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UOA 17 - Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences

University of Portsmouth

RA5a: Research environment and esteem


Research Environment

1. Research groupings and management

Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences research at Portsmouth is centred within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Research effort is focused into two groups: Crustal and Earth Surface Processes, and Environmental Sciences and Monitoring, supported by 10 technical staff and 1 PDRA and currently 26 postgraduate students. The University has strongly supported research in these areas by making a number of new staff appointments since the last RAE; of the fourteen category A staff in this submission, nine have been appointed since 2003 and three of these are early career researchers. All staff have strong external collaborative links nationally and internationally. The breadth of expertise and interests of each staff member generates a multitude of formal and informal interactions within the research groups that are characterised by a strong ethos of cooperation and mutual encouragement. Research policy is developed by regular group discussions and overall strategy is monitored and maintained by the School Research Committee. Research student matters are the responsibility of the Postgraduate Tutor who reports to the School and Faculty research committees. The School Research Committee liaises regularly with the Faculty Research Committee and through that the University Research Committee and the University Research Degrees Committee. Research-active staff, PhD and PDRA researchers, and visiting academics contribute to a regular seminar programme.

2. Research facilities

Research is underpinned by analytical facilities ranging from standard sample preparation equipment to more sophisticated micro-analytical instrumentation, including XRD, XRF and AA spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy (with EDX) and cathodoluminescence petrography. A new ICP-MS was funded by SRIF (£110,000) and installed in 2006. Other facilities include HF fume cupboards (upgraded using £12,500 SRIF funding), compressed air pens and air abrasive equipment, furnace and mineral growth facilities, bulk microfossil processing equipment, and an extensive range of rock mechanics equipment. Geohazards research uses ERDAS Imagine, ENVI and ER Mapper, the ERDAS Orthobase photogrammetric suite, ArcGIS and MapInfo Geographical Information System (GIS), RISK Monte Carlo simulation, and Rocscience and SlopeW slope stability software. A liquid scintillation and two newly-upgraded Ge-Li spectrometers are available for radiometric analyses of low-level environmental samples. All analytical facilities are run by specialist technicians. Researchers also have access to analytical, computing and laboratory facilities elsewhere within the Science Faculty, including: TEM (biomineral crystal imaging), FTIR (characterisation of biomineral form and of fossil macromolecules), TGA-DTA (macromolecule characterisation), Atomic Force Microscopy, an analytical GC-MS and LC-MS-MS suite, a new SEM with an environmental chamber and the Institute of Marine Science’s marine and freshwater aquaria.

3. Research themes and activity

3.1. Crustal and Earth Surface Processes

Dr Andy Gale joined the School in 2007 with an established research programme that has attracted support from NERC and Leverhulme, and involves collaboration with scientists in the UK, Europe and USA. His research centres on the identification and correlation of cyclicity in the Milankovitch Band, and the relationship of these cycles with sea level events, concentrating on the Cretaceous-Palaeogene interval. Analysis of many “mass extinction” events suggests that they are in fact artefacts of the control that sea level exerts over the distribution, nature and preservation of marine sediments [Gale 1]. His work has shown that Cretaceous sea levels were controlled by the 400 kyr long eccentricity cycle and that with the use of high resolution biostratigraphy individual cycles can be correlated globally [Gale 2, 3]. Part of this work involves timescale development and the use of carbon and oxygen isotopes in modelling of carbon cycle reconstruction and palaeoceanographic change across the Cenomanian-Turonian Oceanic Anoxic event [Gale 4]. Current research focuses on the impact of glacio-eustatic cycles on the stratigraphic record of the continental shelves during the Cretaceous-Palaeogene interval.

