International Advisers

Confirmed International Advisors


Edmund Nickless
Chair, IUGS Strategic Implementation Committee/IUGS Councillor 2016-2020

Edmund was Executive Secretary of The Geological Society of London from 1997 until his retirement in September 2015. Previously he held senior posts within the British Geological Survey, the then Science and Technology Secretariat of the Cabinet Office where he was environmental adviser, and the Natural Environment Research Council. Since 2013 he has chaired a group on behalf of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) promoting a new initiative, Resourcing Future Generations. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Geologist and European Geologist.


Professor John Ludden CBE
British Geological Survey (BGS) Executive Director

John became Executive Director at the British Geological Survey (BGS) in 2006. BGS is a £60 million organisation that is part of the Natural Environment Sciences Research Council, UK, and responsible for scientific information on management of the UK subsurface, in addition to operating globally as a world-leading geological survey. BGS has recently undertaken a joint-venture with Heriot-Watt University in creating the Lyell Centre for marine and geoscience research.

Prior to his current role he was Director of the Earth Sciences Division at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He has a broad understanding of Earth and environmental sciences with specialist knowledge in geochemistry and energy-related science. He has extensive experience in developing the research agendas of universities and the public sector along with experience in translation of research to innovation. He worked as a professor and research scientist at the University of Montreal, Lamont Doherty Earth Institute of Columbia University, with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the USA and the French National School for Geology and holds a doctorate from the University of Manchester, UK and a BA from Lancaster University, UK. He has visiting and honorary professor status at several universities and is a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and past president of the European Geosciences Union and also EuroGeosurveys.


Professor Neil Williams
Former President, 34th International Geological Congress

Neil is one of Australia’s leading economic geologists. His distinguished career has spanned all aspects of mineral exploration, both in Australia and internationally, through his work in academia, industry, and government. He has the distinction of being the longest-serving CEO of Australia’s national geological survey and topographic mapping agency, Geoscience Australia, which he directed from 1995 to 2010.  He was President of the Society of Economic Geologists in 2008, and President of the highly successful 34th International Geological Congress held in Brisbane in August 2012.

Since retiring from Geoscience Australia Neil has been mentoring younger geoscientists as an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong.
In the 2006 Australia Day Honours he received the Australian Public Service Medal for outstanding work in the provision of geoscientific advice to government, geoscience services, industry and the public. In 2014 he was awarded the Haddon Forrester King Medal by the Australian Academy of Science for his original and sustained contributions to earth and related sciences, which are vital to the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of mineral deposits, including hydrocarbons. Also in 2014 he was the Society of Economic Geologists Thayer Lindsley Lecturer, delivering his lectures across Canada and the USA.

Neil received his undergraduate training in geology at the Australian National University and his PhD in economic geology from Yale University. 


Dave S. Andrews
Head of Exploration, Rio Tinto

Dave has been with Rio Tinto for more than 30 years, leading teams in 17 countries, and has experience exploring for copper, gold, iron ore, bauxite, uranium, coal, heavy minerals and diamonds in Australasia, Europe, North and South America. Dave has been recently appointed the head of Exploration, which is now a part of the newly created Growth & Innovation team. He is commodity sponsor for Bauxite and Copper & Coal.  Prior to his appointment Dave was the Exploration director for the Americas since 2008. In this role he was responsible for all of RTX’s exploration activities across both North and South America. Dave played a leading role in the discovery of the Resolution copper deposit in Arizona.

He holds a BSc in Geology from the University of Portsmouth, UK and an MSc in Exploration Geology from James Cook University, Australia.


Ruth Allington
Chair, IUGS Task Group on Global Geoscience Professionalism & Senior Partner and Chief Engineering Geologist

Ruth Allington is an engineering geologist by training. She is Joint Senior Partner of GWP Consultants LLP, Oxfordshire, UK, the firm she joined in 1981 immediately after graduating. In addition to her BSc and MSc degrees, she also has an MBA, and she is a qualified commercial and community mediator. Throughout her career, she has specialised in the design of open pit mineral operations in the UK and overseas, particularly quarries for construction materials and industrial minerals. She is an experienced expert witness, and frequently delivers training to specialists and non-specialists in technical and professional matters relating to her expertise.

She is the immediate past President of the European Federation of Geologists, a member of the Pan European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee (PERC) and chair of an IUGS task group on global geoscience professionalism.  She is committed to promoting the highest professional standards amongst geologists and others involved in the application of geoscience, particularly through the promotion of professional titles such as CGeol and EurGeol. 

She is passionate about promoting ‘joined up thinking’ and encouraging collaborative approaches to problem definition, problem solving and dispute resolution based on effective communication and co-operation. This is especially important in coordinating the wide range of professional disciplines involved in quarry and mine design, and also in facilitating effective communication between the public and operators or developers (and their advisors).

She was featured last year as one of 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining in a publication produced by Women in Mining.


Scott Tinker
Director, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas

Scott Tinker's passion—bringing academe, government, industry and NGOs together to address major societal issues in energy, environment and the economy—has led him to more than 50 countries where he has presented over 650 keynote and invited lectures to government, industry, academia and the public. Scott is director of the 275-person Bureau of Economic Geology, the State Geologist of Texas, and a professor holding the All-day Endowed Chair in the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Association of American State Geologists, the American Geosciences Institute, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. He is an AAPG Halbouty Leadership Medalist, GCAGS Boyd Medalist, Fellow of the Geologic Society of America and has been broadly awarded by AIPG, AGI, AAPG, TIPRO and others for his successful efforts to engage the public in science. He serves on many private, public, academic, and government boards and councils and co-produced and is featured in the award-winning energy documentary film, Switch, which has been seen by over 10 million viewers and screened on over 1000 university and college campuses worldwide. 

