Michael F. Sheridan, PhD, is a volcanologist. He has studied volcanoes for many years, with current research interests in modeling pyroclastic flows, avalanches and mud flows. He has developed small-scale computer simulations of geologic activity, primarily in Latin America, and has long advocated that the risks posed to human life by volcanic flows could be greatly mitigated by creating large-scale simulations of these phenomena. After Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano erupted in December 2000, he and colleagues developed a map showing which surrounding communities could be threatened by mud flows in during major event. Previously, in 1995, he received a commendation from the governor of Mexico's Puebla State for his work on evaluating Popocatepetl's hazards. He is also an expert on Mount Vesuvius in Italy. Sheridan has contributed to numerous international collaborations, spending time as a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Italy, Mexico and New Zealand.
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