Dr Jim Hendry collaborates with academic colleagues in the USA, New Zealand and the UK in the isotopic, geochemical and microfabric characterization of sedimentary rocks and fossils for palaeoenvironmental, diagenetic and reservoir quality evaluation. His research has pioneered the use of high-resolution fossil geochemistry to record short-term environmental fluctuations in ancient lagoons [Hendry 1], and has established the relationship between limestone cementation in southern and eastern England, regional palaeohydrology and late Mesozoic-Cenozoic tectonics of central and eastern England through limestone geochemistry [Hendry 2] (a model now validated by researchers in the Paris Basin). Recent research on concretions generated new analytical protocols for extracting cement-bound lipid and macromolecular organic fractions, and has led to new interpretations of how bacteria physically and chemically modify marine sediment prior to burial [Hendry 3, 4]. Current research is focused on the physical preservation of bacterial products in diagenetic concretions, isotopic palaeosalinity analysis of the British Middle Jurassic seaway, and on geofluid history and mineralization in the Manx Basin.

Dr David Loydell has an international reputation for his research into Silurian graptolites and biostratigraphy. He collaborates with academic colleagues in Europe and the Middle East, and research into the integrated graptolite-chinitozoan biostratigraphy of the Murzuq Basin, Libya, is currently supported by ENI and employs one PDRA. Integrated graptolite-conodont-chinitozoan biostratigraphic studies have enabled for the first time high-precision cross-facies correlation of deep and shallow marine sequences through much of the lower Silurian in North Africa [Loydell 1]. SEM study of exceptionally-preserved material has resulted in the most detailed study to date of some of the most biostratigraphically important graptolites [Loydell 2]. The Hirnantian to Middle Llandovery graptolites of Jordan have been analysed in a seminal work that will underpin future studies on the Ordovician-Silurian in this part of the Middle East [Loydell 3]. He has shown for the first time that Early Silurian graptolite and conodont extinctions were not coincident, the former being associated with low eustatic sea-level, the latter with highstands [Loydell 4]. Current research is focused on exceptionally preserved graptolites from the Baltic region, sections through the base of the Wenlock, and the graptolite biostratigraphy of hydrocarbon basins in Libya.

Dr David Martill is collaborating with colleagues at the Staatlsches Museum für Naturkunde, Karlsruhe, Germany and the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in an established research programme involving studies of taphonomy, pterosaur palaeobiology and dinosaur anatomy and taxonomy. His research has documented exceptionally preserved vertebrates and arthropods from the Cretaceous of Brazil [Martill 1, 3], proposed a new method of classification of ornithocheirid pterosaurs using dental configuration [Martill 2], and recognized the first extensive soft tissue headcrests in azhdarchoid pterosaurs, demonstrating marked sexual diomorphism [Martill 4]. Current research is focused on early Cretaceous Gondwanan ecosystems and the palaeohistology of growth rings in giant Jurassic planktivorous fish.

Dr Derek Rust joined the School in 2007 with an established profile in geohazards research, typically involving collaboration with leading research groups worldwide. This has been supported by funding from various sources, including the USGS Earthquake Hazards Reduction Programme, the International Union of Geological Sciences (UNESCO), European Space Agency, the NATO International Lithosphere Programme, European Science Foundation, and CNR (Italian National Research Agency). Research in neotectonics and palaeoseismology has focused on understanding key seismically quiet regions where conventional techniques are difficult to apply, for example in the southern San Andreas system where a new model for long-term tectonic behaviour was proposed [Rust 1], and in Kamchatka, where Rust [2] represents the first detailed palaeoseismic study ever to be carried out. A parallel research strand in volcano geodynamics and flank instability has emphasised new synergistically combined approaches to resolve long-standing uncertainties about the nature and extent of instability on Mount Etna [Rust 3], and developed a new model to explain temporal and spatial variability in the behaviour of the unstable sector [Rust 4].

Dr Rob Strachan joined the School in 2003 with an established research programme that is focused on regional tectonics within the North Atlantic Caledonides involving colleagues from the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. This has been supported by funding from NERC-BGS and the Royal Society. Research within the East Greenland Caledonides has resulted in a new model for the transport and emplacement of granite magmas at different crustal levels during extensional collapse, and demonstrated large-scale strain partitioning within an oblique convergence zone [Strachan 1, 2]. A new synthesis interprets regional structures in terms of changing relative plate motions which culminated in the generation of late orogenic Devonian basins during transtension [Strachan 3]. A compilation of detrital zircon data from circum-Atlantic Precambrian to early Palaeozoic successions has established the broad temporal and spatial trends in provenance during the assembly and break-up of Rodinia [Strachan 4]. Current research is focused on deformation and magma transport within mid-crustal transpression zones, and isotopic methods for the analysis of polymetamorphic mineral assemblages.

