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Council Elections

Council Elections 2024

Call for nominations for Council members

Would you like to contribute to the Society’s work as a Council member?

Nominations are sought for new Council members to replace the six members due to retire at the Annual General Meeting on 12 June 2024. Council is comprised of 23 members who serve as the Society’s trustees. You can view our current Council members here.

Trustees have collective responsibility for overseeing the Society’s purpose, values, vision, and strategy. They take the big strategic decisions and make sure we are carrying out the Society’s purposes for the public benefit, acting in the charity’s best interests, managing our resources responsibly, being accountable, and acting in accordance with the rules.

Council meets five times a year, usually on Wednesday afternoons. There is also an annual one-day strategy meeting, usually in late September, to discuss major strategic issues. Most meetings are held virtually, but some are hybrid.

In addition to Council meetings, members also serve on one Standing Committee (External Relations, Finance & Planning, Professional & Chartership, Publications & Information, and Science). Standing committees ordinarily meet three or four times a year, mostly virtually. The typical time commitment for ordinary Council members is eight to ten days annually. Click here to view our Standing Committees

Candidacy for election to Council is open to any Fellow. The Society is keen that the membership of Council reflects our diverse community and nominations from currently under-represented groups are especially welcome.

Details of the elections process can be found on the nomination form and the candidate advice below including further information about serving on Council and guidance on how to complete your supporting statement.

Council nomination form 2024

Council candidate advice 2024

Please submit nominations by 23:59 on 12 January 2024 for the Fellowship’s electronic ballot in March. The candidates receiving the most votes are then formally approved at the AGM on 12 June 2024.

Please contact [email protected] with any queries.

Newly elected Council members 2023-24

Following their formal election at the Annual General Meeting on 14 June 2023, we would like to extend a warm welcome to Prof Jon Gluyas as President-designate and four new Council members: Dr David Giles, Prof Sian Davies-Vollum, Dr Chiara Petrone and Liz Withington. 

Prof Jon Gluyas

Prof John GluyasI am a geologist with 41 years’ experience in industry and academia. I became a Geological Society Fellow in 1978 and have served the society on Publications, Awards and Remuneration committees as well as Council (2004-2007, including Strategic Planning Committee). I compiled and edited Memoirs 20 and 52 as well as serving as organiser and proceedings editor on several Barbican and Society applied geoscience conferences. In 2000 I was awarded the Aberconway Medal.

As a leader, I have been Chair of the BGS Board, President of the Petroleum Exploration
Society of Great Britain and Earth Science Teachers Association, and am now the founding President of the Geothermal Energy Advancement Association. From 2011-2014, I served as Head of Department in Earth Sciences at Durham University.

Since joining Durham University in 2009, I have helped drive the national agenda on carbon capture and storage, and have led both the research and deployment of geothermal energy in the UK. Other research has included the co-creation and testing of the first ever exploration strategy for helium and the beginnings of the same for natural hydrogen.

April 2023 will see me step down from my current role as Executive Director Durham Energy Institute having led it for six years. It is time for a new challenge, and I relish the opportunity to lead our wonderful Society, a society which should and will play a critical role in the global energy transition as well as helping ensure the global-society gets to live on a sustainable planet where resources are used and reused wisely.

Prof Sian Davies-Vollum

sian davies-vollumI am environmental geoscientist with a background in fluvial and coastal systems. Recently I have focussed on climate change and environmental hazards in coastal environments and I co-lead the international Resilient Lagoon Network. I was previously Head of Built and Natural Environment at the University of Derby and am now Professor of Environmental Geoscience and Deputy Dean at University of Northampton.

Since 2016, I have been a member of Universities Geoscience UK (UGUK), serving as Executive as Secretary and Vice Chair. In those roles, I have worked closely with Society on geoscience education and contributed to development of the Geological Society - UGUK university recruitment strategy.

