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Council Elections 2022

Throughout Autumn and Winter 2021, Fellows were invited to nominate new members of Council, to succeed those retiring at the Annual General Meeting on 8 June 2022. Nine nominations were received for six vacancies.

The advisory ballot for Council closed on 31 March 2022 and the turnout was 12.9%.

A total of 1,476 valid votes were cast (2,132 voted last year) and the six candidates receiving the most votes will now go forward to the Annual General Meeting for election as Council members. We thank all nine candidates for taking part in the elections and for their interest to serve on Council.

 Hollie Fisher  900
 Mark Anderson  843 
 Daniel Le Heron  797
 Natasha Dowey  768
 Anna Bird  732
 Ben Lepley  688

The Council elections are an opportunity for Fellows to decide who should serve on Council to represent the interests of all the Fellowship and to shape the Society to be best able to respond to current and emerging future needs. 

Prof Rob Strachan, Secretary Publications and Gemma Sherwood were invited to remain on Council for a further year in order to provide continuity, their experience and expertise.

The six candidates’ election statements can be viewed below. 


Name  Expertise Sector
Mrs Joanna Alexander Geoscience, Communications, Culture Change
Prof Mark Allen
Tectonics Academe
Ms Ruth Allington
(President Designate)
Engr. Geol., Resource Geol., ESG, Mining and Quarrying Sector, Dispute Resolution
Dr Neil Frewin Petroleum Geology Industry
Dr Jennie Gilbert Volcanology Academe
Dr Joel Gill (Secretary,
Foreign & External Affairs)
Social Geology, Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development  Government
Mr Martin Griffin Geotechnical Engineering Industry 
Prof James Griffiths
(Secretary, Professional)
Engineering Geology Academe
Dr Michael Kehinde Hydrogeology Government 
Mr Peter Loader Geoscience Education Academe
Dr Keith Myers (Treasurer) Petroleum Geology Industry
Dr Amanda Owen Sedimentology Academe
Dr John Perry Engineering Geology Industry
Ms Gemma Sherwood Engineering Geology  Industry
Prof Robin Strachan
(Secretary, Publications)
Tectonics, Geochronology Academe
Miss Lucy Thomas Chartered Geologist and Specialist in Land Condition Industry
Mrs Lucy Williams Petroleum Geology Industry 


Name  Expertise  Sector
Dr Michael C Daly
Continental Tectonics and Resources Academe
Dr Kathryn Goodenough Mineral Resources, Igneous Petrology, Crustal Evolution Government
Mr Andrew Moore Contaminated Land Industry
Mrs Sarah Scott Hydrogeology Government
Miss Jessica Smith (Vice
Engineering Geology Industry
Dr Alexander Whittaker
(Secretary, Science)
Tectonics and Landscape Dynamics Academe

Candidate election statements

Prof Mark AndersonMark Anderson

Proposer: John Underhill 

Supporters: Iain Stewart and Sian Davies-Vollum

My current role is Professor of Geology in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Plymouth, where I have worked since 1991. I was Head of Earth Sciences for 8 years and then Head of School for 7 years, stepping down from that role in July 2020. Active research projects and teaching fall under the broad umbrella of plate boundary deformation processes, and all incorporate significant elements of fieldwork.

I have been a Fellow of the Society since 1985 and a Chartered Geologist since 2015. I was awarded a Coke medal in 2017. I have served as Secretary and Chair of the Society’s SW Regional Group, Executive Secretary of the Committee of Heads of University Geoscience Departments and Executive Secretary and Chair of University Geoscience UK. In 2021, I chaired the review panel for the Society’s university degree course accreditation scheme.

As a member of Council, I will use my experience to help the Society serve its members and wider society as the main voice for geoscience in the UK. I am also committed to make the membership more diverse by removing barriers to inclusion at all stages in the academic and professional development of future generations of geoscientist.

Dr Anna Bird Dr anna bird

Proposer: Peter Rowley 

Supporters: Kirstie Wright and Kathryn Goodenough

I am a Senior Lecturer in Earth Science at the University of Hull, and have worked in academia since 2007. My broad research interests mean I interact with a wide spectrum of the geoscience community from Quaternary scientists to members of MSG, TSG, and industry partners. I am active within UKRI, serving on NERC standard grants panels and a Future Leaders Fellowship sifting panel, as well having successful grant applications.

I became a Fellow of the Society in 2014 when I won membership for the Young Author of the Year Award. I am on Science Committee, and have been serving on SiG committees since 2011, and held the role of chair of MSG (2015-2018).

