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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 who will be retiring at the Annual General Meeting on 4 June 2020.  Subsequent calls were made in the email newsletter.  

There are seven nominations for the five vacancies.  The process for the election of members of Council is set out at section 6 of the Bye-laws.  

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. 

Civica Election Services (CES) – previously Electoral Reform Services – will manage the ballot for Council on behalf of the Society.  CES is the UK’s leading independent ballot services provider, and has extensive experience of overseeing ballots for a wide range of organisations.

All Fellows for whom we have an email address should already have received voting information direct from CES.  All other Fellows should have received a postal ballot pack.  If you have not heard from CES via email or post, or would prefer to receive a postal ballot pack, or have any other difficulties casting your vote, please contact Stephanie Jones ( at the Society.

Voting closes at 23.59 on Tuesday 31 March 2020.  Postal ballot forms must be sent to CES (not to the Society) and must arrive by Tuesday 31 March.


The 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 make their choices having regard to the area of expertise of the continuing and retiring members of Council which are shown on the tables below.  Biographies of members of Council are at

Continuing members of Council 2020-2021




Mr Thomas Backhouse

Risk / Environmental and Geological Hazards


Dr Andrew Bloodworth

Economic Geology


Mr John Booth

Engineering Geology


Dr Michael Daly

Petroleum Geology


Dr Joel Gill

Social Geology, Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development


Dr Kathryn Goodenough

Mineral resources, igneous petrology, crustal evolution


Mr Graham Goffey

Petroleum Geology


Prof James Griffiths

Engineering Geology


Prof Chris King

Geoscience educator


Mr Andrew Moore

Contaminated Land


Dr Bryne Ngwenya

Microbial Geochemistry


Mr Nik Reynolds

Contaminated land, Geotechnical engineering


Mrs Sarah Scott



Ms Gemma Sherwood

Engineering Geology


Miss Jessica Smith

Engineering Geology


Dr Helen Smyth

Petroleum Geology


Prof Robin Strachan

Tectonics, Geochronology


Dr Alexander Whittaker

Tectonics and Landscape Dynamics


Members of Council retiring at the Annual General Meeting on 4 June 2020




Ms Lesley Dunlop



Dr Sarah Gordon

Mining, Meteoritics, Risk


Prof Nick Rogers



Prof Katherine Royse

Environmental Geology


Mr John Talbot

Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Geology


Supporting statements for Council nominees

Mrs Joanna Alexander

It’s a unique time to be a Geologist. Humankind is becoming acutely aware of our dependence on a healthy planet, the need to use resources sustainably and respond to the climate emergency. I want to help the Society use this moment of profound change as an opportunity, not only to adapt and evolve, but to lead and inspire.

After studying Earth Sciences at Oxford University, I worked as an Exploration Geoscientist with BP for 10 years. During that time, it became increasingly difficult for me to ignore my concern about climate change. Since leaving the oil industry I’ve worked with charities and businesses, promoted corporate purpose and influenced investors to consider environmental risks.

My experience has shown me that the benefits of change, both personally and for organisations, greatly outweigh the discomfort. It has also shifted what being a Geologist means to me. Geology used to be what I did, but now my love for the Earth defines why I do anything. It’s my motivation.

I hope my positivity about change and sense of purpose will be infectious – to the Society and individuals. I will champion the skills of Geologists and support them in creating positive impact through their careers.

(Chartered Geologist since 2016)

Proposer: Hugh Jenkyns

Supporters: Jenny Omma Panayi and Gavrielle Groves-Gidney

Dr Jennie Gilbert

I attended my initial Society meetings as a geology undergraduate while at Imperial in the 1980s.  Inspired, I became a fellow in 1986.  While a PhD student in volcanology and geochemistry at Cambridge, Society meetings – in particular Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group (VMSG) meetings – were highlights because these were opportunities for me to present my work, extend my network and learn beyond my discipline.  I continued into academia via post-doctoral positions in volcanology at the University of Bristol and later secured a permanent post at Lancaster University which is where I am currently based.  I have previously served the Society as a committee member and secretary of VMSG, and a member of the organizing committee of two VMSG meetings held in Lancaster and other meetings sponsored by the Society.  As an academic, I offer knowledge and skills in research and teaching in Earth Sciences; I hold a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy qualification.  In addition, I am deeply interested in equality, diversity and inclusivity issues, and geologic conservation.  I have benefitted from opportunities with the Society and am ambitious to help others do similarly.  This is why I aspire to serve on Council.

Proposer: Stephen Sparks FRS

Supporters: Lionel Wilson and Duncan Woodcock

Dr Michael Kehinde

I want to serve in Council, working with others, to help the Society achieve its outcomes and enhance its public brand. I bring on board experience as trustee, school governor and as EDI champion in Environment Agency as Founder/ex-Lead of the B.A.M.E. Network and as Steering Group member of Defra’s Project Race. I want to focus on improving the way we communicate the critical role of the geosciences in attaining the global sustainable development goals and in securing resources for the future; and on stretching EDI to include empowerment. 