I led the 2022 revision of the subject benchmark statement (SBS) for Earth/Environmental Science degrees, which guides their content and delivery. I am on Society’s Joint Higher Education Committee and Degree Accreditation Panel and played a large role in revising the accreditation, enabling its alignment with the new SBS. I am also a member of the trailblazer group developing a degree apprenticeship in geoscience.

I want to bring my experience to Council to raise awareness of geology as a subject critical to our sustainable future and to ensure it attracts a diverse mix of next-generation geoscientists.

Dr David Giles

David GilesI am an engineering geologist with over 40 years’ experience in academia and industry. I am a Chartered Geologist, RoGEP Adviser and currently Technical Director of Card Geotechnics (CGL) Ltd. I graduated from the Portsmouth Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree and my experience includes 28 years lecturing in Engineering Geology at Portsmouth having previously worked for the BGS and Mott MacDonald.

My geological interests include Quaternary engineering geology, engineering geomorphology, geological hazards, and remote sensing. My PhD focused on computer-based modelling and analysis in engineering geology. I have published over 65 papers and supervised seven PhD theses. Externally, I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the British Geotechnical Association and Quaternary Research associations and Member of Ground Engineering Editorial Advisory Board.

I am an active member of the Engineering Group, a past Chair, and member of Geological Society Working Parties including chairing UK Geological Hazards and contributing to the Engineering Geology and Geomorphology of Glaciated and Periglaciated Terrains. My role within the Engineering Group focuses on convening the annual field meeting undertaken for the past 25 years. I remain passionate about geology being principally a field-based discipline for all aspects of the subject.

Dr Chiara Maria Petrone

Dr Chiara Maria PetroneThe Geological Society plays a fundamental role in supporting, advancing and promoting Earth Science in UK and worldwide. As an active researcher in the UK, I strongly believe that it is my duty to contribute to raise the profile of Earth science via my research and my expertise at the service of the community. I strongly value a fair, inclusive and transparent environment, where everybody can thrive and inclusion, collaboration, supporting careers and education is at the core. I care about inclusivity, fairness and making science accessible and relevant to people. I believe that as a woman that also belongs to the LGBTQ+ community and as a non-UK born, I can offer a different perspective to the Council enhancing the relevance of Earth science in our society.

I am Principal Researcher and head of the Volcano Petrology group at the Natural History Museum of London. I am also Co-Editor-in-Chief for Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL) and Science Officer of the EGU Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology &
Volcanology (GMPV) Division. I was committee member of Mineralogical Society and of Volcanic and Magmatic Specialist Group (VMSG). My research focusses on fundamental questions on the tempo, architecture, origin, evolution, dynamics and impact of magmatic systems and their eruptions.

Elizabeth Withington

Elizabeth WithingtonGrowing up in in the West Midlands, my formative years were spent amongst pit banks, mining subsidence and quarries. Blessed with inspiration from my A-Level geology teacher I subsequently studied Earth Sciences at Oxford Brookes, followed by an MSc in Foundation Engineering from the University of Birmingham. On graduation, I was fortunate to work on the BGS summer fieldwork program and then gain my first position within a consultancy specializing in land reclamation. From here I have worked as a local authority officer, a geotechnical consultant and a GI contractor for the past 30 plus years. I became a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1988.

I am the current Secretary of the Western Regional Group and a former committee member and Chairperson of the Midland Geotechnical Society. My current focus is to encourage Earth Sciences as a career by talking to students and parents in schools, and by supporting those with influence to policy makers to effect change. Furthermore, within my industry I am passionate about encouraging professional development and support towards Chartership. I have a particular interest in helping geologists working within the ground investigation contracting industry to gain a route to Chartership.

Please note that Prof James Griffiths, Secretary Professional will remain on Council for a further year in order to provide continuity. Martin Griffin was formally made Vice President – EDI, and Michael Kehinde was formally made Secretary, Foreign and External Affairs at the 2023 AGM.

To view the full list of Council Members 2023-2024, please visit our Council page.