Geologist Professor Colin Wilson has this week been awarded the 2017 Rutherford Medal, the highest honour granted by New Zealand’s Royal Society Te Aprangi, for his research into understanding large, explosive supervolcanoes and the hazards they pose. Wilson has worked on many of the world’s supervolcanoes, including Taupo in New Zealand, and Long Valley and Yellowstone in the USA. He has developed and applied field and laboratory analysis techniques to map out the volcanic processes from slumber to massive eruption. His research has helped us understand how, where and when molten rock gathers below volcanoes and the processes that operate during explosive eruptions. Wilson is based at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. He was elected a Fellow of Royal Society Te Aprangi in 2001, the American Geophysical Union in 2006, and The Royal Society, London in 2015. He is a recipient of the Wager Medal of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior.