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Elections to Council

The October issue of Geoscientist invited Fellows to nominate new members of Council for election to succeed those retiring at the Annual General Meeting on 7 June 2017.  Nominations were also sought for the post of President-designate.  Subsequent calls were made in the email newsletter. 

Ten nominations have been received, one for President-designate and nine for the remaining four places.  The Elections Committee had identified several potential candidates for President-designate, who were approached but who declined.   It is permissible under Regulation R/G/11 to put forward only one candidate, and Fellows are asked to indicate that they are content for the nomination to go forward to the formal vote at the Annual General Meeting.

All Fellows should already have received voting information either by email or post direct from Electoral Reform Services (ERS) who are managing the ballot for Council on behalf of the Society.   If you have not heard from ERS, or have any other difficulties casting your vote, please contact Stephanie Jones (E: at the Society.

It is important that Council is representative of the views and diversity of all the Fellowship so Fellows are urged to participate in the preliminary ballot which will determine the list for the formal vote at the Annual General Meeting. 

The process for the election of members of Council is set out at section 6 of the Bye-laws, and that for the election of Officers at clause 9.2.

Council elections are your opportunity to choose who should serve on Council to best represent the interests of all Fellows and to shape the future of the Society.  Fellows may wish to have regard to the area of expertise of continuing members of Council (tables below).  Biographies of members of Council are at

Continuing members of Council 2017-2018




Mr Rick Brassington



Mr Malcolm Brown

Petroleum Geology


Dr Jason Canning

Petroleum Geology


Miss Liv Carroll



Dr Marie Edmonds

Igneous Petrology, Volcanology, Geochemistry


Dr Sarah Gordon

Mining, Meteoritics, Risk


Mr Graham Goffey

Petroleum Geology


Mrs Tricia Henton

Environmental Geology


Ms Naomi Jordan

Sedimentology, Palaeontology, Palaeoenvironments


Dr Robert Larter

Marine Geophysics


Dr Jennifer McKinley

Geographical Information Science and Geostatistics


Dr Colin North



Dr Sheila Peacock



Prof Christine Peirce

Marine Geophysics


Mr Nicholas Reynolds

Contaminated land, Geotechnical engineering


Dr Katherine Royse

Environmental Geology


Mr Keith Seymour



Dr Alexander Whittaker

Tectonics and Landscape dynamics



Members of Council retiring at the Annual General Meeting on 7 June 2017




Dr Nigel Cassidy



Mr Chris Eccles

Engineering Geology


Mr David Hopkins

Extractive Industries


Prof David Norbury

Engineering Geology


Mr Michael Young



Supporting statement - President designate nominee

kljhProf Nick Rogers

I am professor of Earth Sciences at the Open University where I have spent virtually all my career.  My research interests are in high temperature geochemistry, igneous petrology and the composition and evolution of the mantle, but I have also engaged with many aspects of higher education that relate to the mission of the OU.  I have been Head of Department and Science Programme Director, serving at Deanery Executive level in both posts.

I have been a Fellow of the Society for over 20 years and served on Council for six.  For five years I was Publications Secretary in the run-up to and through the Bicentenary and was heavily involved in the establishment of Geoscience World and the Lyell Collection which are now core to the Society’s publication output and a major source of income.  I have subsequently served as a member, and latterly chair of the Education Committee, during which time we have successfully engaged with school curriculum consultations, developed the careers portal and facilitated the establishment of University Geoscience UK.

Having been involved with the development and drafting of the 2007 strategy, I am keen to see the renewed strategy established.  The Society plays a key role in bridging the gaps between geoscience professions and education, research and policy, and should be a leading and authoritative voice for our science.  I would bring to the role of President a sound knowledge of how the Society and its staff work and an enthusiasm to ensure that its role continues to develop along the lines it has been following for the past decade.

Proposer: Simon Peter Kelley

Supporters: Sally Anne Gibson and Angela Coe


Supporting statements - Council nominees

Note: John Talbot (see below) has agreed, if elected, to take on the role of Vice President, Chartership which becomes vacant on the retirement of Chris Eccles.  His candidature is endorsed by Council.

kjhMr John Booth

I am Managing Director of Geotechnics Limited, one of the UK’s largest independent geotechnical investigation specialists.  I have 35 years’ experience of engineering geology in the UK and overseas.  I hold a BSc in Geology (University of Liverpool, 1983), and an MSc in Engineering Geology (University of Leeds, 1991).  I have been a Fellow of the Society and a Chartered Geologist since 1991, and a Chartered Scientist since 2005.  I am a UK Registered Ground Engineering Adviser (RoGEP).

I have been committed to the Society and the wider geoscience community throughout my career.  I am a former member of the Committee for the NW Regional Group (1993-96), and am an active CGeol Scrutineer.  I have been involved in promoting career opportunities at schools and universities, and in mentoring colleagues as they approach Chartership. 

Engineering geology has a large role to play in developing our communities for the future, and is the direct link between the natural and the built environment.  The availability and management of resources, water and energy, together with greater awareness of natural processes, floods and climate change are fundamental to safeguarding our World.  An understanding of Geology and how we use and husband these vital reserves underpins the improvements we need in infrastructure, building our cities, and delivering improvements in health, education and wellbeing for an ever expanding population. 

Proposer:  Bill Gaskarth

Supporters: David Cage and Paul Hayes


kljDr Quentin Crowley 

I am passionate about geoscience education and supporting the careers of the next generation of geoscientists.  I am also a keen advocate of the Geological Society’s role, particularly in maintaining high standards in science and acknowledging those who have made significant contributions to our discipline.

I completed my BSc in Geology (1994) and PhD (1997), both at University College Galway, Ireland (now NUIG).  I then moved to the UK for an exciting three and a half years as an EU-funded Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Keele University, during which time I considerably extended my academic links across the UK and Europe.  Subsequent to this, I was fortunate enough to gain employment as a NERC research scientist, at the Isotope Laboratories (NIGL) at BGS headquarters in Keyworth, Nottingham.  In 2008, I returned to Ireland, this time to Trinity College Dublin, where I hold the position of Ussher Assistant Professor in Isotopes and the Environment. 

I served as Subject Editor (2008-2011) and Chief Editor (2011-2016) for the Journal of the Geological Society, during which time I had the opportunity to work with a talented and diverse range of academic, industry and publishing house staff.  During my tenure as Chief Editor, I sat on several committees (e.g.  Publications and Information) and continue to sit on the Awards Committee.

Proposer: Andrew Carter

Supporters: Robin Strachan and Iain Stewart


kjhMs Lesley Dunlop 

I graduated from Durham University with a BSc Geology in 1985 and obtained an MSc in Crystallography from the London University in 1988.  I have been a Fellow of the Society since 2006 and serve on the Geoconservation Committee.  I work at Northumbria University and research interests relate to periglacial geomorphology using mainly geophysical techniques.

As Chair of the English Geodiversity Forum I was involved in the production and launch of the Geodiversity Charter for England.  The Charter and Forum are aimed at highlighting the importance of geodiversity with the public, industry, government and professional organisations etc.  I am Vice Chair of the Northern Group of the Geological Society and a Member of the Executive Committee of ProGeo, the European Association for the Conservation of Geoheritage. 

I have an interest in outreach, education and public information and have taught at Northumbria and other universities, tutored A-Level and adult geology classes, including leading field visits.  I have worked with organisations including the Natural History Museum, The Great North Museum, Geographical Association and GeoConservationUK.  If elected I believe that I can bring a wide depth of interests and knowledge to Council and I am committed to enhancing the role of the Society. 

Proposer: Matthew Pound

Supporters: Clive Edmonds and David Manning


kljDr Neil Mitchell

A lifetime interest in submarine geomorphology commenced when I was first mesmerized watching the seabed revealed by sonars as part of my DPhil studies.  Continuing that interest, I worked for a company in the early 1990s involved in offshore oil and gas, submarine cables and salvage (spending time offshore Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina).  I have held research fellowships and later with academic positions at Lamont (New York), Fredericton (Canada), Durham, Oxford and Cardiff, developing a fascination for what geomorphology can tell us about the Earth.

Since my DPhil, my research interests have focused on mid-ocean ridges, equatorial Pacific sediments, seamounts, volcanic islands, continental slopes and coastal geology, maintaining links with the offshore industry.  I have been a Geological Society fellow for more than 20 years and have previously served on the Marine Studies Group committee. 

Now a Manchester University lecturer, in addition to expanding my research interests, I teach applied geophysics aiming to educate and prepare students for life after university.  If elected I hope to engage in the education and chartership debate and contribute to the Society's remit of accrediting university degrees.  Having experience of research council funding, I would also seek to contribute to strategy behind the Society's grants, aiming to ensure sustainable funding opportunities for young researchers, not otherwise supported through research council or other bodies.

Proposer: Stuart Jones

Supporters: Katharine Brodie and Mike Burton



jklhMiss Jessica Smith 

As the Secretary of the Central Scotland Regional Group (CSRG) my key motivation for joining Council is to bring the voice of the Regions to the table.  I believe that geographical diversity plays a role in ensuring that the Society remains relevant to the membership and can have a positive influence on the engagement of Fellows.

I joined the Geological Society as a Candidate Fellow while studying my BSc in Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow; upon graduating in 2004 I became a Fellow.  Thereafter, the practical experience gained in work combined with my MSc in Engineering Geology at Imperial College London culminated in my obtaining Chartered Geologist status in 2014.  Supporting and enabling others to achieve this career landmark is something I take great pride in through my work activities as well as my involvement with the CSRG. 

