Gert is an Associate Professor in Earth Sciences at Massey University, New Zealand, where he leads the research group Physical Volcanology and Geological Fluid Mechanics including the large-scale international eruption simulation facility PELE.
Gert’s research expertise is in Natural Hazard science and Fluid Dynamics with a particular focus on the mechanisms behind transport, sedimentation and hazard impacts of geophysical mass flows and other types of natural and man-made granular-fluid flow systems. Gert’s current research foci include the rheology of variably hot and fluidized gas-particle flows with their natural applications to the behaviour of volcanic pyroclastic flows; turbulence in gas-particle suspension flows with the effects of mesoscale turbulence clusters and boundary shear on the internal structure, runout behaviour and sedimentation of natural gravity currents. This includes research on volcanic currents, powder snow avalanches, dust storms and tornados. For these and other research topics, Gert is typically applying analogue experiments, field studies and computational fluid mechanics in combination to better understand complex granular-fluid flows.