Michelle Muth uses the chemistry of volcanic rocks to study how magmas form beneath volcanoes. One large theme of her research is how the movement of Earth’s plates connects to the volcanism we see at Earth’s surface. Relatedly, she also studies where and how magmas are stored prior to volcanic eruptions. Her expertise within these broader questions is the role of volatile elements like water, carbon, and sulfur. These elements are present only in trace quantities in magmas, but are key players in our ability to monitor volcanic eruptions, predict the location of ore deposits, and understand the behavior of volcanoes.