Dr Richard Teeuw joined the School in 2003 with established research programmes in the fields of applied geomorphology and remote sensing which have been supported by the mining industry, notably Golden Star Resources Inc. and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. This research examines the nature of secondary (placer) diamond deposits in relation to alternating arid-humid periods during Quaternary Glacial-Interglacial stages [Teeuw 1, 2]. Impacts of climate change in Europe have been examined by the monitoring of plant communities in drought-sensitive streams and will be of use in assessment of future climatic trends [Teeuw 3]. The UK Environment Agency has funded related research into land cover changes in the Thames Gateway region. His review of the use of remote sensing techniques to map hazardous terrain will be an authoritative source [Teeuw 4]. Current research has been awarded NERC flying time to link the geomorphological and geotechnical properties of slope instability features to remote sensing systems. The latter links with the award of PI status from the Japanese national space agency for the use of ASTER satellite imagery to map geohazards in developing countries.

3.2. Environmental Science and Monitoring

Professor Scott Armbruster was appointed in 2003 with an established research programme in evolutionary and community ecology. Collaborative projects with academic colleagues in Europe and the USA, have attracted funding from the US National Science Foundation ($602,000 awarded to Armbruster) and the Spanish and Norwegian Research Councils (£35,000 awarded to Armbruster). His research has focused primarily on the ecology and evolution of plant-animal relationships, using comparative, field-experimental, and evolutionary-genetic methods. Research on the ecology of plant-animal interactions has focused on measuring natural selection generated by pollinators [Armbruster 1]. Research on the evolution of ecological relationships has assessed variation in, and inheritance of, traits that affect interactions with animals [Armbruster 2, 3] and explored the role of pleiotropy/genetic correlations as a constraint in microevolution [Armbruster 3] and as a generator of macroevolutionary patterns [Armbruster 4]. Armbruster’s research has shown surprisingly strong influences of historical contingency, ecological “accidents”, and multi-species interaction on the course of evolutionary change in ecological relationships.

Dr Gary Fones joined the School in 2006 as an early-career researcher with expertise in the field of marine geochemistry with particular reference to trace metal speciation and the development of novel in-situ techniques for deep sea sediment sampling. He is a recognized researcher on two NERC-funded research projects, and is collaborating with CEFAS in a project that will deploy DET gel probes in North Sea sediments using SPI camera. His research has developed novel methods for the in situ determination of trace metal fluxes and pore water concentrations in sediment, and also for copper in seawater [Fones 1 & 3]. He has been investigating the usefulness of phytochelatins as bioindicators of metal contamination [Fones 2], and the remobilisation of metals in the surface of deep-sea sediments as a result of crashed phytoplankton following a spring bloom [Fones 4]. Current research is funded by a NERC responsive mode grant (£20,000, Fones co-PI) to examine iron biogeochemistry in the North Atlantic, and a NERC CONNECT-A grant (£4,800 awarded to Fones) to calibrate SPI images using in-situ gel probe technology.

Professor Richard Greenwood has an established research programme in collaboration with UK and international colleagues in the area of monitoring of the chemical quality of environmental waters in the context of the regulatory requirements of EU legislation. This has been funded by the EU, CEFAS, and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). Research has been directed towards developing and validating passive sampling techniques for measuring time-weighted average concentrations of metallic, polar organic, and non-polar organic pollutants in a wide range of aquatic environments. This has led to a patented invention (UK Patent No GB 2,353,860 granted 4-2-04, and UK Patent No GB 7.059,206, granted 13-6-06), the development of a national standard with the British Standards Institute (BSI PAS61 – 2006), and to a contribution to one of the EU Chemical Monitoring Guidance documents. He is presently a project leader developing an ISO standard for passive sampling through membership of BSI Technical Committee (EH3) Water Quality. The four submitted papers [Greenwood 1-4] demonstrate the development of robust calibration methodology, field testing, and the validation of laboratory-based calibrations in field trials. Commercialisation of the products of this research is underway to enhance its availability to water, and environmental monitoring companies.

