Dr Shane Cronin


Soil and Earth Sciences Group
Institute of Natural Resources
Massey University
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North
New Zealand
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Research Expertise


Shane Cronin is an expert in the effects of fluorine and sulphur on human and animal health. He has investigated fluorine levels in the volcanic ash ejected in the 1995 eruption of Mt Ruapehu, and in the active Ambrym volcanic system in Vanuatu, where elevated F levels occur in the drinking water of local inhabitants.

Shane also works in volcanic hazard assessment and disaster management in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (e.g. Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa). He currently leads a multidisciplinary 6-yr program on Volcanic risk analysis for New Zealand volcanoes, including activities ranging from the numerical modelling of volcanic mass flows to the petrological modelling of eruption dynamics and hazard potential. Great effort has also been put into making volcanic risk information relevant to industry, local-authority and community (especially Maori-communities) user groups in planning their risk-management efforts.


In addition, Shane is involved in ongoing studies of relevance to volcanic health. His recent research is focussed on:
  1. Using dental fluorosis measures to evaluate human impact of ongoing volcanic degassing and low-level volcanic activity throughout Vanuatu (With Mrs Rachel Allibone (nee Crimp))
  2. Developing Vanuatu country guidelines, strategies and processes for monitoring and protecting water supplies from volcanic fluoride contamination with WHO and the Ministry of Health
  3. Examining long-term variations and controls on volcanic contamination of rainwater on volcanic islands.
  4. Examining volcanic impact on agriculture and vegetation in tropical and temperate environments.
In May –July 2009 he carried out a rapid response survey of volcanic heath impacts from increased activity at Ambrym volcano for the WHO. Results of this are currently being presented to the Vanuatu Authorities and he will be publishing it in due course.


Relevant Publications

Volcanic hazards assessment:

Cronin, S.J., Ferland, M. A., & Terry, J. P. (2004) ‘Nabukelevu volcano (Mt. Washington), Kadavu - a source of hitherto unknown volcanic hazard in Fiji’, Journal of volcanology and geothermal research, 131, 371-396.

Lecointre, J., Hodgson, K., Neall, V., & Cronin, S. (2004) ‘Lahar-triggering mechanisms and hazard at Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand’, Natural Hazards, 31, 85-109.

Risk communication

Cronin, S.J., Gaylord, D.R., Charley, D., Wallez, S., Alloway, B., & Esau, J. (2004) ‘Participatory methods of incorporating scientific with traditional knowledge for volcanic hazard management on Ambae Island, Vanuatu’, Bulletin of Volcanology, 66, 652-668.

Cronin, S.J., Petterson, M.G., Taylor, P.W., & Biliki, R. (2004) ‘Maximising multi-stakeholder participation in government and community volcanic hazard management programs, a case study from Savo, Solomon Islands’, Natural Hazards, 33, 105-136.

Environmental/health hazards of volcanism

Cronin, S.J., Neall, V.E., Lecointre, J.A., Hedley, M.J., & Loganathan, P. (2003) ‘Environmental hazards of fluoride in volcanic ash: a case study from Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand’, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 121, 271-291.

Petterson, M.G., Cronin, S.J., Taylor, P.W., Tolia, D., Papabatu, A., Toba, T., & Qopoto, C. (2003) ‘The eruptive history and volcanic hazards of Savo, Solomon Islands’, Bulletin of Volcanology, 65, 165-181.

Cronin, S.J., & Sharp, D.S. (2002) ‘Environmental impacts on health from continuous volcanic activity at Yasur (Tanna) and Ambrym, Vanuatu’, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 12, 109-123.

Cronin, S.J., Manoharan, V., Hedley, M.J., & Longanathan, P. L. (2000) ‘Fluoride: A review of its fate, bioavailability, and risks of fluorosis in grazed-pasture systems in New Zealand’, New Zealand J. Agr. Res., 43, 295-321.

Cronin, S.J., Hedley, M.J., Neall, V.E. and Smith, G. (1998) ‘Agronomic impact of tephra fallout from 1995 and 1996 Ruapehu volcano eruptions, New Zealand’, Environmental Geology, 34, 21-30.

Environmental chemistry

Loganathan, P, Hedley, M. J., Grace, N.D., Lee, J., Cronin, S.J., Bolan, N.S., & Zanders, J.M. (2003) ‘Fertiliser contaminants in New Zealand grazed pasture with special reference to cadmium and fluorine: a review’, Australian Journal of Soil Research, 41, 501-532. 

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Latest News


Download our pamphlets on preparing for ashfall and on the health hazards of ash. They are designed for mass distribution at the onset of new eruptions. They are now avaiable in English, Japanese, French Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Indonesian and Icelandic with Italian versions being available shortly. Please see our Pamphlets page for further infomation.





IVHHN has an article under the Guidelines tab which used to be called 'Recommended Face Masks'. This has now been updated to 'Information on face masks' and is an interim page whilst the Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions project investigates which types of respiratory protection are effective in protecting the general population from volcanic ash inhalation. Please note that the translations in Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese have not yet been updated.



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