2017 News

16/11/2017- TSG are delighted to support the “Young Researchers in Structural Geology and Tectonics”.

TSG are delighted to be supporting the “Young Researchers in Structural Geology and Tectonics” (YORSGET) conference, 2-6 JULY 2018, in Montgenevre, France. The week-long event consists of intercalated workshops, conference sessions, and field trips, and is aimed primarily at ECRs in the broad field of structural geology and tectonics. The field trips will visit some world-famous examples of structural geology and tectonics, from outcrop to regional scale.

Registration opens in December. For more information, visit the conference webpage: https://conferences.leeds.ac.uk/yorsget/

10/10/2017- Registration open for Tectonics Studies Group & Metamorphic Studies Group joint meeting, Plymouth.

We are happy to announce Early Bird registration and abstract submission is open and will be available until 12:00 noon on 17th November 2017 using the below link:


We look forward to seeing you there for what promises to be an exciting showcase in the latest developments in tectonics, structural geology and metamorphic geology.

10/10/2017 – New Travel Bursary Report

The travel bursary report which helped PhD Student Thomas Phillips from Imperial Collage London attend the IMAG(in)ING RIFTING workshop in the Swiss Alps during September 2017. See previous funding awards for details of Thomas and our other bursary winners, their research and there TSG-supported experiences.

10/10/2017 – TSG field trip to California report availible

The report for the TSG led field trip to California is now available here. It was a very successful trip, interesting geology and the photos are stunning!


12/09/2017 – Three new Bursary Reports!

We have THREE new blogs from TSG Travel Bursary award winners. In April, PhD student Stephan Gehn from University of Portsmouth presented at the EGU General Assembly 2017 with support from a TSG bursary, another bursary helped Dr Penny Wilson from Kingston University to attend an AAPG Workshop in New Zealand. Most recently, Dr Alodie Bubeck from the University of Leicester presented at the DRT conference in Inverness with a little help from a TSG bursary. See previous funding awards for details of our bursary winners, their research, and TSG-supported experiences.

 23/08/2017 – Travel Bursary closed until January 2018

Due to an increased volume bursary awards, applications for our travel bursary will be closed for the remainder of the year. Travel bursary applications will reopen in January 2018 and the committee will adopt a new strategy for 2018 to enable applications for travel later in the year.

 09/05/2017 – Ramsay Medal Award winner features in EOS

Andy Parsons the TSG 2017 Ramsay Medal Award winner writes about the models for Himalayan evolution featured in his award winning paper for EOS.


09/05/2017 – Folding and Fracturing of Rocks – 50 years of research since the seminal textbook of JG. Ramsay

2017 marks 50 years since the publication of the seminal Structural Geology textbook by John G. Ramsay on the Folding and Fracturing of Rocks. A special session at EGU was organised to celebrate the publication with John Ramsay. The session and associated reception was co-sponsored by TSG and TecTask. TSG chair Clare Bond has written a blog on the session for EGU.


09/05/2017 – Dates for the diary: TSG annual meeting 2018: 03/01/2018 – 05/01/2018

We are excited to announce the dates for the 2018 TSG annual meeting to be held at Plymouth University between the 3rd and 5th ofJanurary 2018. A number of workshops will be held on Saturday the 6th and further details will be announced in the coming months.


09/05/2017 – New Bursary report!

Congratulations to Jordan Phethean, who presented his poster on ‘The Rovuma Transform Margin: the enigmatic continent-ocean boundary of East Africa’ at EGU 2017 with the assistance of a TSG bursary. See Previous funding awards for details of his experience.


09/05/2017 – TSG 2017 Prize winners!

The TSG awards were announced at the Joint Assembly, a special meeting of the TSG, VSMG and BGA groups in January this year (apologise for the delay due to committee hand over). These awards support and celebrate outstanding early career researchers within the global TSG community. Well done to our fantastic prize winners, and a huge thank you to the judges, and to those who nominated individuals for some of the awards.

