In 2021, the TSG Annual Meeting was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. To build on our 2019 gender diversity report, we wanted to begin gathering diversity data proactively and anonymously. This will enable us to be more inclusive of marginalised genders, avoid mis-gendering participants and to collect a wider range of diversity data. We ran a survey of the presenters and session chairs in March 2021, using Google Forms. The data in this post is based on the 73 out of 115 (63% response rate) responses we received, therefore the data presented here is not a complete picture.
The survey was designed to specifically gather data on gender (i.e. man/woman/non-binary), and not sex (i.e. male/female/intersex). This survey also collected data on career stage, sexuality, disability, ethnicity and geography – these identities are experience intersectionally, but we present only independent responses to avoid identifying individuals in our community.
The two infographics below summarise the gender and wider diversity of the presenters. We go into more detail in our Diversity Survey Summary and we also look back at the recommendations of Bubeck and Farrell (2019).
Each year at the TSG annual meeting a number of prizes are awarded to outstanding and stellar early career researchers and students. These prestigious awards support and celebrate the next excellent crop of researchers within the tectonics and structural geology community. Well done to all the prize winners at this years annual meeting, hosted virtually by the Geological Society of London and the Tectonic Studies Group, and thank you to all of the judges!
The Ramsay Medal is awarded to an early career researcher who has published an exceptional independent publication resulting from their PhD thesis, and as always we had a number of excellent nominations this year. The winner of this prestigious award was Kit Hardman, who completed his PhD at Durham University, for his outstanding publication ‘Nature and significance of rift-related, near-surface fissure-fill networks in fractured carbonates below regional unconformities’ in the Journal of the Geological Society. This research examined basement-hosted fault voids: a widely recognised phenomena both at the surface and in recovered subsurface cores, but largely understudied. Through extensive fieldwork, optical microscopy, and structural analysis, Kit and his co-authors presented an overview of fault voids are formed and filled throughout the brittle upper crust, and provided insights on the controls on fluid transport and storage within otherwise impermeable basement rocks. The paper presented examples of fault void formation and filling in the near-surface (<1-2km deep), where dilatant fissures are opened and connected to the surface, and subsequently infilled with sedimentary material, which props the fissures open, preserves sedimentary information, and provides a conduit for fluid circulation.
This was an excellent piece of work and the judging panel were unanimous in their agreement of its high standard. Kit is currently a Scientific Officer operating the laser ablation mass spectrometry suite at the University of Hull, having recently completed his PhD at Durham University.
Other highly commended publications are those of Anna Bidgood and Christopher Tulley. Anna´s publication ‘EBSD based criteria for coesite-quartz transformation’ was published in Journal of Metamorphic Geology, while Christopher´s publication ‘Hydrous oceanic crust hosts megathrust creep at low shear stresses’ was published in Science Advances. Congratulations to Kit, Anna and Christopher for publishing some outstanding papers. Also thank you to our excellent judging panel, Tom Blenkinsop (Cardiff University), Andy Parsons (University of Oxford) and Amicia Lee (Univeristy of Tromsø).
Dave Johnston Mapping Prize
The Dave Johnston Mapping Prize for the best undergraduate student mapping dissertation was awarded to Peter Methley, from University of Cambridge, for their geological mapping of the Geology of the Unité de Taulanne Castellane, Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur, France. The judges were impressed by the attention to detail and publication quality maps.
The runner up was James Ball from the University of Aberdeen who focused on the ‘Structural and Stratigraphic Evolution of Gallego Gorge, Western External Sierras, Spain’. Special mention also goes to Amanda Hughes (Edgehill University) for her geological mapping of Coniston, Cumbria, with an investigation into the Volcanic Event history. A huge thank you goes to the judges who took the time and effort to assess all nominations, including Dave McCarthy (BGS), Lauren Kedar (University of Aberdeen), Billy Andrews (Strathclyde), and Rowan Vernon (BGS).
Sue Treagus Prize for Best Student Poster
This year’s winner of the Sue Treagus Prize for Best Student Poster was Marguerite Mathey, a PhD student from the University Grenoble Alpes. Her poster ‘Present-day geodynamics of the Western Alps: new insights from earthquake mechanisms’. Marguerite’s recently completed her PhD and her research focusses on deciphering the links between surface deformation measured by geodesy, and crustal deformation and seismicity in the Western Alps.
Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk
The winner of the Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk was Lauren Kedar from University of Aberdeen, who gave a talk on ‘Disorder carbon as a potential strain indicator: a case study in the Haut Giffre, French Alps. The judges felt her talk was an excellent quality presentation with an interesting technique. Lauren presented with knowledge of both their work and the application elsewhere while honestly acknowledging and considering the limitations in their methods. Lauren is currently in the 2nd Year of her PhD studies and focusses on the relationship between thermal maturity and deformation localisation in Alpine carbonates.
A close runner up was Jorien van der Wal (RWTH-Aachen). Her talk ‘Active tectonics in slowly deforming, intraplate southern Mongolia’ . Jorien recently completed her PhD at RWTH Aachen and is currently at Utrech University.
