Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication, is a global ambassador for the earth sciences and at the forefront of communicating planetary concerns, breaking down the barriers to public understanding of natural events like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis and the media responses to them.

Interdisciplinary responses to geoscience events

Iain’s academic background uncovers the geological traces of ancient earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, and understanding how these past events can help us address future disaster threats. He has built new alliances across disciplinary divides, bringing human geographers, psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists together to apply their perspectives on how risk and uncertainty during geoscience problems are communicated.

As the UNESCO Chair in ‘Geology and Society’, he currently leads their ‘Geology for Sustainable Development’ project, championing the role and contributions of geoscience in addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He is also the Communications Lead for the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund Hub ‘Tomorrow’s Cities’, targeting disaster risk reduction in rapidly urbanising environments.

Enhancing education and engagement for Earth sciences

Iain is one of the UK’s most prominent faces for geoscience communication, partnering with the BBC for over 15 years; building on his own BBC series, ‘Rise of the Continents’, Iain was most recently the scientific consultant to ‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’ produced by BBC ’s Natural History Unit. A vocal advocate for Earth sciences around the world, he has supported the British Council and UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in building capacity for science communication overseas.


The person behind the pioneer

Inspiring the next generation of geoscientists.

Read more about Professor Iain Stewart

Many of society’s biggest challenges require global solutions that can only be achieved through sharing knowledge across both borders and subject areas, requiring international dialogues between geologists and the public.

We already possess a great deal of expertise in how geoscience can address challenges facing the developing world.

Professor Iain Stewart


Plymouth Pioneers: sustainable earth researchers

Voice of a sustainable earth

Our research addresses and responds to the global challenges facing communities as a result of climate change and unsustainable practices to improve our understanding of the environment, its changes and impacts. We continue to build innovative partnerships with industry and government, and use the University’s research expertise to engage with a range of challenges, from the low carbon agenda to water quality and food security in the developing world.

Our researchers have shown that future rainfall could outweigh current climate predictions and identified how to enhance manufactured soils to become more sustainable. We are working with communities around the world to respond to challenges around air, water, energy and food security, including Tanzania, South Africa, Peru, the European Alps and the Arctic.

Sustainable Earth Institute