Ramsay Medal 

The Ramsay Medal is awarded to the best publication arising from PhD work that was published in the previous year. A total of 11 nominations were put forward for the 2017 Ramsay Medal, from institutions around the world.

The winner of this prestigious award is Dr Andrew Parsons for his outstanding paper ‘Thermo-kinematic evolution of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Himalaya, central Nepal: The Composite Orogenic System’. The judging panel felt that Andrew’s paper not only stands out amongst the body of Himalayan literature, but also has much broader implications and applications. The panel added that they felt the paper was in the spirit of John Ramsay, with mapping and techniques over a multitude of scales, pulled together into an elegant final model. Praise indeed! Andrew completed his PhD from the University of Leeds in 2015, under the supervision of Dr Richard Phillips, Dr Geoffrey Lloyd, Prof. Rick Law (Virginia Tech), and Prof. Mike Searle (University of Oxford). He is now working at the Geological Survey of Canada, on the terrane interaction in the Canadian Cordillera.

The close runner-up was Dr Alodie Bubeck. The judges felt that her paper, ‘Pore geometry as a control on rock strength’ is a potential game-changer in a variety of sub-disciplines of the Earth Sciences, and is likely to be highly cited over the next few years. Alodie was awarded her PhD from the University of Cardiff on the structural evolution of volcanic rift systems in 2016, and she continues to work on this topic in her new post at the Univesity of Leicester.

Two other papers stood out amongst the nominations. One of these was by Stefan Vollgger, a Research Associate at Monash University. The judges saw how Stefan’s paper ‘Mapping folds and fractures in basement and cover rocks using UAV photogrammetry, Cape Liptrap and Cape Paterson, Victoria, Australia’ shines a light on future direction in the use of UAVs in structural geology. The other noteable paper was by Tom Phillips who is currently completing his PhD at Imperial College London. Tom’s work on the ‘reactivation of intrabasement structures during rifting: A case study from offshore southern Norway’ is applicable in many locations and is a topic of much interest.

Congratulations to Andy, Alodie, Stefan and Tom for publishing some outstanding papers.

Thank you to our excellent judging panel, which was chaired by Dr Ake Farange (Cardiff University), also included Dr Laura Gregory (University of Leeds), Dr Carl Stevenson (University of Birmingham), Dr William McCarthy (St Andrews University), Dr Tom Mitchell (University College London) and Dr Catherine Mottram (University of Portsmouth and winner of last year’s Ramsay Medal).


Ramsay Medal winner Dr Andrew Parsons during fieldwork.

Ramsay Medal winner Dr Andrew Parsons during fieldwork.

Dave Johnston Mapping Prize

The Dave Johnston Mapping Prize is awarded for the best undergraduate student mapping dissertation. There were a record 14 nominations this year, covering a broad range of field areas. The judging panel commented that all of the submitted maps were noteable for the ease at which the casual reader can extract important observations, and link those to well thought out interpretations. Each of the top submissions had something in common: it would be possible to take their map or notebook into the field, and find the features they had described, and understand the rationale for their interpretation. The work of the top three students had particular distinguishing features that made them particularly excellent. These top dogs were:

3rd place – honorable mention: Zach Killingback, Durham University

Zach’s project on the Lizard, Cornwall, covered a huge coastal expanse. Of particular note though was how Zach had made excellent use of multiple mapping scales to build up the detail for the area, and almost to the point that it appeared the whole ~20km2 had been mapped at a 1:1000 scale.

2nd place – runner up: Chris Gregson, Liverpool University

Chris mapped the NE of Arran, and in doing so had to deal with multiple deformation sets across multiple time scales. He made excellent use of deformation history systematic – field-based statistics – to unravel the relative timings of events based on a combination of observation and probability; something that perhaps professional geologists should be encouraged more to do.