Prior to joining the Environment Agency, I worked in the water resources and environment management sector, in Europe and Africa as consultant to industry, to national government and to UNICEF on various local, national and international projects; and I was a senior university academic involved in teaching and research at the University of Lagos. 

I have been a Fellow of the Society for six years, became chartered in 2014 via the 20-year route, and belong to the Hydrogeology group. I hold an MSc in Applied Geology and PhD in Hydrogeology and speak German fluently. Additionally I am a Prince2 certified project manager with good track record of managing successful projects. 

Proposer: Andrew Farrant

Supporters: Jane Dottridge and Theresa Cory

Dr David Latin

I am at a stage in my career where I have time and desire to give something back. I bring energy, creativity and a wealth of cross disciplinary experience and connections from Industry, UK Universities, Government and Finance. Most recently I was deeply involved in private equity fund raising. I am interested in the Energy Transition and the Digital Transformation which are now taking place and would like to help the Council to think about where the Society, and the role of Geoscience, are headed within that overall context.

Currently an independent advisor, consultant and coach in the Energy sector. Also advising the Vice Chancellor’s team at Newcastle University with focus on spin-out companies. Cross disciplinary background in the oil and gas industry and have worked on everything “from the rocks to the ops” including applications for digital technology at BP where I led the Upstream IT function for a period. I have served on several Boards. I have a long association with Geoscience and the Society. Prior to working for BP (18 years) and then OMV (6 years), I had a short academic career. 

Elected FGS 1987.

Lyell Fund winner 1995.

Accreditation Committee since November 2018.

BSc Geology Newcastle; PhD Edinburgh; NERC Research Fellowship, Cambridge

Proposer: Michael Bowman

Supporters: Godfrey Fitton and Andy Saunders

Dr James Lawrence

I am passionate about the role the Society and its members have in supporting geosciences throughout the UK and across the globe. I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Geotechnics at Imperial College London, but have had a varied career working as a geologist on many major infrastructure projects across the world in the Petroleum, Geotechnical and Mining sectors, both in industry and academia. So it is important to me that the Society represents all applied sectors of the geosciences community.  

I have been a Fellow of the Society for over 15 years. I serve on the Editorial Board of Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology and I am a member of the Executive Committee of the British Geotechnical Association (BGA). I was the Organising Secretary for the BGA Engineering in Chalk 2018 Conference and editor of the conference proceedings. I am part of national trailblazer group for the Level 7 Apprenticeship Degree in Geotechnical Engineering which emphasizes my passion for bringing industry and education closer together. In 2019 I was a BGA Fleming Award Finalist. This varied experience means that I will be able to serve and make an effective contribution to the Society Council.

Proposer: Richard Ghail

Supporters: Tony Maher and Susanna Marley

Dr John Perry

I have been a Fellow for 40 years and a Chartered Geologist with national and international expertise in engineering geology for construction.  Within the Society’s Council, I would be honoured to assist in maintaining and improving the technical and professional awareness of geology and engineering geology, particularly in the field of sustainability.  I believe the Society has a lot to offer in promoting the environmental, economic and social pillars of sustainability.  I am also keen to employ my commercial, financial and development experience to the benefit of the Society.  I would like to continue to develop its marketing and societal profile, and to look at different fund-raising methods.

I have a broad mix of experience in research at a national and international level (Transport Research Laboratory), in research implementation (government departments) and in industrial practice and commercial drivers (Mott MacDonald, a large international consultancy).  I have experience in commercial business development and global leadership from the last ten years.

I am a past chair of the Engineering Group, co-author of two Engineering Group special publications (No.16 and 21) on Stone and Clay, and a past member of the QJEGH editorial board.  I have over 20 publications in engineering geology.

Proposer: David Shilston

Supporters: Robin Strachan and Ian Duncan

Mrs Lucy Williams

  • Chartered Geologist
  • Society Fellow since 1993
  • Chair of the Petroleum Group 2018-19
  • Member of the Society Awards Committee
  • Geoscience Manager at Rockhopper Exploration
  • 27 years industry experience
  • BSc in Geology (UCL), MSc in Petroleum Geology (Imperial College)

It has been an absolute pleasure to Chair the Petroleum Group and I am proud of what the Group delivers, from technical conferences, publications and Awards to representation of petroleum geoscience on behalf of the Society.  In this role I worked closely with the Society and appreciate the tremendous work it does to support the broad discipline of geoscience.  I will apply the considerable organisational and governance experience I have gained from convening high quality scientific conferences and workshops into the Society’s broad events programme.  I would love to continue my involvement and would consider it a great honour to serve on Council.

If elected I would be an advocate for my industry in the Society and equally strive to see the Society pro-actively support all geological sciences associated with delivery of the future energy mix, aimed towards a low carbon economy.  I passionately believe the Society is uniquely placed to assume this role.

Proposer: Adam Law

Supporters: Fiona MacAulay and John Argent