In my current role as a Senior Engineering Geologist with Atkins I am privileged to be in a position where I can promote STEM careers to young people, and particularly to young women.  It would be a great honour to continue do so as a Member of Council with the Geological Society.

Proposer: Mike Winter

Supporters: Stewart Lightbody and David Shilston



kljhDr Toby Strauss 

I am an economic geologist with over 20 years’ experience in exploration and mining, principally in the junior mining sector.  I am today an independent geological consultant.  I have been a Fellow of the Society since graduating from Trinity College Dublin over 20 years ago, and am also a Chartered Geologist and Euro Geologist.  On completion of an MSc in Economic Geology at Rhodes University (1995), I moved to Finland working in mineral exploration for diamonds, gold and base metals.  In one of the previous cyclical downturns affecting the mining industry I completed a PhD on a Finnish gold deposit (2003), before returning to industry.

The mining industry is once again in a major cyclical downturn, and again we face the prospect of losing many geoscientists to other industries.  Many of these have a wealth of experience that as a profession we can ill afford to lose.  I firmly believe that the Geological Society has a principal role, particularly through Chartership and CPD, in facilitating the retention of these skills and their transfer to future generations.  As a member of Council I intend to play an active role in delivering practices that help to achieve these aims. 

Proposer: James Coppard

Supporters: Graham Brown and David Pym




Mr John Talbot endorsed by Council

I enjoyed and benefited from the extreme good fortune of being introduced to and taught geology and engineering geology for all three years of my degree course, at Newcastle upon Tyne by Professors Bill Dearman and Duncan Murchison.  Their infectious enthusiasm for geology instilled in me a lifelong passion for the subject.  My first move on graduating was to seek Fellowship of the Society in 1970-71.  Since then I gained an MSc in Geotechnical Engineering in 1981, followed by Chartered Geologist, Engineer, Environmentalist and Scientist.  I am also a European Geologist and Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 

My pre-retirement career has been predominantly focused in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering, when I provided technical and financial project management and advice to a wide client base; in both the public and private sectors.  I have technical expertise in all geotechnical aspects of site investigations; the analysis, design and provision of advice on shallow and deep foundations, maritime and inland waterfront structures, highways, slope stability and earth dams in the UK, Europe, Africa and SE Asia.

Having been a scrutineer for over 20 years, and a reviewer and auditor for Chartered Geologist applications more recently, I would now like to give back yet more to the profession.  Although I am currently Chairman of the Professional Accreditation Committee on behalf of the Society's Professional Committee, and was primarily responsible for the recent comprehensive review of our CPD recording system on behalf of the Chartership Committee, I am standing for election in the hope that I have the opportunity to make an even greater contribution to the affairs of the Society as a Council member, particularly in the areas of Chartership, CPD and governance. 

Proposer: Alex Carbray

Supporters: Bill Gaskarth and Ian Marychurch

kljhProf Bernie Vining

I would very much like to serve on Council and ask for your help to enable me to do so.

A strong Society is built on its membership.  I will contribute by developing the next generation of geoscientists, a passion throughout my career in industry and in my role in academia. 

As the oldest geological society in the world, the Society has a long-established reputation for scientific excellence.  I will contribute by growing the Society’s influence, “serving profession & society” both in the UK and on the global stage.

Success is combining talents.  I will contribute by enhancing collaboration between industry and academia.

As background, my experience and expertise cover a broad range of geoscience.  For example, I have explored many of the world’s sedimentary basins in 30 years with Exxon in a variety of technical and managerial assignments.  More recently, I was Vice President and Chief Geoscientist with Baker Hughes.  I formed my own consultancy in 2015.  I am a Fellow of Royal Holloway, University of London and a Visiting Professor in Petroleum Geoscience, being involved in both teaching and research. 

I have enjoyed being involved with the Society over many years; convening conferences, editing publications.  I am a former Chairperson of the Petroleum Group and currently a member of the External Relations Committee.  As a Chartered Geologist, European Geologist, AAPG and SPEE member, I am a strong supporter of professional accreditation.

Thank you for your help in making this happen.   

Proposer: Graham Goffey

Supporters: Mary Fowler and Dan Bosence


hjklMr Alexander Yeadon 

The Geological Society acts as a cornerstone for all geological sciences in the UK and beyond.  Its role in education, professional development and as a bridge between industry and academia is vital.  The society’s assets are unique and offer the members a world class resource.  I would like to stand as a council member to ensure that the digital and physical assets of the society continue to serve the needs of the members and the wider public. 

I have worked in the petroleum exploration business for the past 12 years and am currently a Senior Exploration Geologist.  I studied my BSc in Geology and Physical Geography at The University of Edinburgh and then went to Imperial College for the Masters in Petroleum Geoscience.  I have been a Fellow of the Society since 2004. 

Proposer: Simon Mann

Supporters: Neil Frewin and Adam Smith