. But 80 percent of the volcanic eruptions on Earth take place in the ocean. Why are underwater volcanoes so active? Read more

Dr. Samuel J. Mitchell

University of Bristol

Dr. Samuel Mitchell is a volcanologist and earth and ocean science communicator based at the University of Bristol. Samuel has a range of interests across volcanology, marine geology, and oceanography, but his main research focuses on volcanic eruptions in our oceans, and the impacts they have on society and aquatic environments.

He has a BS/MS in Geology, and a PhD in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. His research has taken him across the world conducting field research on volcanoes on land and the seafloor using oceanographic research vessels. 

Beyond academic interests, Samuel is an active science communicator across various social media platforms and a podcast host. His outreach efforts aim to provide more accessible, inclusive, and equitable opportunities in earth and ocean science for early career researchers across the world, and to improve public knowledge about geohazards and risk, as well as the wonder of our dynamic planet.

Samuel developed an interest in Earth Sciences following the events of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. After a lot of library reading, he nurtured a passion for volcanoes through school and university, and then found himself back in the ocean world for his PhD research and further.

Beyond science, Samuel is a keen fitness enthusiast, brass musician, dancer and stage performer. Many of these hobbies are even finding their way surprisingly into the world of volcanoes.

Read more



Geography & the World
Science & Nature
Is Earth's magnetic field the reason we exist?

We have all used one of those little compasses to find out which direction is North. But what makes those needles move is something much bigger and essential for making life on earth possible. What is it and why do we need it? Read more

Soon available to watch on-demand

Dr Maggie Lieu

Nottingham University

Dr Maggie Lieu is a Research Fellow at Nottingham University interested in galaxy groups and clusters. She is currently developing machine learning algorithms for upcoming big data astronomy surveys. During her career, she worked on a broad range of research topics including black holes, asteroids and Mars.

Before taking her current role at the University of Nottingham, she held a research fellowship at the European Space Agency where she worked on her main research interest: clusters of galaxies and gravitational lensing. Maggie received an MSc in Astronomy, Space Science & Astrophysics from the University of Kent and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Birmingham.

Throughout her studies, Maggie threw herself into public engagement activities and took on the role of outreach officer for UKSEDS, the UK's national student space society. Over the course of her career, Maggie has given 100’s public talks, and appeared on global TV and radio stations to discuss various science topics. 

Maggie's interest in astronomy was ignited after seeing dark skies whilst camping as a child. Outside of research, she enjoys working out at the gym, photography and getting involved with some DIY projects. Nevertheless, the majority of her free time is invested into science outreach, in particular, her youtube channel that explores different astronomy and space topics each week.

Read more



Geography & the World
Why is Africa the cradle of humankind?

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 7:30 pm UTC


During a process that lasted millions of years, the movement of tectonic plates split our continents apart. This process is still going on to this date. But why does it happen and how did it create the perfect conditions for life on earth? Read more

Dr. Emily Zawacki

Arizona State University

Dr Emily Zawacki is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Arizona State University working on education, outreach, and communication activities for OpenTopography and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. She is passionate about science communication and finding ways to use new media to make geosciences more accessible and engaging.

Emily received an MS and PhD in Geology from Arizona State University. Her PhD research focused on understanding the geologic and environmental context of human origins in East Africa as part of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project. 

Before taking Introductory Geology during her freshman year of undergrad, she had absolutely no idea that she wanted to study geology since she had never been offered a geology course before. However, she believes that taking that class was one of the best decisions she has ever made because she found her true passion in studying the Earth, its past conditions, and the processes that shape it. 

Outside the office, you will likely find Emily spending time reading a book or creating her next YouTube or TikTok video.

Read more
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