1st February 2021 (Zoom 7pm) – Living with a Shrinking Nile for 6,000 Years:geoscience and archaeology in Northern Sudan

Prof Jamie Woodward, who spoke to us in June 2019 about microplastics in Manchester’s rivers, will return to talk to us about the Nile. More details to follow.

Jamie Woodward

Jamie Woodward

NB this talk was going to be given in March 2020, but unfortunately Prof Woodward had to attend an out-of-town conference that day. It was rescheduled for the summer, but had to be postponed again because of the pandemic. Fingers crossed for this time!

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4th January 2021 (Zoom 7pm) – Above and Beyond: Drones Are Changing the Way we Monitor Volcanoes

Dr Emma Liu, University College London will give this talk. Some background (taken directly from https://festivalofgeology.org.uk/): “Volcanology is undergoing an aerial revolution. Drone technology is changing the way we collect data across the geosciences, especially in fields that require measurements over large spatial areas or in potentially hazardous locations; not only can we see the Earth from a new perspective, but we can also collect measurements and samples from places that would be otherwise inaccessible. As global populations now live closer to active volcanoes than ever before, volcano monitoring – through measuring gas emissions or topographic changes, for example – is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. In this talk, I will introduce how aerial strategies are improving our ability to both monitor and respond to volcanic hazards, and how these approaches are being integrated into operational monitoring at volcano observatories around the world. Drawing on my own active research from volcanoes in Papua New Guinea, Hawai’i and the South Sandwich Islands, I will highlight how we are now pushing the frontiers of drone design and deployment to fly higher and further than ever before; targeting beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights at high-altitude active volcanoes.”

Dr Emma Liu
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7th December 2020 (Zoom 7pm) – Invasive Plant Species

Invasive Plant Species – Bogeyman or Ecological Disaster?

Dr Arthur Broadbent of the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester will lead the discussion.


Himalayan Balsam

“Novel weapons”, “Enemy Release” “Invasional Meltdown” – these are some of the more popular hypotheses proposed to explain the paradoxical success of invasive plants. But is this militaristic language justified? Are invasive plants really such a threat? And what does explain their unlikely prominence?

Dr Broadbent will present the evidence surrounding the underlying causes of plant invasions, and with a more nuanced take on their ecological impact.

NB this talk was originally going to be given on 2nd September 2019, but had to be rearranged to April 2020 due to an unforeseen bovine intervention, and then postponed again because of the pandemic.


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2nd November 2020 (Zoom 7pm) – Tribology of Spacecraft Mechanisms: 48-million Miles Without an Oil Change

Following on from our September 2019 talk on tribology on earth by John Anderson, Dr Michael Buttery Snr. Project Scientist, ESR Technology, Engineering Safety and Risk will talk about tribology in space.

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5th October 2020 (Zoom 7pm) – How Our Genome Affects Our Health

Dr. Arijit Mukhopadhyay, Reader in Human Genetics, University of Salford will be talking about the relationship between our genome and our health.

Subsequent to the meeting, Arijit recorded his talk, and it can be seen here:


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7th September 2020 (Zoom 7pm) – Geo-Thermal Energy

John Midgely, recently retired Technical Manager, UK Geoenergy Observatories, BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, will give a talk on the subject of Geo-Thermal Energy focussing on:

  • Subsurface activities re. decarbonisation and cover;
  • An update of UKGESO projects, including the Cheshire Energy Research Field Site (CERFS);
  • Recent projects on Geothermal energy
  • Risks and Challenges on working in the ‘dark zone’ (below aquifer, above hydrocarbons)
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