Category Archives: Awards

Professor Tamsin Mather elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Professor Tamsin Mather, COMET Scientist and Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, is amongst the distinguished group of scientists who have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society this year. This highly prestigious title is awarded to scientists who have made an exceptional and important contribution to science.

Professor Mather’s work is certainly deserving of this honour, as she has produced significant advances in the understanding of volcanoes and volcanic behaviour. Working across different areas of expertise, her research includes the study of atmospheric chemistry of volcanic plumes, magma movement and the flow of fluids under and through volcanic areas, volcanic deformation, and past eruptive behaviour. The drive behind these varied investigations is to understand volcanoes as a natural hazard, but also as key resources (e.g., geothermal power) and as an important planetary process that contributes to maintaining the environment and driving change. Professor Mather’s contributions to the field include the discovery that volcanic vents perform nitrogen fixation, which may have been crucial during the early evolution of life on Earth, and the potential of the element mercury as a tracer for past large-scale volcanism, with widespread environmental impacts.

The many honours bestowed on Professor Mather for her important contributions to the field include the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award (2018) and Geochemistry Fellowship of the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry (2022), which is bestowed upon outstanding scientists who have made a major, long-term contribution to the field of geochemistry. She is also a Fellow of The Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and AI (2021) and was elected to Academia Europaea in 2021.

Professor Mather’s contributions to science extend beyond her research, including science communication, advocacy, and working to increase diversity and inclusion in the sciences. If you want to hear or read more about her work and experiences, her book, Adventures in Volcanoland, was published in April 2024 and combines exciting scientific discoveries with personal stories, or you could listen to ‘Supervolcanoes’ on the BBC’s Infinite Monkey Cage podcast:

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, commented on the list of awards this year:

“I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society. This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry. From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges. It is an honour to have them join the Fellowship.”

COMET would like to offer warm congratulations to Professor Mather on receiving her Fellowship of the Royal Society!

Professor David Pyle awarded Geological Society Murchison Medal

COMET Scientist Professor David Pyle (University of Oxford) is the recipient of the 2024 Murchison Medal, awarded by the Geological Society of London for his considerable contributions to the field of volcanology.

The Murchison Medal is awarded to geologists who have contributed significantly to ‘hard’ rock studies.  David is an internationally recognised volcanologist who has made outstanding contributions to understanding volcanic deposits and processes, using pioneering methods to characterise and classify tephra fall deposits and infer erupted volumes.

The Geological Society will host a formal awards ceremony on 12 June with more details of the day to be shared via its magazine Geoscientist, website and social media channels.

Congratulations David from all of your colleagues at COMET!

Edna Dualeh: 2024 Willy Aspinall Prize


VMSG has recently announced its 2024 award winners and we are delighted to announce that COMET staff researcher Edna Dualeh has been named as the recipient of the 2024 Willy Aspinall Prize for an outstanding paper on applied volcanology.

Edna’s work on St. Vincent was part of her PhD with COMET Scientist Susanna Ebmeier and COMET Director, Tim Wright both based at the University of Leeds.

You can read Edna’s winning paper here:

Huge congratulations to Edna from all your colleagues at COMET!

Zoe Mildon: Bullerwell Lecturer 2023


The BGA is delighted to announce that COMET associate, Dr. Zoe Mildon from University of Plymouth, is the Bullerwell Lecturer for 2023! Zoe’s research is focused on understanding tectonics, active faulting and earthquakes. She currently holds a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship investigating earthquake interaction and seismic hazard.

Congratulations Zoe!

Bullerwell Lecturer 2023 | The British Geophysical Association (

Dr Susanna Ebmeier awarded 2022 AGU John Wahr Early Career Award


The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has recently announced its 2022 section award winners and named lecturers.

We are delighted to announce that COMET scientist Dr Susanna Ebmeier has been named as the recipient of the 2022 John Wahr Early Career Award in the Geodesy section.

The John Wahr Early Career Award is presented annually and recognizes significant advances in geodetic science, technology, applications, observations, or theory.

The winners will be celebrated at the AGU Annual Meeting taking place 12 – 16 December 2022 in Chicago.

Huge congratulations to Susi from all colleagues within COMET.

2022 AGU Section Awardees and Named Lecturers – Eos

Tim Craig: Bullerwell Lecturer 2022

The BGA is delighted to announce that Dr Tim Craig from University of Leeds, is the Bullerwell Lecturer for 2022. The main focus of his research is the relation between intraplate earthquakes and tectonics. Tim completed his PhD in 2013 on the topic Constraining Lithosphere Rheology using Earthquake Seismology at Bullard Laboratories in University of Cambridge; this was followed by a PDRA position in pRais, before moving to Leeds in 2015.

Bullerwell Lecturer 2022 | The British Geophysical Association (

Congratulations Tim from all your colleagues at COMET!

Tim Craig Winner of the 2022 EGU Geodynamics Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) has named the 50 recipients of next year’s Union Medals and Awards, Division Medals, and Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Awards.

We are delighted to announce, COMET scientist Dr Tim Craig based at the University of Leeds has been named as next year’s winner of the 2022 Geodynamics Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award.

These individuals are honoured for their important contributions to the Earth, planetary and space sciences.

The winners will be celebrated at next year’s EGU General Assembly 2022, which will be held from 3–8 April.

Congratulations Tim from all of your COMET colleagues.

Professor Gregory Houseman honoured with Fellowship of the Royal Society

Professor Gregory (Greg) Houseman, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at the University of Leeds and Emeritus COMET Scientist, is amongst the outstanding and distinguished group of scientists who have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society this year 

This prestigious title is awarded to scientists who have made an exceptional contribution to science and Professor Houseman’s work is certainly deserving of this honour.  

Professor Houseman’s research has produced very significant and long-standing advances in geodynamics,  which clearly explain the relationship between the governing equations, their critical parameters and surface measurements.  His contributions to the field include showing how convective instabilities link convection and continental dynamics, testing predictions of density structure associated with lower lithosphere removal, and further demonstrating the relationship between the width and length of mountain belts.  Irecent years, his research has focused on developing new understanding of key geological problems in the deformation of the Earth’s crust and lithosphere through computer modelling of geological deformation, and using seismic arrays, natural earthquakes and seismic noise to map the 3-D structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle in tectonically active regions like Turkey and Eastern Europe 

Professor Houseman’s work demonstrates that when a continent thickens as tectonic plates converge, convective instabilities can remove the lower lithosphere. This increases the gravitational potential energy of the overlying continent, leading to changes in surface height, volcanism and deformation. This process is now recognised as a fundamental influence on geological activity.  By combining satellite observations of ground movement with numerical models at locations including the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey, he has also developed an improved understanding of the earthquake deformation cycle, which is leading towards a better assessment of future seismic hazard.  

The many honours bestowed on Professor Houseman for his important contributions to the field include the European Geophysical Union’s Augustus Love Medal (2015) and Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union (2001), where he was also elected Section President for Tectonophysics (2004-2006).  He has been a Fellow of the Institute of Physics since 2004, held a CIRES Fellowship at the University of Colorado at Boulder (2015) and was elected to Academia Europaea in 2016. 

COMET would like to congratulate Professor Houseman on receiving his Fellowship of the Royal Society!