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Prof. Herbert E. Huppert, FRS

Title of Plenary Talk: Defending against lava flows: theory, experiment and field confirmation

Herbert E. Huppert is the Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Geophysics at the University of Cambridge, where he has been since 1968. He has used fundamental fluid mechanics to contribute to areas in meteorology, oceanography and the “solid” Earth Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Physical Society. His most cited paper, with co-author Steve Sparks, published in 1988, on the melting of granitic crust by the input of hot basaltic magma has been cited more than 1,110 times, though neither author can understand its popularity.


Dr. Mihir Shah

Title of Plenary Talk: Challenges of Sustainable Groundwater Management in India

Dr. Mihir Shah is Distinguished Visiting Professor, Shiv Nadar University, where he has designed a globally first-of-its-kind Master’s Program on Water Science and Policy. From 2009 to 2014, he was Member, Water Resources, Planning Commission, Government of India and was chiefly responsible for drafting the paradigm shift in the management of water resources enunciated in the 12th Five Year Plan. In 2015, the Government of India invited him to chair a Committee on Restructuring the Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board and also to chair a Committee to draft the National Water Framework Law and the Model Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill. In December 2018, he submitted a new Water Policy to the Government of Karnataka, which asked him to Chair a Task Group set up to draft the policy.


Prof. Michael James Bickle, FRS

Title of Plenary Talk: Impact of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen on global geochemical cycles and climate

Michael James Bickle is Professor of Tectonics at the University of Cambridge. Undergraduate degree from Cambridge, D.Phil. from Oxford, held Postdoc. in Zimbabwe (University research fellowship) and Leeds (NERC), 1978-83 Lecturer, Geology, University of Western Australia. He is a fellow of AGU and the Royal Society.

He is currently a member of the NERC-UK GEOS Science Advisory Group and has recently been a member of Royal Society & RAE Shale Gas Review panel, the Independent Review Committee on Radioactive Waste Disposal and the Royal Society Working Group on future marine resources. Previously he served on a number of ODP (Ocean Drilling Program) and IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) committees including chairing the UK-IODP committee and chairing the IODP Science Plan Writing Committee. His research has involved understanding of the thermal evolution of mountain belts, the tectonic processes which operated in the early Earth, the physical processes which control melting within the Earth, quantification of fluid-flow in metamorphic rocks, use of river chemistry to evaluate the long-term controls on global climate, and the fate of CO2 in natural and anthropogenic carbon dioxide reservoirs.


Prof. Mike Searle

Title of Plenary Talk: Geological Evolution of the Western Himalaya

Prof. Mike Searle’s main geological interests are the tectonic evolution of mountain belts, in particular processes associated with subduction, ophiolite formation and obduction, folding and thrusting, low-angle normal faults (e.g., SOUTH TIBETIAN DETACHMENT SYSTEM, STDS), regional metamorphism and crustal melting. He works mainly along the Alpine-Himalayan belt, the Karakoram ranges and Tibetan Plateau region and Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan). He is also interested in large-scale strike-slip faults, particularly the Karakoram fault, Red River fault, Mae Ping fault, Sagaing fault and Dead Sea fault etc. Currently, he is the Professor of Earth Sciences at University of Oxford, UK.


Prof Bruce Edward Hobbs

Title of Plenary Talk: The Dynamics of Tectonic, Metamorphic and Hydrothermal Systems

Professor Hobbs has been actively involved in Structural Geology research and teaching for more than 55 years. He has authored text books and has hundreds of research papers. He was the Founder Professor of Geology and Chairman, Department of Earth Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia from 1972-1984. Presently, at the age of 83 he continues to be actively involved with the CSIRO (Australia) as well as the University of Western Australia. Prof. Hobbs has received many honours. In 2016, at the 35th IGC held in Cape Town, Prof. Hobbs was conferred with the IUGS SCIENCE EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY ( His experimental work on the role of water in the deformation and recrystallization of quartz is classic and he has had a very important influence in the deformation field in emphasizing the role of defect chemistry. Finally, he has complemented his experimental and field studies, with perceptive numerical modelling of geological problems, especially those involving the development of crystallographic preferred orientations in deformed rocks and the genesis of shear zones and their behaviour.


Dr. Sergei Pisarevsky

Title of Plenary Talk: Siberia, India and Baltica in Precambrian supercontinents

Sergei Pisarevsky obtained his MSc in geophysics from Leningrad State University in 1976, and PhD in geophysics titled ‘Study of the fine structure of paleomagnetic field for elaboration of detailed magnetostratigraphy scale” from the same University in 1983. He moved to the Tectonics Special Research Centre at the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences of the University of Western Australia in 1998 as a Senior Gledden Visiting Fellow. In 2000 he became a Research Fellow with the Tectonics Special Research Centre. In 2007-2010 he worked in the University of Edinburgh as a Marie Curie Fellow. In 2010 he returned to UWA as a Research Associate. In March 2011 he became Senior Research Fellow in Curtin University.