Dr Michelle Hale joined the School in 2006 as an early-career researcher with expertise in the field of biological oceanography. In collaboration with colleagues from the UK, USA and Canada, her current research seeks to elucidate the spatial and seasonal variation in the processes determining marine microbial dynamics and community composition in different biogeochemical provinces, in order to better understand the role of marine microbes in the cycling of carbon in the current and future Ocean. Her research has provided the first report of the decline and fate of an iron-stimulated diatom bloom [Hale 1], and an influential refutation of an interpretation of data obtained from unreplicated mesoscale nutrient enrichment experiments [Hale 2]. Further publications analyze the response of heterotrophic bacteria to a mesoscale iron enrichment experiment [Hale 3] and alternate experimental designs for, and approaches to the statistical analysis of, future mesoscale enrichment experiments [Hale 4]. Current research is focused on the analysis of field data collected during field programmes for the Canadian Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (C-SOLAS) Research Network and the Atlantic Meridional Transect program (AMT).

Dr Claire Hellio was appointed in 2005 with an established research programme in marine biofouling studies. She has collaborative projects with academic colleagues in Europe, Pakistan, Chile and Martinique. Her interest has focused primarily on the research for natural products with potential antifouling activities for formulation of new antifouling paints. Her research has highlighted seasonal variation in production of antifouling compounds by macraoalgae [Hellio 1] and the purification of new bioactive compounds from Mediterranean sponges [Hellio 2]. A new method for study of larval behavourial studies has been developed [Hellio 3] using a video-tracking software. She has been involved in the study of mussels and oysters phenoloxidase activities and has demonstrated that this enzyme could be used as a probe to check the health status of population in aquaculture [Hellio 4]. Current research is focused on the development of new techniques of elimination of fouling organisms in freshwaters, the nature of new antimicrobial compounds obtained from plants used in ethonobotany, and the assessment of the algal biodiversity of the French Antilles.

Dr Eric May has established research interests in environmental microbiology, covering wastewater treatment and heritage. The use and application of bacteria to buildings to remove mineral crusts and consolidate stone [May 2] has attracted EU funding and he has been approached as a leading expert (Die Zeit, Nature, Microbe). This led the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission to request research on biological control of algal growth on stone to limit chemical biocide use. Heritage research is carried out in collaboration with the Mary Rose Trust, the National Trust (UK), the British Geological Survey, and academic colleagues in Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Recent wastewater research has focused on the impact of biological wastewater treatment processes on phthalates from plastics [May 1 & 3] as well as road runoff in vegetated wetlands [May 4]. Current funding is by UK industry (Wplc Ltd), KTP/DTI, MOD and EPSRC. Current EU-funded research is concerned with elimination of algae from water without the use of chemicals in collaboration with BOKU, Vienna.

Dr Jim Smith joined the School in 2007 as an early career researcher with an established research programme in the field of environmental radioactivity research. In collaboration with colleagues from the EU, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia his research is primarily on the impact of radioactive pollutants in aquatic systems and with the development of predictive models. A major review of techniques available for reducing radiation exposure via the aquatic pathway [Smith 1] provided the basis for aquatic countermeasures in a Europe-wide emergency response project (EURANOS). The spatial modelling of 90Sr and 137Cs in 25 European and Asian rivers [Smith 2] established for the first time a quantitative link between riverine transport of these radioisotopes and catchment and soil characteristics at a global scale. General models for the prediction of 90Sr, 132I, and 137Cs in aquatic systems following a large-scale atmospheric release of radionuclides [Smith 3] are currently being used by radiation protection agencies worldwide. A novel coupled transport and biological uptake model has been developed and used to assess potential impacts of short-term radionuclide releases from three key UK nuclear sites to the River Thames [Smith 4]. Current work is in the key area of radiation risk and risk perception.

