Presidents of the Geological Society of London

Posted May 31, 2011
This list has 96 members.

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  1. Adam Sedgwick

    Adam Sedgwick


    Adam Sedgwick (22 March 1785 – 27 January 1873) was one of the founders of modern geology. He proposed the Devonian period of the geological timescale. Later, he proposed the Cambrian period, based on work which he did on Welsh rock strata.

  2. Charles Lyell

    Charles Lyell


    Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, FRS (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularized James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism—the idea that the Earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today. Principles of Geology also challenged theories popularized by Georges Cuvier, which were the most accepted and circulated ideas about geology in England at the time.

  3. Janet Watson

    Janet Watson


    Professor Janet Vida Watson FRS FGS (1923–1985) was a British geologist. She was the first woman to become president of the Geological Society of London.

  4. Roderick Murchison

    Roderick Murchison


    Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet KCB DCL FRS FRSE FLS PRGS PBA MRIA (22 February 1792 – 22 October 1871) was a Scottish geologist who first described and investigated the Silurian system.

  5. Thomas Henry Huxley

    Thomas Henry Huxley


    Thomas Henry Huxley PC PRS FLS (/ˈhʌksli/; 4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist (comparative anatomist), known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

  6. Steve Sparks (volcanologist)

    Steve Sparks (volcanologist)


    Robert Stephen John Sparks, FRS, CBE (b. 15 May 1949), is Chaning Wills Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. He is one of the world's leading volcanologists and has been widely recognised for his work in this field.

  7. George Bellas Greenough

    George Bellas Greenough


    George Bellas Greenough FRS FGS (18 January 1778 – 2 April 1855) was an English geologist.

  8. William Buckland

    William Buckland


    William Buckland DD FRS (12 March 1784 – 14 August 1856) was an English theologian who became Dean of Westminster. He was also a geologist and palaeontologist, writing the first full account of a fossil dinosaur, which he named Megalosaurus. His work proving that Kirkdale Cave had been a prehistoric hyena den, for which he was awarded the Copley Medal, was praised as an example of how scientific analysis could reconstruct events from the distant past. He was a pioneer in the use of fossilised faeces, for which he coined the term coprolites, to reconstruct ancient ecosystems.

  9. George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll

    George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll


    George John Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll, KGKTPCFRSFRSE (30 April 1823 – 24 April 1900), styled Marquess of Lorne until 1847, was a Scottish peer and Liberal politician as well as a writer on science, religion, and the politics of the 19th century.

  10. William Whewell

    William Whewell


    William Whewell FRS FGS (/ˈhjuːəl/ HEW-əl; 24 May 1794 – 6 March 1866) was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In his time as a student there, he achieved distinction in both poetry and mathematics.

  11. Edward Howel Francis

    Edward Howel Francis


    (Edward) Howel Francis, BSc, DSc, FRSE, FGS (31 May 1924 – 22 May 2014) was a British geologist and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Leeds. He was President of the Geological Society of London from 1980 to 1982.

  12. John Walter Gregory

    John Walter Gregory


    John Walter Gregory, FRS, (27 January 1864 – 2 June 1932) was a British geologist and explorer, known principally for his work on glacial geology and on the geography and geology of Australia and East Africa.

  13. William Whitehead Watts

    William Whitehead Watts


    William Whitehead Watts FRS (7 June 1860 – 30 July 1947) was a British geologist. He was born at Broseley, Shropshire, son of farmer Isaac Watts, and educated at Denstone College, and at Sidney Sussex College, of which he was a fellow in 1888–94, and he was also an extension lecturer of the university in 1882–91. He gained first class honours in geology in 1881, graduated BA in 1882 and MA in 1885, and became ScD in 1909. He lectured for the Cambridge University Extension Scheme for ten years. He began to study the geology of Shropshire and his first paper on the subject was published in 1885. He worked with Charles Lapworth on Shelve and the Corndon and taught at Mason College (which later became Birmingham University) during Lapworth's absence.