Dr. Anny Cazenave

Title of Plenary Talk: Global changes in the Earth System and Space Observations

Anny Cazenave is senior scientist at the ‘Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiale’, ‘Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales’, Toulouse, France, and director for Earth sciences at the International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland. Her research deals with the applications of space techniques to Earth sciences (geodesy, gravity and solid Earth geophysics; sea level variations and study of climatic causes; global water cycle and land hydrology from space; climate research). She is Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. She is a member of the French Academy of sciences and foreign member of the Indian, American and Belgian academies of sciences.


Prof. Michael Brown

Title of Plenary Talk: Secular variation of metamorphism and the evolution of plate tectonics

Michael Brown is a Professor of Geology at the University of Maryland, USA. He obtained his BA and PhD degrees from the University of Keele in the UK. Brown held academic appointments at the rank of Lecturer to Professor in the UK between 1972 and 1990, including eight years as a Head of Department. In 1990, he moved to the USA as Professor of Geology and Chair of Department at the University of Maryland. Brown was reappointed Chair four times, finishing in 2011; in 1998–2000 he was concurrently the Interim Director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center. Brown has held visiting appointments at Kingston University, Kyoto University, the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Curtin University (twice) and ETH Zurich.

Brown’s research has contributed to understanding the petrogenesis of migmatites and associated granites, high/ultrahigh temperature and high/ultrahigh pressure metamorphism, the tectonics of metamorphic belts and secular change in metamorphism. This work has furthered our knowledge of processes associated with reworking and differentiation of the continental crust, particularly how heat and mass are transferred, the role of crustal melting in the development of orogens, and the secular evolution of geodynamic regimes on Earth. Over the past 48 years, Brown’s research has been made available through several books, more than 160 peer-reviewed chapters and articles in books and journals, more than 70 other articles, conference proceedings, editorials, reviews and field excursion guides, and by more than 445 presentations at scientific meetings. He founded the Journal of Metamorphic Geology in 1982 and has contributed extensive service to several major scientific societies, most recently as President of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2018. In recognition of his accomplishments, Brown received the Major John Sacheverell A'Deane Coke Medal from The Geological Society of London for 2005 and the Collins Medal from The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland for 2014; in 2018 he was the 51st Hallimond Lecturer of The Mineralogical Society.


Prof. Kip Hodges

Title of Plenary Talk: The Evolving Geodynamics of the Himalayan Orogenic Wedge

Prof. Kip Hodges is a Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. His research extends across disciplinary boundaries, including continental tectonics (with an emphasis on the origin and evolution of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogenic system), isotope geochemistry (with an emphasis on noble gas geochronology and thermochronology), geochemical kinetics, metamorphic petrology, planetary science (with an emphasis on studies of meteorite and comet impact processes and timescales), and planetary exploration (with an emphasis on how the scientific exploration of other worlds can be most effectively accomplished when missions involve both humans and robots with varying degrees of artificial intelligence). A Fellow of both the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, Hodges was the Founding Director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration. He has served as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Geoscience Directorate of the U.S. National Science Foundation, and presently is a Deputy Editor of the open-access journal Science Advances, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Prof. Manfred R. Strecker

Title of Plenary Talk: Tectonics, topography and climate of the southern Central Andes

Manfred R. Strecker is Professor of Geology at the University of Potsdam, Germany. His main research interests are the relationship between climate and tectonics and their influence on erosion and sedimentation patterns in Cenozoic mountain belts (Andes, Pamir, Himalaya, Anatolian Plateau). He is also interested in the structural segmentation of the East African Rift System, its erosion and sedimentation processes, and geothermal resources.

M. Strecker is a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities, the President of the German GeoUnion, and a member of the German Academy of Sciences. He received the Leibniz Award of the German Science Foundation (DFG), the Thompson Award of the Geological Society of America, and the A. Cox Visiting Professorship at Stanford University. He is a Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of America and received the Steinmann Medal of the German Geological Association.


Prof. Qiuming Cheng

Title of Plenary Talk: Mathematical Geosciences on Digital Earth and Deep Learning for Understanding the Nonlinear Earth Systems

Dr. Cheng is currently a professor and the founding director of the State Key Lab of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing). He received his PhD in the Earth Science in University of Ottawa in 1994, spent a year as PDF at the Geological Survey of Canada, and soon became a professor with cross appointments in the Dept. of Earth and Space Science and Dept. of Geography at York University. His research involves in the development and application of modern mathematical geocomplexity theory for modeling nonlinear geo-processes and for the quantitative prediction of mineral resources. His pioneering research on the new fractal density theory and local singularity analysis made major impacts on several geoscientific disciplines, including those concerned with mineralization, magmatism, mid-ocean ridge heat flow, earth quakes, and floods. He has published more than 300 refereed journal papers and book chapters, and delivered over 100 invited and keynote presentations. His work published in J. Exploration Geochemistry in 1994 on geochemical anomalies recognition by multifractal method has opened a new and emerging sub-field of exploration geochemistry and the paper has become one of the most cited papers in the field. Applications of his methods have led to several discoveries of new mineral deposits in China and elsewhere. He received several prestigious awards including the Krumbein Medal, the highest award given by the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences. Dr. Cheng has served as associate editors for Computers & Geosciences, and Journal of Exploration Geochemistry. He has served as President of International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG) (2012-2016), and presently is the President of International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) (2016-2020).