4. Research student training

A vibrant postgraduate student cohort plays an active and valued role in the life of the School. Research students have their own work-space and computing facilities and are all formally introduced to a broad spectrum of scientific techniques and principles at the beginning of their research programme via a compulsory faculty-wide course that leads to a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods. PhD students are registered by application to the Science Faculty Research Degrees Sub-Committee. All students must have at least two supervisors. The Professional Development Unit of the University offers courses for training for supervisors of postgraduates; these are recommended for all staff and obligatory for new appointees. Supervisors are expected to have regular informal contact with their research students and to hold weekly meetings of their research team where the progress of students’ work is discussed in detail. Formal appraisal of students’ performance occurs at the end of each academic year. All students are expected to participate in and regularly present their results at the School research seminar programme. Attendance and participation by oral and poster presentation in at least one national conference per year is encouraged, and most students are able to attend to at least one international conference during the tenure of their award. Early publication of research in international journals is explicitly encouraged. All research students are expected to teach in relevant undergraduate practical classes as part of their training.

5. Staffing Policy

The appointment of all new academic staff is influenced strongly by research record and potential, and follows strategic decisions made by the School and endorsed by the University to strengthen research by providing leadership and a balanced age profile. Each new young staff member has an experienced staff member as a mentor, is provided with start-up research money, and has a reduced teaching and administrative load for the first three years. New staff are also supported by the University Research and Development Service (RDS) via provision of skills development workshops and monitoring of external funding opportunities. They specifically benefit from RDS seminars on preparation of grant applications and on preparing papers for publication. Established research-active staff have comparable teaching loads to other staff, but are allocated reduced administrative loads. The research performance of all academic staff is reviewed by the Head of School regularly and individual funding, publication and studentship targets are agreed.

6. Research Strategy

As a relatively diverse School with a strong teaching mission across the Earth and Environmental Sciences, we have made a strategic decision to achieve and maintain internationally recognized excellence in a number of specific and interdisciplinary subject areas. These are being identified where staff expertise and reputation provide excellent opportunities for internal synergies and external collaborations that will maximise funding potential and scientific impact. This policy has been endorsed and encouraged by external peer- review of output, achievements and opportunity at mid-point in the RAE cycle, and reflects the substantially changed staffing profile since RAE 2001. It combines the energy and vision of recent appointees with the experience and momentum of established researchers. The strategy recognises that a major strength of the School lies in the international reputation of its researchers and their wide range of collaborations with academia, industry and environmental bodies, but that diversity of research interests and a relatively small number of externally-funded PDRAs and research students has made it difficult to establish groupings of critical mass. Such groups would maximise the potential for producing agenda-shifting research and increase success in exploiting funding opportunities. Consequently, addressing this issue is our top priority over the forthcoming RAE cycle. Emerging cross-disciplinary thematic groupings that combine established and new staff are as follows: 1) ocean-climate-sediment interactions and global cycles (Fones, Hale, Gale and Hendry), 2) Lower Palaeozoic climate, sea-level change and oceanography (Loydell, Gale and Hendry), 3) microbiological processes, sediment stabilisation and taphonomy (Hale, Hendry and Martill), 4) aquatic pollution and environmental health (Fones, Greenwood, Hellio, May and Smith), and 5) volcanic hazards, neotectonics and remote sensing (Rust, Teeuw). Other international researchers Armbruster and Strachan would continue to be strongly supported.

We will continue to recruit further staff with high potential and (for established workers) excellent track records in areas that complement and enhance our existing strengths. The School will support strongly all researchers that have been submitted for this RAE, for example by facilitating participation in conferences, providing internal peer-review of outline research grant submissions, and monitoring teaching and administrative loads. The aim is that over the next six years the groups will increase substantially the volume of research council income as well as funding from knowledge transfer partnerships and other industrial collaborations in order to support a much wider base of externally-funded PDRAs and research students, and from that to increase significantly the generation of international standard research.