Scott earned a PhD from the University of Colorado, MS from the University of Michigan and BS from Trinity University.


Douglas Geller
Western Water Associates Ltd

Douglas Geller is a senior hydrogeologist with nearly 30 years of wide-ranging experience in water resources management including hydrogeology and management of water supply systems across North America. Doug is the President of Western Water Associates Ltd. and is a Professional Geoscientist in B.C., Professional Geologist in Alberta, Licenced Hydrogeologist in Washington State, and a Registered Geologist in Oregon. Over his career he has conducted numerous hydrogeologic investigations including site-specific and regional-scale groundwater studies. Working for municipalities, water purveyors, engineers, developers and First Nations, he assists with the location, design, installation, and testing of high capacity production wells and well fields; and in developing sustainable management and protection strategies for groundwater resources. Doug currently serves as the Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee for the B.C. Water and Waste Association and has previously served as a director for the B.C. Groundwater Association. Doug previously worked for a major U.S. water utility where he managed a 378 mL/day well field (City of Portland, Oregon). He has been an invited speaker and/or panelist at numerous professional and academic conferences in both the U.S. and Canada.


Richard Symons Blewett
Group Leader, Geoscience Australia

Richard Blewett, an Aussie by birth, left for Africa and UK in the 1970s. He graduated 1st class Hons in Geology from Swansea University (Wales) in 1985. Following a year in the seismic industry in South Africa, he completed a PhD in structural geology from Leicester University in the UK (1989). During this time he worked in the French Alps, Canadian Appalachians, British Caledonides and Nepalese Himalaya.

Richard joined Geoscience Australia in 1990, and has worked mostly in minerals-related research, mapping in the Coen-Yambo inliers (North Queensland), the Pilbara (WA), Sultanate of Oman, the Yilgarn (WA), Gawler–Curnamona (SA), Arunta (NT), Musgraves (SA) and the Tasmanides.

He is interested in the management and leadership of science and in geoscience education. He has an MBA in Technology Management from Deakin University (2001).

Richard has been involved in the development of the UNCOVER initiative of the Australian Academy of Science. Since 2012 he has been the leader of the Mineral Systems Branch in the Resources Division at Geoscience Australia. He is currently leading the Geoscience Australia team and their collaboration with the Geological Survey of India for under cover mineral exploration.


Luca Demicheli
Secretary General, EuroGeoSurveys

Since April 2009 Luca Demicheli has been Secretary General of EuroGeoSurveys, the Brussels-based organisation representing the Geological Surveys of Europe. Luca also serves the Executive Committee of the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR) grouping mining and minerals industries, as well as universities and institutions engaged around the topic of sustainable supply of mineral resources across the whole value chain, and developing long- term research and innovation agendas and road maps for action at EU and national level. Since March 2016 he has had the position of Acting Executive Director of the Minerals4EU Foundation which, among other tasks, is in charge of producing of the European Minerals Yearbook, providing official statistics and data, and foresight studies on commodities quantity, flows and trade.

In 2007 he was appointed Secretary General of the Italian Committee for the International Year of Planet Earth, a UNESCO initiative to promote earth sciences among decision-makers and the public at large. Formerly responsible for the coordination of the international activities of the Geological Survey of Italy, he also served for several years within the European Commission where he launched and coordinated the environmental strategy of several major international scientific projects. A geologist specializing in environmental engineering and environmental management and planning, he performed his post-graduate studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, at the National Technical University of Athens, and at Imperial College London. 


Raimo Lahtinen
Head of the Research Programme Mineral Potential, Geological Survey of Finland

Research professor Raimo Lahtinen has made his career in the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and since 2002 acted as an Adjunct Professor (bedrock geology) in the University of Helsinki. He is coordinating the bedrock and ore geology research in the survey and leading the Sustainable Mineral Economics expertise area. The science and innovation area is responsible for the assessment of mineral reserves and discovery potential of new mineral deposits.

He has over 30 years’ experience on Precambrian geology and he is a highly recognized expert on the geology, metallogeny and tectonic evolution of the Fennoscandian Shield.


Christine McEntee
Executive Director/CEO, American Geophysical Union

Christine is an association leader and innovator, building a record of achievement in leading large organizations through changes in strategy, governance, membership, programs, and the fluid public policies that confront them. Much of her work has focused on expanding diversity and partnerships across common goals. She received the 2016 CEO Update CEO of the Year Award and is an American Society of Association Executives Fellow and recipient of the Women Who Advance America award. She was also named to Crain’s Chicago Business’s “Under 40 Movers and Shakers.” She is currently the Chairman of the Board of the MedStar Health Research Institute. She has served as a public member of the American Board of Ophthalmology’s Board of Trustees and on the ABMS Health and Public Policy Committee. 

Christine holds a Master’s in Health Administration from The George Washington University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Georgetown University, and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Advanced Executive Program.


Vitor Correia
President, European Federation of Geologists

Vitor is the President of the European Federation of Geologists, a professional organisation that represents the professional geoscientists from 25 European countries. He is the coordinator of the project INTRAW, which aims to launch in 2017 the European Observatory of Raw Materials.

Vitor founded and managed several companies working in geosciences, and he has over 25 years of experience in strategic management, innovation and organizational effectiveness. He began his career as a mining geologist and he worked in mineral exploration, geological engineering and environmental geology in Europe, Africa and South America. Vitor holds a BSc in Geology and a MBA, both from the University of Lisbon. He is registered as a Eurogeologist.