Geology for Global Development

Introducing the GfGD National Committee (2)

We have advertised a range of positions on our national committee over the past month. The positions have been filled by enthusiastic, dedicated people and the team will be working together for the year ahead. Having a national committee will increase both the capacity of GfGD to produce resources and support University groups, and also the number of opportunities for you to become involved with our work. Last week we introduced the communications team, myself (Rosalie Tostevin) and Jane Robb, and this week we are pleased to announce the rest of the committee.


Joel Gill is the Founder and Director of GfGD. Joel studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, followed by a Master’s degree in Engineering Geology at Leeds University. Joel is now researching multi-hazard models for small urban areas as part of his PhD at King’s College London.  Joel established Geology for Global Development in 2011, and is currently responsible for the overall leadership and strategic development of our work. Joel will be continuing to direct the organisation, working closely with and receiving support from our new secretary, Ellie Murtagh.

Ellie Murtagh is an Irish American, who has recently graduated with a degree in Geology and Physical Geography from the University of Edinburgh. Ellie has experience working in a hospital in Vietnam and as a climate researcher in Tajikistan. She now works as a graduate geologist for a geophysical service provider for the oil, gas and mining industries. Ellie undertook our CAFOD placement earlier this year and proved to be an excellent test case for UK-based student placements, achieving an incredible amount in a short time.

Faith Taylor will be managing our University Groups. Faith is a PhD student at King’s College London, where she is developing a model to understand the probability of landslides impacting road networks.  Faith will be offering support, advice and resources to both new and existing GfGD University Groups. We are always looking to expand our network of University groups, and Faith would be happy to provide the necessary support if you would like to establish a new group at your university.

Tim Middleton will be our Advocacy Development officer. Tim is a first year PhD student in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University. He spends his time studying active tectonics in central and eastern Asia, including some rather exciting fieldwork in Kazakhstan and China! Tim will be coordinating our advocacy programme and campaigns, engaging young geoscientists in effective advocacy work – including the scrutiny of government legislation, getting involved in major campaigns, and promoting good geoscience within development work. Tim has a strong background in science communication and will be able to help us put our message across in the right places.

Donald John MacAllister will be our Publications and Resources Officer. Donald has a BSc in Geophysics from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Water Management from Cranfield University. He has spent three years working as a hydrologist and water engineer, both in the UK and in the international development sector. Donald will be developing the resources and publications that we make available to NGOs, after careful consideration of the requirements of NGOs.

Marc Leach will be our dedicated Education & Careers Officer. Marc is a recent graduate of the University of Manchester with a BSc in Geology, who is planning on undertaking an MSc starting in 2013. His primary interests include Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, and he has experience working with the mining industry as well as for charities. Marc will be working to develop our education and careers resources, including highlighting and advertising relevant Master’s courses, collating careers advice from those in the development sector and helping students to understand the various career pathways that exist.

 You can hear more from each of our committee members on the dedicated area of the GfGD website. If you want to be more involved with the work of GfGD, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of us.

Rosalie was the Himalayas Programme Officer for Geology for Global Development and writer for the GfGD blog. She is a geochemist and a postdoc at the University of Oxford.