Eminent geologist is winner of top award

AWARD Dr Rob Strachan
AWARD Dr Rob Strachan

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A UNIVERSITY of Portsmouth scientist has won a prestigious award for his major contribution to the field of geology.

Dr Rob Strachan, head of the school of earth and environmental sciences, is this year’s recipient of the Geological Society’s Coke Medal.

His research, which has been published over the last 30 years, is mainly in the areas of structural geology, tectonics, mapping and fieldwork.

Dr Strachan, who has taught thousands of undergraduates, is also the author of university textbooks.

He said: ‘Some of the most memorable moments in my career come from geological mapping in north-east Greenland. I was 300 miles away from the nearest habitation and where I was walking might not have ever been walked on by a human before.

‘Geology is a bit like detective work – you’re trying to work out how the rocks that we see on the surface of the Earth evolved through time.

‘Some were formed 30km or 40km underground billions of years ago when continents were in a completely different arrangement to the present day.’

Over the last 20 years Dr Strachan has remapped the geology of large parts of northern Scotland for the British Geological Survey.