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RA6a: Additional observations, Evidence of esteem

1.0 External Recognition of Staff and Research Groups

Staff actively participate in a wide range of research activities and they are at the forefront of a number of national/international research initiatives. In terms of esteem indicators it is noteworthy that three of the staff (Firth, Leroy, Stewart) are currently executive officers for INQUA Commissions and a further five (Ansell, Buckingham-Hatfield, Collins, Patterson, Smith) serve on the committees of RGS/IBG research groups/working parties. Few other Departments in the UK can claim such a high participation rate of its staff in research committees. The staff are actively involved in promoting the development of the subject as demonstrated by their efforts in the organisation of conferences (4) and symposia (25) for a wide range of national/ international organisations. Their research expertise has attracted a number of visiting research fellows and has also been recognised by user groups. The Department has already hosted one international conference (PERG, 1999) and in 2002 will be the location for the major INQUA sponsored interdisciplinary conference on Catastrophes and Environmental Recovery in the Holocene (www.brunel.ac.uk/depts/geo/conf.html).

1.1 Neotectonics Research Group: The staff in this group play a leading role in international research organisations and they regularly review papers for international academic journals and research councils (e.g. NERC, National Science Foundation (NSF), Leverhulme):-
· Dr. Stewart is President (formally Secretary) of the INQUA Neotectonics Commission (1995-2003) and he was appointed Chair of the IUGS Sub-commission on Tectonic and Surface Processes Interactions (1995-2000). Over the last 5 years, he has organised 11 conferences/workshops, most notably at the Geological Society (1997), at the European Union of Geosciences (1997, 1999 x2), at the European Geophysical Society (1998) and at INQUA (1999x2). His extensive editorial work includes two Geological Society Special Publications (Coastal Tectonics, The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes), special issues for Quaternary Science Reviews and the Journal of Structural Geology. He is also one of four associate editors for the recently published Oxford Companion to the Earth and is on the editorial board of the Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences. With Firth, he was invited by NIREX to produce an extensive report on Neotectonics in the UK; additional consultancy activities include seismic-hazard assessment for the Greek government. He is a member of the UK Seismic Risk Group and is a regular media commentator on geohazard issues.
· Prof. Firth (Head of Department) is Secretary to the INQUA Commission on Sea-level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999-2003) and he is a leader of the Commission’s working group on Testing Geophysical Models. He organised a conference at the Geological Society from which came the Volcanoes in the Quaternary special publication. He is leading a fieldtrips to Scotland for the INQUA Catastrophes and Environmental Recovery in the Holocene conference. He is frequently asked by Scottish Natural Heritage for consultancy and continues to be involved in a number of EU funded programmes (e.g. Firth et al. 1997).
· Dr. Rust leads the group's ongoing research activities on Mt. Etna (Sicily), collaborating closely with researchers at the Istituto Internazionale di Volcanologia (Catania) (e.g. Rust et al. 1998, 2000), and co-ordinates a formal research collaboration with the Earthquake Research Centre at Ataturk University (Erzurum, Turkey). He is also a committee member of the Isle of Wight Area Environment Group (an advisory panel appointed by the Environment Agency).
· Dr Wright has organised a conference for the Geological Society (1999) on Remote Sensing in the Environment, and he holds a Fellowship at the University of Hawaii.

1.2 State and Society Research Group: Staff in this group are involved with a number of national and international organisations. They regularly review papers for international journals and research proposals (ESRC, Leverhulme)
· Ms. Buckingham-Hatfield was elected Chair of the RGS/IBG Planning and Environment Study Group (1998-2001) and is still a member of the executive committee. She is one of the leaders in the field of participation in environmental policy making, particularly with regard to gender; illustrated by her co-edited books (Environmental Planning and Sustainability, Constructing Local Environmental Agendas), her invitations to advise Government and NGOs and her role as a Director/Trustee of the Women’s Environmental Network. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Patterson she convened the 6th international PERG conference and she is a member of the editorial board of the international journal Local Environment and the new RGS-IBG/Blackwells book series. More recently she convened a session on Local Sustainabilities at the AAG conference in March 2001.
· Dr. Smith’s research has won international acclaim and has placed her at the forefront in terms of advising current Government Policy on Childcare Provision. As a consequence she is one of the founders of the new RGS/IBG Working Party on Children, Youth and Families. Dr. Smith was the editor for a special geographical issue of Childhood. She has been invited to give keynote presentations to the Institute of Education and Kids Club Network and to advise policy makers in both the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and the Department for Culture, Sport and Media. Dr. Smith was recently appointed to the steering panel of a research project being undertaken by the DfEE and Thomas Coram Research Unit. She has also advised a number of local councils on their childcare provision.
· Dr. Murray is the joint editor of a collection of papers for the Institute of Pacific Studies and he has chaired a symposium at the New Zealand Geographers’ Conference in 1999. He is also organising a session for the annual Society of Latin American Studies Conference in April 2001.
· Dr. Ansell is a committee member of the RGS/IBG Women & Geography Study Group and the new RGS/IBG Working Party on Children, Youth and Families. Although her research profile is still being established, she has already attracted funding from the Department for International Development for her work on children in southern Africa and was an invited speaker at the Mexican National Council for Vocational Education.

1.3 Environmental Change Research Group: Staff in this group participate in a large number of international projects and they provide academic leadership on international committees. They also review a large number of papers and grant applications for international journals and funding bodies (e.g. NERC, NSF, EU, ESF, ICDP).
· Professor Leroy has an established international profile having been elected Secretary of the INQUA Holocene Commission (1995-2003). She was a member of the INQUA Congress Scientific Programme Committee (1995-1999), and is the leader of the INQUA Palaeoclimate Commission Working Group on Vegetation Successions at the Scale of Milankovitch Cycles. In addition she is a member of the European Science Foundation ‘European lake drilling programme’ being a co-leader of two of the programmes. She has organised 6 conferences/symposia which include INQUA-AEQUA Holocene Commission on Cycles and Synchroneities of Climate Shifts during the Holocene Spain (1999), RCMNS Mediterranean Neogene Cyclostratigraphy in Marine-continental Palaeoenvironments – Greece (1998) and INQUA colloquium on Milankovitch and vegetation succession from 2.6 to 0.9 Ma – Turkey (1997). In addition her expertise is sought out at an international level and has resulted in a number of visiting research fellows being based in the Department (e.g. Dr. Jiang-sponsored by the Royal Society from the Chinese Academy of Sciences).
· Dr Kershaw is the U.K. representative of the International Association for the Study of Fossil Cnidaria and Porifera. The international recognition of his work on organic reefs has led to collaboration with academics in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Italy and China. This collaboration has led to a Royal Society sponsored visit to China and more recently the arrival of Dr. Li as a research fellow (2000-2001) sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr Reasoner holds an affiliate appointment at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), one of North America's premier Quaternary Research facilities. He maintains research collaboration with colleagues in the USA, Canada and Austria. In 1998, he co-chaired the session on Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental reconstructions in the Americas at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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