7. Esteem indicators

Armbruster – Subject Editor: J. Evolutionary Biology (2000-2004), Arctic, Antarctic, Alpine Research (2007-present); Governing Council— Assoc. Tropical Biology & Conservation (ATBC; 2004-06); Evaluating Commissions: 1) Spanish Environmental-Research Institutes (2005); 2) Danish Biodiversity Centre (2002), 3) Norwegian biodiversity research (2001). Review Panel, US-NSF (Ecology Program; 2002). Refereeing: proposals— NERC; German-RC, Swiss-RC, US-NSF; manuscripts— e.g. Nature, PNAS, Proc. Royal Soc., American Naturalist, Ecology, Evolution. Symposia organized: 1) “Fragmented ecosystems”, ATBC (2007); 2) “Pollination”, BES Special Meeting (2003). Keynote/Plenary Addresses: ATBC (2007); Wenner-Gren Symposium: Mating Systems (2007); Kristiansson Symposium: Speciation (2006); Int. Conference, Arctic-Alpine Environmental Change (2003); Scandinavian Ecological Society (2001).

Fones – Regular reviewer of scientific papers for international journals (e.g. Marine Chemistry, Limnology and Oceanography, Environmental Pollution Research).

Gale – Editor of Stratigraphy (2004-present); Chairman, Geological Society of London Stratigraphy Commission (2007 onwards); Voting Member of the Cretaceous Subcommission of the International Subcommission on Stratigraphy (2000-present); Chairman of the Geological Society of London Chalk Stratigraphy Group (2001-present); >1000 citations for journal papers in ISI Web of Science; reviewer of grant applications for NERC, NSF and the Danish and Polish Research Councils. The paper submitted here as [Gale 1] received a full page review in Science (2001, 293, p.1027) which concluded that it provided a probable explanation for many apparent extinction events in the geological record.

Greenwood – Treasurer, Bioactive Sciences Group, Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)(2001); Director on Board of LHASA Ltd (charity-based company developing software for predicting toxicity and metabolism of xenobiotics)(2001); Member of Organising Committee of international conferences (Neurotox 2003; Environmental and Human Health Effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2004); Member of SCI Technical Development Committee and Council (2003); Editorial Board of Pest Management Science (2003); Chair of SCI Pest Management Group (2003); SCI Distinguished Service Award (2003); Member of Scientific and Governing Councils of SWIFT (EU-funded FP6 project)(2004); visiting Chair L’École des Mines d’Alès, France (2007).

Hale – Regular reviewer of scientific papers for international journals (e.g. Limnology and Oceanography, Aquatic Microbial Ecology); invited member of the organising committee for the 2008 Summer Meeting of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; invited speaker at the “6th Dynamic Green Oceans Workshop” (2007 – awarded travel grant £530); invited presenter at the “9th Great British Research and R&D Show, Britain’s Top Early-Stage Scientists, Engineers and Technologists” (2007).

Hellio - Invited Member of COIPM (since 2007); invited researcher at the University of Coquimbo, Chile (2008), University of Lahore (2008); OMMM, Martinique, FWI (2007), NIWA, New-Zealand (2005) and IEAPM, Rio de Janeiro (2005). Keynote/Plenary: 6th Biofouling, Benthic Ecology & Corrosion Meeting (Brazil, 2005). Associate editor of: Molecules, International Journal of Ecology & Development, Electronic Journal of Natural Substances, International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Journals reviewer e.g Biomolecular Engineering, Biofouling, Science of the Total Environment. Conference organisation: 14th International Congress on Marine Biofouling and Corrosion (2008), Antifouling paints for Navy Ships (2005) and 12th International Congress on Marine Corrosion and Biofouling (2004).

Hendry – Invited contributor to “Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks’; Invited Speaker at Geological Society of London International Meeting “The Geometry and Petrogenesis of Dolomite Hydrocarbon Reservoirs” (2002); Royal Society Conference Grant to deliver three papers at the AAPG Annual Convention, Houston, (2002); regular reviewer of scientific papers for international journals (e.g. Sedimentology, Journal of Sedimentary Research, Sedimentary Geology).

Loydell – Council Member of the Paleontological Association (2001-2003); Vice President of the Palaeontological Association (2005-2006); Council Member of the Palaeontographical Society (2001-2002); Member of the Editorial Board of Geolines (2001-present); Chairman of the International Subcommission on Silurian Stratigraphy, Llandovery-Wenlock Boundary group (2001-present); Titular Member of the IUGS Subcommission on Silurian Stratigraphy (2001-present); Editorial board of Paläontologische Zeitschrift (2004-present); Editor of Palaeontographical Society Monographs (2006-present); Editorial Board of the Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences (2007 onwards).