Prof. Harsh K Gupta

Title of Plenary Talk: Developing Earthquake and Tsunami Resilient Society

Harsh Gupta is currently a Member of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and President, Geological Society of India. He has been a Member of National Disaster Management Authority, India; Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Ocean Development; Director of the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad; Professor, University of Texas at Dallas. He is globally known for his work on artificial water reservoir triggered earthquakes. He chaired the Steering Committee of the Global Seismic Hazard Program. After the disastrous 2004 Sumatra earthquake, he spearheaded setting up of the Indian Tsunami Early Warning system. He has published over 200 papers in reviewed journals, authored 5 books published by Elsevier and Springer. His first book ‘Dams and Earthquakes has been translated into Russian and Chinese. In 2011 he compiled and edited ‘Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics’, a 1500+ pages, two- volume treatise published by Springer. He is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, Waldo E. Smith Medal of American Geophysical Union; USSR Academy of Sciences ‘100 years of International Geophysics Memorial Medal’; Axford Gold Medal of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS); National Mineral Award of Excellence; Padma Shri among many honors. He is a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, The World Academy of Sciences and American Geophysical Union. He has been a President of IUGG, AOGS and Founder President of Asian Seismological Commission.

Dr. S. K. Acharyya

Title of Plenary Talk: Geology and Tectonic Setting of Gondwana Basin Architecture in the Indian Shield

Dr. S. K. Acharyya is currently the Emeritus Scientist, Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and formerly the Director General of the Geological Survey of India. He did B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geology and Geophysics and M. Tech. in Applied Geology from IIT, Kharagpur. He obtained his Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from University of Calcutta in 1976. Dr. Acharyya has made sustained and outstanding contributions on the fields of Himalayan, Gondwana geology, Geodynamics and in the field of groundwater arsenic pollution. He has recently authored and edited a book on Tectonic setting and Gondwana Basin Architecture in the Indian Shield. Published by Elsevier, 2019.

For his outstanding contribution in Geology, he was awarded Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 1984 for his seminal work on the evolution of the Himalaya and Indo-Burma Ranges. He is lifetime Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India since 1997. Dr. Acharyya was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Indian Society of Applied Geochemists for his outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of earth sciences, also felicitated by Association of Exploration Geophysicists and was elected as a Fellow and Ex Council Member of West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology.

Prof. K. S. Valdiya

Title of Public Lecture: Tectonically active parts of the restless Indian subcontinent

Prof. K. S. Valdiya is an internationally recognised Geoscientist for his path-breaking work in the fields of Geology and Environmental Science and currently is the Honorary Professor of Geodynamics, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore. He did his Bachelor (B.Sc.), Masters (M.Sc.) and Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees at Lucknow University and joined at same the university as a faculty in 1957. He was a 1965–66 Fulbright scholar at Johns Hopkins University and also taught Geology at Rajasthan University, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and Kumaon University. He became the Vice Chancellor of Kumaon University in 1981.

Prof. Valdiya has also been instrumental in the establishment of many eminent geological institutions of India like Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Central Himalayan Environmental Association, Nainital, G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora, and the Geology Department of the Kumaon University. He is an elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences, India (FNASc), Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc), the Third World Academy of Sciences (FTWAS) and, is a fellow of the Geological Society of India, Geological Society of America and Geological Society of Nepal. He has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India (1983-1988). He has written over 110 research papers in reputed peer-reviewed journals, authored 20 books, edited 9 books and penned 40 articles in Hindi towards popularization of science among all sections of common Indian Citizen. His recent book – The Making of India – Geodynamic Evolution, published by Springer in 2016 is a masterpiece providing simplified overview of the geodynamic evolution of India.

Prof. K. S. Valdiya was awarded the Life Time Excellence Award by Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2018, Padma Bhushan in 2015, the G.M Modi Award for Science and Environment in 2012, Padmashri and the Hindi Sevi Sammaan (Atmaram Puraskaar) in 2007, the National Mineral Award of Excellence in 1997, the D.N. Wadia Medal in 1995, the National Mineral Award in 1993, the S.K. Mitra Award in 1991, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 1976 and the Chancellor’s Medal in 1954. He was the Pitambar Pant Environment Fellow of Department of Environment & Forests (1982–1984) and the National Lecturer of University Grants Commission (1977–1978).