Earth sciences face an existential crisis due to declining student numbers. I will work to strengthen the link between the Society and universities to ensure that we build a clear picture of Earth Science career pathways to attract and retain students. I am particularly passionate in outreach and increasing diversity (e.g. Girls into Geoscience) so would relish the opportunity to further these agendas within the Society. It would be a privilege to serve on Council and to help make a real difference to the geoscience community.

Dr Natasha DoweyDr Natasha Dowey

Proposer: Richard D Pancost 

Supporters: Sam Giles and Peter Rowley

If elected to Council, I would be a vocal advocate for change. The Geological Society’s voice is respected, but there is much work to be done. We must engage the public in a sustainable geoscience agenda that makes our discipline more relevant and attractive to geoscientists of the future. We must make our discipline more equitable, for both those studying and working within it, and for the communities geoscientists serve.

I am currently Course Lead of Environmental Science at Sheffield Hallam University. Previously, I was Lecturer in Geology at the University of Hull. I am founder and Editor of Geoscience for the Future, which publishes stories highlighting how geoscientists are making the world a better place and connects geoscientists with schools for outreach events.

I am EDI Champion trustee for the charity Geology for Global Development.

Prior to my academic career, I spent seven years as a research geoscientist in the oil and gas sector after gaining my PhD in volcanology at the University of Liverpool. I have an MPhil in igneous geochemistry and a BSc in Environmental Earth Science from Aberystwyth University. I have been a Fellow for almost 20 years and served on the Geoconservation Committee from 2014-2017.

Hollie FisherHollie Fisher

Proposer: Andrew Hart 

Supporters: Tracey Radford and David Shilston

I am a Senior Engineering Geologist with seven years’ experience with Atkins, working on a variety of water and infrastructure projects across the UK and abroad. Prior to starting my career, I studied BSc Physical Geography and Geology (University of Plymouth) and MSc Engineering Geology (University of Portsmouth).

I am a keen advocate for diversity and inclusion within the geosciences, with a focus on outreach to secondary school children within deprived areas in the UK. I am Treasurer and Trustee for the charity Diversity in Geoscience, I am an Enterprise Advisor for local schools and an active STEM Ambassador. In 2019, I won the Rising Star Award at the EMAP Ground Engineering Magazine Awards due my contribution to STEM initiatives and my passion for advocating that a career in the geosciences is available to all.

I am the current Chair of the South-East Regional Group and have been active on the committee since taking part in the Early Careers Geoscientist Competition. Being a member of the GSL Council would be a natural progression from my current role; and I hope to use my experience to further diversify the GSL and make it more visible and approachable to future geoscientists from variable backgrounds.

*Dr Daniel Le Heron, endorsed by CouncilDaniel Le Heron

Proposer: Richard D Law 

Supporters: Colin P North and James Griffith

I am a Professor of Sedimentology at the University of Vienna and my main research area lies in the understanding of ancient glaciations and their deposits.

I have been a Fellow of the Society since 2000 and have had a close association with many of its publication activities. I was awarded the JGS Early Career Award in 2008, and over the past 10 years I have organised and co-organised several major conferences and published outputs in three Special Publications. I have served on what is now known as the Energy Group Committee, and since 2018 on the Books Committee. Elsewhere, I am an Associate Editor of the ‘Journal for Sedimentary Research’, and have acted as guest Associate Editor for ‘Sedimentology’.

The Society faces various challenges in the coming years, and the increasing complexity of the publications model is just one of them. I believe that my extensive experience in publishing and on Society committees ensures that I am well qualified to support the Society’s Publishing House and Library through the Publications and Information Committee in terms of meeting the forthcoming challenges. I would be excited and honoured to serve the Society in this capacity.

Ben LepleyBen Lepley

Proposer: Mike Armitage 

Supporters: Martin Pittuck and Robert Godddard

Geoscience is fundamental to understanding and tackling climate change but there is a lack of public understanding of what it is and why we need it. The GSL has been making inroads and is well placed as a trusted and well-connected institution to push this message further. My principal reason for joining the committee would be to assist with improving the perception of geoscience in the public eye, particularly with the aim of encouraging more students to study and choose a career in this diverse and rewarding area.

I have worked for SRK Consulting since graduating from Cardiff University; first as a mineral resource geologist for 12 years and now as an environmental consultant for the past year. I have been a Fellow since 2008, served on the Southern Wales GSL committee between 2009-2011, and gained Chartered Geologist status in 2014. As part of my role as co-chair of the public perception of mining committee with the Critical Minerals Association, I engage with a number of organisations including school and university education, academia, exploration and mining industry. I feel I can contribute to Council with ideas on industry-academia collaboration, multi-disciplinary thinking and public outreach.

Thank you for your consideration.