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About Iain Stewart

Iain Stewart is Professor of Geoscience Communication at Plymouth University. What that really means is that he is a geologist that spends much of his time writing and talking about our planet – how it works, its volatile history and what all that means for those living on it.

As an academic Earth scientist Iain specialisies in recent geological change. After undergraduate studies in Geography and Geology at Strathclyde University (1986) and a PhD in earthquake geology at Bristol University (1990), he lectured Earth sciences at Brunel University in west London until 2002. During that time his research focused on uncovering the geological traces of ancient earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis and understanding how these past events can help us address future natural disaster threats. Much of that work focused on the Mediterreanean region and spanned historical times, which led to his first solo television series Journeys From The Centre of The Earth.

In 2004 Iain moved south west to join Plymouth University and began to devote increasing amounts of his time to ‘popular geoscience’. His interests in geological hazards continued with Journeys into the Ring of Fire but the scope broadened into presenting major series on the nature, history and state of the planet, most notably Earth: The Power of the Planet, Earth: The Climate Wars, How Earth Made Us, How To Grow A Planet and last year, Volcano Live.

His Scottish connection also allowed Iain to explore the planet in his old backyard with Making Scotland's Landscape and Men of Rock and he remains actively involved in tartan geoscience, principally in his roles as President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Patron of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum. He’s closely involved with the teaching of geology and geography in schools, currently being Honorary President of both the Geographical Association and the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers.

Today, Iain juggles his normal teaching and admin duties at Plymouth University’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, with a hectic mix of filming, public talks, school visits. Squeezed in there is still a bit of research, though these days it’s as much on geoscience communication as geohazards. He serves on the scientific board of UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme and is passionate about promoting geoscience across the world. But as Patron of the English Riviera GeoPark, much of his time remains spent amid the fabulous geology and landscape of Britain’s south-west corner.