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Tom Sharpe

Tom Sharpe (Chair)

Tom Sharpe is recently retired from the post of Curator of Palaeontology and Archives in the Department of Geology at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.  He was born in Glasgow and graduated from the universities of Glasgow and Leicester.  He is a Fellow of the Geological Society and a Chartered Geologist.  For 30 years, he has been heavily involved in interpreting and promoting geology through exhibitions, lectures, publications and field trips, and has contributed to a number of television and radio programmes. 

His field studies have taken him throughout the British Isles and Europe, as well as to the USA, Canada, Newfoundland, Iceland, Jamaica, the Canary Islands, the Middle East and Antarctica.  He prepared an exhibition about Captain Scott’s 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition, particularly its scientific work; and in November and December 2011, joined an expedition on a trip to the Ross Sea with the aim of visiting Scott’s hut.  Read about his trip on the GSL’s Blog.

Geoffrey WaltonGeoffrey Walton (Vice Chair)

Geoffrey Walton is a chartered engineer and the MD of DustScan Ltd a dust consultancy. He read geology and physics at Bristol University and has a PhD in mining engineering from Nottingham University. Initially, he worked for the Opencast Executive of the National Coal Board, was seconded to work with the Rock Mechanics Research Group in Imperial College, and then became the Headquarters Geotechnical Engineer. Since 1973, he has been in private practice essentially running niche businesses.

The first of these was a mine and quarry design consultancy now known as GWP Consultants. In 2004, he established DustScan Ltd to continue with his interest in dust impacts, initially from mines and quarries but now from across industry. Appointed visiting professor of mining at Leeds University in 1995, he continues his academic contacts with SEES at Portsmouth University. From 1992 to 2002, he was a non-executive member of the Board of the British Geological Survey.

He maintains his interest in the minerals sector being a director of the Extractive Industry Geology Conferences Ltd, a not-for-profit professional interest group for those in the applied geosciences. He is the author of more than 40 papers, articles and books on subjects related to the minerals industry, environmental impacts and the history of science. He has collected books, maps and documents for many years, including some by William Smith, and is researching the layout of drainage, irrigation and other engineering activities by Smith and his contemporaries.

Chris Duffin

Chris Duffin (Secretary)

Recently retired from school teaching, Chris Duffin was formerly Senior Master, Director of Sixth Form, Head of Biology and Head of Critical Thinking at Streatham and Clapham High School in south London.  Following a geology degree, he obtained a Ph.D. in vertebrate palaeontology at University College London, working on the vertebrate fauna of the Late Triassic Rhaetic Bone Bed.  He has published extensively on a wide range of fossil groups, but is particularly concerned with sharks and their allies, recently co-authoring the Handbook of Paleoichthyology Volume 3D . Chondrichthyes. Paleozoic Elasmobranchii : Teeth (2010, Friedrich Pfeil Verlag).  In 2011, Chris received the Palaeontological Association’s Mary Anning Award for outstanding contributions to palaeontology, and he is a Scientific Associate at The Natural History Museum in London. 

The history of geology is a relatively new interest – his family would say ‘obsession’ – which has recently borne fruit in GSL Special Publication 375 A history of geology and medicine (Duffin, Moody & Gardner-Thorpe 2013).  His historical research has embraced some well-known Victorian geologists (Charles Moore, Richard Owen, William Buckland, Louis Agassiz, Samuel Beckles) and a variety of themes (folklore of fossils, history of coprolite research, glacial theory, jewellery history), but he has contributed most on the historical links between medicine and geology.


David Earle (Treasurer & Membership Secretary)

David has a first degree in engineering geology and Masters in marine geotechnics and in geotechnical engineering. He is a chartered geologist and chartered engineer, and worked for many years at Wimpey Laboratories undertaking site investigations, hydrogeological work and materials surveys in the Middle East, Africa, North America and Europe. He is now self-employed and acts as a consultant engineering geologist to an environmental consultancy.

He has had a long-term general interest in the history of geology and especially in the history of applied geology and how this relates to social and industrial history. A particular interest is the history of mining and how this affects present day development issues. The history of marine geology is a developing interest. He has recently completed an Open University degree in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is a Portsmouth supporter and Hampshire CC member.