  14. John Wesley Judd

    John Wesley Judd


    John Wesley Judd (18 February 1840 – 3 March 1916) was a British geologist.

  15. Alfred Harker (petrologist)

    Alfred Harker (petrologist)


    Alfred Harker FRS (19 February 1859 – 28 July 1939) was an English geologist who specialised in petrology and interpretive petrography. He worked for the Geological Survey of Scotland and conducted extensive surveying and geological studies of western Scotland and the Isle of Skye. He and other British geologists pioneered the use of thin sections and the petrographic microscope in interpretive petrology.

  16. Peter Martin Duncan

    Peter Martin Duncan


    Peter Martin Duncan FRS (20 April 1824 – 28 May 1891) was an English palaeontologist.

  17. Arthur Smith Woodward

    Arthur Smith Woodward


    Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, FRS (23 May 1864 – 2 September 1944) was an English palaeontologist, known as a world expert in fossil fish. He also described the Piltdown Man fossils, which were later determined to be fraudulent. He is not related to Henry Woodward, whom he replaced as curator of the Geology Department of the British Museum of Natural History.

  18. Mark Moody-Stuart

    Mark Moody-Stuart


    Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (born 15 September 1940, Antigua) was appointed non-executive chairman of Anglo American PLC in 2001, serving until 2009. He has been Chairman of Hermes Equity Ownership Services since 2009.

  19. Ronald Oxburgh, Baron Oxburgh

    Ronald Oxburgh, Baron Oxburgh


    Ernest Ronald Oxburgh, Baron Oxburgh, KBE, FRS, HonFREng (born 2 November 1934) is a geologist and geophysicist. Lord Oxburgh is well known for his work as a public advocate in both academia and the business world in addressing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and develop alternative energy sources as well as his negative views on the consequences of current oil consumption.

  20. Bernard Elgey Leake

    Bernard Elgey Leake


    Bernard Elgey Leake (born 9 July 1932) is an English geologist. He is Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Glasgow, was Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow at Cardiff University 2000-2002 and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University since 1997.

  21. John William Evans (geologist)

    John William Evans (geologist)


    John William Evans (27 July 1857 – 16 November 1930) was a British geologist. Evans was president of the Geological Society of London 1924–26. He received its Murchison Medal in 1922.

  22. Arthur Elijah Trueman

    Arthur Elijah Trueman


    Sir Arthur Elijah Trueman, KBE FRS FRSE FGS, (26 April 1894 – 5 January 1956) was a British geologist.

  23. Henry Hicks (geologist)

    Henry Hicks (geologist)


    Henry Hicks, MRCS, FRS (26 May 1837 – 18 November 1899) was a Welsh physician, surgeon, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), geologist, President of the Geological Society and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). He studied the Precambrian rocks of Anglesey, Caernarvonshire and Pembrokeshire, the Devonian rocks of Devon and Somerset, cave deposits and other Quaternary sediments.

  24. Oliver Bulman

    Oliver Bulman


    Oliver Meredith Boone Bulman (20 May 1902 – 18 February 1974) was a British palaeontologist. He was Woodwardian Professor of Geology at the University of Cambridge.

  25. John Edward Marr

    John Edward Marr


    John Edward Marr FGS FRS (14 June 1857 – 1 October 1933) was a British geologist. After studying at Lancaster Royal Grammar School he matriculated to St John's College, Cambridge, graduating with First Class Honours in 1878. Following undergraduate work in the Lake District he travelled to Bohemia to investigate the fossil collection of Joachim Barrande, where his work won him the Sedgwick Prize in 1882. In 1886 Marr became University Lecturer at the University of Cambridge Department of Geology, a position he held for 32 years until he succeeded Thomas McKenny Hughes as Woodwardian Professor of Geology in 1917. Having retired as a professor in 1930, he died on 1 October 1933.

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