Martill – Invited contributor to Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2005 and 2006, exhibiting material concerned with pterosaur flight dynamics and wing structure; reviewer of scientific papers for international journals (e.g. Palaeontology, Cretaceous Research); Editorial Board of Senkenbergiana-Lethaia (2006-present); Committee Member, European Society of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (2003-present); Royal Society Exhibitions Committee (2006-present).

May - Oral witness: Lords enquiry Science & Heritage (2006); EU evaluator: 6FP heritage (2004); Coordinator: EU project BIOBRUSH (2002-2005). Editorial Board IBB Journal (2000); Reviewer for Science Total Environment, Water Research; grant reviewer for BBSRC/NERC, Leverhulme, Austrian Science Fund; Royal Society. Editor: Conservation Science: Heritage Materials (RSC, 2006); invited contribution: English Heritage reference text Practical Building Conservation (2006). International Scientific Committee: ABC 2002, New York; Organiser: HMS 2005, Portsmouth. Invited speaker: ISME2004, Cancun; ASM (Toronto, 2007); EU (London 2004), IBBS/Biofilms (Manchester, 2007). Invited researcher: EH/RCUK workshop: heritage research (2006). Invited speaker: workshops Riga/Hildesheim Universities (2005). Visiting researcher: Universidade São Paulo (2007).

- Reviewer of scientific papers for international journals; peer reviewer for European Science Foundation funding applications; convenor of special symposium, “Volcanic flank instability: causes, precursors and associated hazards”, at the 33rd International Geological Congress (date?); invited collaborator in EUROCORE theme proposal, “4-D Topography Evolution in Europe: Uplift, Subsidence and Sea Level Change – The Geoscience of Coupled Deep Earth – Surface Processes (TOPO-EUROPE)”; invited by Halcrow Group to collaborate on ground stability analysis of eastern Sicily and the Messina Straits bridge area; invited by Jacobs Consultancy, to join bid for earthquake preparedness consultancy project in Bangladesh; Visiting Professor, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy.

Smith – Chairman of the UK Coordinating Group on Environmental Radioactivity (2005-present); member of the IAEA Expert Group on the Chernobyl accident (2002-2006); coordinator of the EU INTAS ‘RESPOND’ project on ecological effects of remediation of the Chernobyl Cooling Pond (2002-2005); invited speaker at international meetings in France (2002: Institute of Radioprotection International Seminar Series), Crete (2003: IAEA Countermeasures Workshop), Italy (2006: Italian Radiation Protection Association Chernobyl Conference) and Ukraine (2007: NATO ASI). Reviewer of scientific papers for international journals (e.g. Environmental Science & Technology, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Science of the Total Environment).

Strachan – Chief Editor, Journal of the Geological Society of London (from 2005), Subject Editor (2001-2004); Member, Geological Society of London Awards Committee (from 2005); UK National Correspondent for International Geological Correlation Projects 457 (2001-2004) and 497 (from 2005); member of British Geological Survey (Highlands and Islands) Regional Advisory Panel (from 2003); co-convenor of May 2007 Joint Geological Society of London-Geological Society of America ‘Continental Tectonics’ conference; >1100 citations for journal papers in ISI Web of Science; reviewer of scientific papers for international journals (e.g. Precambrian Research, Geological Magazine) and research grant applications (NERC & NSF).

Teeuw – Council Member, Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society (from 2004); member, Geological Society of London Science Committee (from 2003); Royal Geographical Society Fieldwork and Expeditions Committee (from 2006); Chairman, Geological Remote Sensing Group (from 2003). Review panellist, 2005 NERC Earth Observation conference and 2006 International Association for Mathematical Geology symposium. Co-convenor European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories’ Workshops on ‘Lowland Geohazards’ (2006) and ‘Geohazards in Mountainous Terrain’ (2007). Invited speaker, Geological Society of London Bicentenary Conference. Reviewer of papers for international journals (e.g. Geomorphology); guest editor: International Journal of Remote Sensing.