Beris Cox (Newsletter)

Beris Cox joined the Geological Survey in 1969 having graduated from the University of Wales (Swansea). Amongst the Survey's graduate intakeof that year was John Thackray through whose friendship her latent interest in the history of geology and antiquarian books was nurtured.

Her Survey work as a specialist in Jurassic palaeontology and stratigraphy proved a rich feeding ground for this interest and she was a member of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History from 1973 to 1986 and has been a member of HOGG since 1997. She gained her PhD (on Jurassic ammonites) from the University of London (Queen Mary College) in 1981 and has been a chartered geologist since 1992. With the Survey, she was based in London, then Leeds and finally Keyworth from where she took early retirement in 1998. Since then she has continued to write on Jurassic topics and is currently an editor for the Palaeontographical Society.

Stephen CribbStephen Cribb

Stephen has over 40 years of industrial geological experience from the UK and overseas.  He graduated from Kingston, took a Masters in geochemistry at Oxford and a PhD from Bristol, looking at the geochemistry of rocks from Arctic Norway.  Having worked in gold, coal (opencast and deep mine), industrial minerals (including aggregates, dimension stone and brick clay), water and contaminated land, the latter 25 years saw a broadening of expertise into the fields of environmental management and renewable energy. 

For well over twenty years, he has provided geological and hydrogeological advice to malt whisky distilleries, particularly relating to the nature, continuity and integrity of their specific water sources.  Following on from this, he has undertaken research into the very wide-ranging water chemistries of individual process waters and the effects that specific chemical ions have upon the brewing and distillation processes. 

He has been consulted as an expert witness on this subject.  A further area of study, particularly highlighted in his many talks and demonstrations, is the vast difference in flavour-effects created during reduction prior to bottling and by the customer, prior to consumption.  He has long lived in the Inverness area, close to both Tarradale and Cromarty, and his historical interests are concentrated particularly in the Scottish travels of both Roderick Murchison and Hugh Miller. 

A specific study is how the details extracted from both journals and publications can be used to highlight the wider geographical and social conditions in Scotland during the middle part of 19th century.

Jill DarrellJill Darrell

Jill Darrell is a curator in the Earth Sciences Department of the Natural History Museum, London where she has worked since graduating from Kingston Polytechnic (BSc Hons Geology) in 1975.  She is responsible for the Cnidaria (corals etc.) collections and the William Smith Collections of fossils and rocks. 

She has contributed to research publications on corals from the Cambrian to Recent and on Darwin’s specimen collections at the NHM, in particular his coral reef material.

Sabina MichnowiczSabina Michnowicz

Sabina graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Physical Geography from Aberystwyth University.  She developed her interest in environmental earth science during her MPhil which looked at the effects of the Laki fissure eruption (Iceland 1783) on climate, environment and health in Europe.  Subsequently, she completed a PhD at Durham University researching the health effects of quarrying a range of volcanic deposits (in Montserrat, New Zealand and Greece). 

She has 15 years of media experience and recently presented her Laki research in the Channel 4 documentary series Britain’s Weirdest Weather.  Sabina has also worked in science policy; completing projects on natural hazards in Britain’s overseas territories for the Department for International Development and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. 

Currently, she is based at UCL researching the effects of historical eruptions in combination with volcanic risk perception and communication, aiming to learn from past events to better prepare for future ones.  She presented a review of the history of silicosis at HOGG’s History of Geology and Medicine meeting in 2014.

Ted RoseTed Rose

Edward P. F. (known as Ted) Rose graduated from Oxford with first class honours in geology, and completed a doctorate in echinoid palaeontology, before a career lecturing in geology at Bedford College and subsequently Royal Holloway in the University of London. He retired to an Honorary Research Fellowship at Royal Holloway in 2003 and is still active in scholarship. 

Recent publications include two substantial papers (on Gibraltar) in Earth Sciences History; an introductory chapter in the Geological Society of America Reviews in Engineering Geology; a contribution to a BRGM guide book to geological features of the World War II D-Day landing beaches in Normandy; and a contribution to a guide book to geological features of World War I battlefields near Ypres in Belgium.  The GSL awarded him the Sue Tyler Friedman Medal for 2014.