The BP Prize is awarded to the overall best student contribution at the TSG annual meeting, as with most years the judging panels for both the talks and posters had a difficult time picking the best contribution. This was partly due to the high standard of student presentations. This year´s BP prize was awarded to Isabel Ashman, a 3rd year PhD student from the Rock Mechanics and Deformation Laboratory at the University of Liverpool, for her poster ‘Dilation and compaction accompanying changes in slip-velocity in clay-bearing fault gouges’. Her lab-based research is focussed on the deformation and mechanical behaviour of phyllosilicate-rich fault zones. Isabel received her undergraduate geology degree in 2017 at Durham University and was awarded the Charles Waites Scholarship to continue her studies in Durham with a research masters degree.
We thank this year’s judges for their efforts and attention during all the student presentations, which included Simon Oldfield, Hamed Fazlikhani, Lucan Mameri, Phil Benson, Tara Stephens and Toby Dalton.
The BritRock prize is awarded for the best PhD presentation (poster or talk) that incorporates a significant element of laboratory rock deformation in the course of the research. The BritRock prize is awarded and sponsored by BritRock, the UK’s Rock Deformation Network. A lot of high quality research, involving challenging laboratory methods, was presented at the 2021 TSG and the judging panel (again) had a tricky time picking a winner.
The judges particularly enjoyed the work of Marguerite Mathey (Univ-Grenoble-Alpes) who presented on ‘Present-day geodynamics of the Western Alps: new insights from earthquake mechanisms’. The winner was Lucille Carbillet, a 2nd Year PhD student from University of Strasbourg, who combined a series of experiments to support new field evidence for understanding the mechanics of faults bearing phyllosillicates, using saw-cut triaxial experiments and structural geology methods. Her presentation ‘Cooking synthetic rocks in the laboratory: preparing “sandstones” with known microstructural attributes’ was given to the highest standards, and with fresh and novel scientific conclusions. A worthy winner.
Congratulations to Lucille and Marguerite, and thank you to Phil Benson for judging the prize.
Earth Science, Systems and Society Inaugural Special issues
It is our pleasure to highlight the launch of a new open access journal ES3(Earth Science, Systems and Society). ES3 is an official journal of the Geological Society focusing on encouraging inclusivity and diversity in publishing, engaging directly with early career researchers, embodying principles of openness and transparency in science, and presenting a forward-looking perspective on geoscience and related disciplines. With a scope covering the breadth of the geosciences, ES3has a special focus on cross-disciplinary research that showcases the relevance of geoscience to sustainability in society.
As part of this launch, ES3 has announced three special issues. We are seeking contributions for research and review papers. The special issues are
More information for each Special Issue is available via the website. We aim for the first articles and Editorial for the sustainability and net zero special issues to be published ahead of COP26 in November 2021, but submissions to the special issues will remain open until December 2022. Submissions for the geohazards special issue are open until 31 December 2021.
Join the Tectonic Studies Group and Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication (Plymouth) and UNESCO Chair of Geoscience and Society, as he discusses the importance of structural geology to meet many of our 21st century challenges – Net Zero, Energy Transition, Natural Hazards and more. Iain’s talk is followed by a panel discussion with structural geologists whose expertise spans geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage, mining, nuclear waste disposal, hydrocarbons and earthquake hazards. – Sign me up
We all miss field work, but since we still can’t really get out together we’re doing the next best thing! We’re kicking off TSG@50 with a virtual fieldtrip to Rhoscolyn on Anglesey, led by Geoff Lloyd (Leeds). Don’t miss this one if you want to learn how the outcrop-scale structures inform our regional-scale understanding of the Rhoscolyn Anticline, or if you want to discuss the new role of virtual geology in the most perfect setting. Be quick, the deadline is on 20th December! – Sign me up
We are super excited to invitie you to TSG@50, our all virtual 2021 AGM and 50th Anniversary Celebration, in the afternoons from 5th – 8th January!!! As sad as we are not to see you all in person, we promise that the virtual event will be almost as great and there will be plenty opportunity for discussion and networking across academia and industry. Make sure not to miss the abstract deadline on the 23rd November!
Registration is only £10, and free for students! So there’s really no excuse not to be there.
Given the ongoing COVID 19 situation, it is with regret that we will not be holding our much anticipated annual meeting and 50th anniversary celebrations in person next year at the Geological Society in London. However, the show must go on (!), and so instead we’re super excited to announce that this years TSG annual meeting will be an online event happening, as usual, in early January! More details to follow soon, so please stay tuned to our website and social media sites. Please also note that submissions for the Dave Johnston Mapping Prize are to be made digitally this year.
In an overwhelming response to the spread of Covid-19, which had most of us confined to our homes and put a sudden halt to hands-on teaching, the geoscience community made available a host of digital resources for online teaching including virtual field trips, digital microscopy platforms and thin section collections, online lectures, and so much more. TSG is collating some of these to make them more accessible. Please help us grow this collection by forwarding any useful material you may come across to TSG.
We as an academic community stand in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and with our Black colleagues.
Science does not exist in a bubble, and our biases affect every level of academic society, from undergraduate admissions to who gets to talk at conferences.
It is not enough for us to simply say “I’m not racist”. It is our responsibility for the good of science and society to listen, educate ourselves and change our practices. We are committed to listen, learn and challenge racism and bias within our community.
Our code of conduct explicitly states that we will not tolerate racist comments or jokes towards any member. We are a small organisation, but we can do more and we want to lead positive change.