1st place – winner! Billy Andrews, University of Leeds

Billy’s work was truly excellent. The level of detail recorded in the notebook was exceptional, using sketch maps and perspective drawings to map in key relationships. The topography and exposure in the area being mapped (Panticosa, Spain) made the work more challenging, but by integrating aerial imagery and topographic datasets, Billy was able to produce an impressive geological map, consistent with the collected data.

Since graduating with his BSc (Hons) Geological Sciences from which the University of Leeds in 2016, Billy has started a PhD in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde. His work is exploring architecture and hydrogeological properties of faults cutting coal bearing sediments – and has a strong fieldwork element. Excellent!



Panticosta, Spain, where Billy Andrews, winner of the Dave Johnston Mapping Prize, completed his outstanding undergraduate mapping project.

Panticosta, Spain, where Billy Andrews, winner of the Dave Johnston Mapping Prize, completed his outstanding undergraduate mapping project.

Once again, a huge thank you goes to the judges for their hard work, including Rich Walker (University of Leicester), Elisabetta Mariani (University of Liverpool), David Wallis (Oxford University), John MacDonald (St Andrews), and Dave McCarthy (BGS).

 Sue Treagus Prize for Best Student Poster

The winner of the Sue Treagus Prize for Best Student Poster was Yukitsugu Totake, a second-year PhD student from the University of Aberdeen. There was a grand total of 44 student posters at the conference this year, and Yuki’s poster on ‘linkage and imbrication of fold-thrust structures, offshore Northwest Borneo’ (held in the structure and mechanics of fault zones session (session 6) of the Joint Assembly) was judged to be top of the crop. Yoki’s PhD is exploring the geometries and kinematics of fold-thrust structures in multi-layered clastic sequences, and supervised by Dr Robert Butler, Dr Clare Bond, and Dr David Lacopini.

Thank you to our excellent poster judges, Jon Pownall, Alistair McCay, Koen Torremans, Stephanie Zhims, John Wheeler, Luca Menegon, Mark Allen, and Zoe Shipton.


Yoki Totake who was awarded the Sue Treagus prize stands next to his winning poster.

Yukitsugu Totake who was awarded the Sue Treagus prize stands next to his winning poster.

Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk

It was a home run for final year PhD student John Bedford who was awarded the Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk. John is completing his PhD at the University of Liverpool on the mechanics and kinetics of a dehydrating system and the deformation of porous rock. His superb talk, ‘Deforming porous rock: yield curve evolution and the implications for compaction, dilatation and localisation’ was held in session 14 of the Joint Assembly (new frontiers in experimentation, rock physics and magma rheology) which is worth mentioning that he had the 9 am slot the morning after the conference dinner… so very well done John!

Special mention also goes to Aberdeen University MSc student, Timothy Davis, for his talk on exploring vesicle (pore) geometry and orientation on basalt strength.

Huge thanks to our dedicated talk judges, which included Jon Bull, Steph Zihms, Roisin Kyne, William McCarthy, Natalie Farrell, Alodie Bubeck, Phil Benson, and Clare Bond.

John Bedford who was awarded the Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk.

John Bedford who was awarded the Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk.

BritRock Prize 

The BritRock prize is a new for 2017, and 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 prize was awarded to 3rd year PhD student Christopher Harbord from Durham University, for his talk on the ‘frictional instability of rough faults in granites’, which was part of Session 6, the structure and mechanics of fault zones III at the Joint Assembly. The judges felt that Chris gave a professional and enjoyable talk. In particular, Chris detailed how he had developed the both the equipment and related method in order to generate new laboratory data to support his hypothesis, and then linked back to the experimental observations by a newly developed model and post-test structural analysis.

Other presentations that impressed the judges included the posters of Blaise Winnard (UCL) and Imogen Kempton (Oxford University).

Well done Chris, Blaise and Imogen, and thank you to the judging panel, Phil Benson and Dave Healey.

 Christopher Harbord the first winner of the BritRock prize.

Christopher Harbord the first winner of the BritRock prize.

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