He is a graduate of University College, Oxford (B.A., 1980) and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (PhD, 1989) and a former Kennedy Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985). He was educated at St Paul's School, Brazil, Giggleswick School and Leeds Grammar School, where petrologists Keith Cox and Lawrence Wager also studied.
Blundy is most noted for advancing the understanding of how magmas are generated in the Earth's crust and mantle and of the processes that occur in volcanoes before they erupt. He undertook his PhD research at Cambridge University under the supervision of Professor Stephen Sparks on the granites of Adamello-Presanella in the Italian Alps. In series of seminal papers with Professor Bernard John Wood in the 1990's Blundy developed a theory of elastic strain to describe the uptake of trace elements into the crystal lattices of igneous minerals. The theory was based on high temperature and pressure experiments on molten rocks, and is now widely used to predict crystal-melt partition coefficients for use in modelling magmatic processes.
Blundy subsequently collaborated with Professor Katharine Cashman at the University of Oregon on Mount St. Helens volcano in the Cascade Range of northwestern USA. Blundy and Cashman demonstrated the importance of degassing in driving the crystallisation of volatile-bearing magmas, a process that can occur without any attendant cooling. In fact, because of the release of latent heat of fusion, magmas that crystallise by decompression can actually get hotter in the process.
Blundy is a recipient of the F.W. Clarke Medal of the Geochemical Society (1997), and Murchison Fund (1998) and the Bigsby Medal of the Geological Society of London (2005). He was a Fulbright Scholar at University of Oregon in 1998, Guest Professor at Nagoya University in 2007 and elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 2008. He won a 2011 Wolfson Research Merit Award.
In 1992, he married Katharine Fawcett (rn1963), from whom he has been separated since 2004. He has a daughter, Lilian (born 1997), a son, Stanley (born 1994) and a step-daughter, Jennifer (born 1989).
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