Category Archives: COMET news

Juliet Biggs receives 2017 AGU Geodesy Section Award

COMET scientist Juliet Biggs will receive the 2017 Geodesy Section Award at this year’s American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans.Juliet Biggs, recipient of the 2017 Geodesy Section Award.The award recognises Juliet’s outstanding contributions to the field of satellite geodesy for understanding both active volcanism and faulting.

On receiving the award, she said: “Many of the previous AGU Geodesy Section Award winners have been role models for me personally, and seeing my name among them is truly humbling.”

You can read the full article on the AGU’s Eos website.

Andy Hooper receives 2016 AGU Macelwane Medal

Congratulations to COMET scientist Professor Andy Hooper, who has been awarded the American Geophysical Union (AGU) James B. Macelwane Medal in recognition of his contributions to the geophysical sciences.


Established in 1961, the medal is given to outstanding early career scientists who have shown depth, breadth, impact, creativity and novelty in their research.

Professor Hooper, who is also Co-Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics at University of Leeds, pioneered the development of new software (StaMPS) to extract ground displacements from time series of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) acquisitions.  StaMPS is now used widely across the Earth Observation community.

He also discovered a new link between ice cap retreat and volcanism via geodetic monitoring from space and subsequent modelling of the 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruptions, and played a significant role in the €6m FUTUREVOLC project, leading the long-term deformation effort to integrate space and ground based observations for improved monitoring and evaluation of volcanic hazards.

Alongside other COMET researchers, he was part of a team contributing to the international scientific response to the earthquake which devastated Nepal in April 2015.

Most recently, working with colleagues from Iceland, he has shed new light on how volcanoes collapse during major eruptions, focusing on the 2014-15 eruption at Bárdarbunga.

Eruption column and lava flow from the air on 22 September 2014. Credit:Thórdís Högnadóttir
Eruption column and lava flow at Bárdarbunga, 22 September 2014. Credit: Thórdís Högnadóttir

Professor Hooper will be presented with the award at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting, where he will also be giving a talk at the Union Session focusing on the new generation of scientists, where he will also be conferred an AGU fellow.

Congratulations Andy from all your colleagues at COMET.

Read more about the latest AGU awards

Dr Paola Crippa awarded L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Fellowship

COMET Research Associate Dr Paola Crippa, from the University of Newcastle, has been awarded a prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO National For Women In Science Fellowship.

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This programme encourages greater participation of women in science across the globe by promoting and rewarding outstanding female postdoctoral researchers.

One of five winners, Paola was selected by a jury of eminent scientists, chaired by Professor Pratibha Gai who was L’Oréal’s International Laureate in 2013.

Her research, focusing on particulate matter transportation and implications for human health,  integrates model results with satellite data to more accurately predict population exposure to harmful concentrations of particulate matter.

Paola will not only benefit from financial support for her research, but also a raft of career and life enhancing experiences such as media training, personal impact coaching, speaking opportunities, networking events and access to senior mentors and role models.

Congratulations Paola from all at COMET.




Professor James Jackson Awarded CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to COMET’s James Jackson who has received a CBE for his services to environmental science.

Professor James Jackson

As well as being Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge, James was one of the founding members of COMET and has been a major contributor to its ongoing success.

James has pioneered the combination of earthquake source seismology, geomorphology, space geodesy and remote sensing to examine how the continents are deforming, looking at scales that range from single earthquakes to the vast continental areas of active plate movement such as Africa, Iran and the Aegean.

He is also currently leading the Earthquakes without Frontiers (EwF) project, which brings together Earth and social scientists, science communicators, policy makers and local and regional organisations to increase resilience to earthquakes in countries across Asia.

 Following the devastating earthquakes earlier this year, the EwF team has been working with colleagues in Nepal with a view to improving resilience to future earthquakes, not just in Nepal and neighbouring countries, but also for earthquake-prone nations across the globe.

COMET Director Tim Wright said “James has had a huge influence on many of us as a scientist, teacher, and colleague, and I congratulate him on this latest award ”.

Earlier this month, James also received the Wollaston Medal, the highest award given by the Geological Society.

Well done James from all at COMET, we wish you continued success.

Notes:  Professor James Jackson is Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge and also a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).  You can read more about James and his work here.

COMET Director receives Rosentiel Award

COMET Director Tim Wright has been selected as the 2015 Rosentiel Award Recipient by the University of Miami (UM) in recognition of his research into deformation of the Earth’s crust in response to tectonic forces.

The Rosenstiel Award honours scientists who, in the past decade, have made significant and growing impacts in their field.  Tim’s major achievements include the discovery of a continental rifting event in Ethiopia’s Afar region, one of the few places on Earth where a mid-ocean ridge comes ashore.

He was also one of the first scientists to measure how plate boundary zones deform, solely relying on satellite observations using a technique called satellite radar interferometry.

Tim presented the 2015 Rosenstiel Award Lecture, “Witnessing the Birth of Africa’s New Ocean” at the UM Rosenstiel School auditorium on Friday 3 April.

You can read more here.

COMET wins Geol Soc 2015 awards

Two COMET scientists are to receive prestigious awards from the Geological Society of London.

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The Society, which has been recognising significant achievements in the Earth sciences since 1831, will be presenting its Wollaston Medal (its highest award, for impacts on pure or applied geology) to COMET’s James Jackson, Professor of Active Tectonics at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Jackson’s work includes research into active tectonics in New Zealand, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Tibet, where he has made vital contributions to understanding the evolution and deformation of the continents, from individual faults to mountain belts.

Professor Geoff Wadge of the University of Reading will meanwhile receive the Murchison Medal, awarded to geologists who have contributed significantly to ‘hard’ rock studies.   Professor Wadge is being recognised for his contributions to geology and remote sensing, including research into volcanology, Caribbean tectonics, and volcanic hazards and risk assessment. The awards will be presented by Geological Society President Professor David Manning at President’s Day on 3 June 2015.


Austin Elliott joins COMET from UC Davis

A warm welcome to Austin Elliott who has just arrived in Oxford to take up a postdoctoral position in remote sensing and field investigations of active faulting and past earthquakes with Dr Richard Walker & Prof Barry Parsons.  Austin is well known for his AGU blog Trembling Earth in which he covers the latest earthquakes. He was previously a PhD student at UC Davis in <a href="http://geology.ucdavis ou acheter viagra sans”>Earth & Planetary Sciences.