Russell Alexander is a self-employed geoscientist who has been running his own independent consultancy, Bedrock Geosciences (www.bedrock-geosciences.com), for the last 15 years. His background is geology (graduated from the oldest geology department in the world in 1980) and marine chemistry (PhD on marine diagenesis followed by post-docs on stable and radioactive isotope geochemistry). He has been involved in radioactive waste disposal for over three decades, working in more than 30 countries worldwide, providing direct technical input to a wide range of national and international radioactive waste programmes. He has also been heavily involved in teaching and staff training in his field and was the final chairman of the ITC (International Training Centre, School of Underground Waste Storage and Disposal) and is the founding chairman of NTS (Nuclear Training Solutions), both based in Switzerland.
Currently, he is directly involved in technical support for and/or project management of a wide range of international projects in the field of waste disposal stretching across sites in Japan, Finland, Sweden, Jordan and the UK. Russell’s research interests include the study of contaminant retardation using natural radioisotopes, clay reaction mechanisms and the longevity of cements and concretes via the study of natural systems in his role as chairman of NAWG (the Natural Analogue Working Group – www.natural-analogues.com).
Flavio Anselmetti is a professor for Quaternary Geology and Paleoclimatology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. After graduating from the University of Basel, he moved to ETH Zürich and the University of Miami (USA) to complete his PhD and returned after few postdoctoral years from the US back to Switzerland where he became group leader at ETH Zürich and Eawag Dübendorf. In 2012, he became part of the Univ. of Bern faculty. Anselmetti studies marine and lacustrine sedimentary strata to reconstruct various forms of environmental change and impacts including climate change, natural hazards and human-environment interactions. To identify and recover the most promising sedimentary archives, Anselmetti and his group apply geophysical surveys and conduct various forms of drilling and coring operations. Investigated sediment proxies include petrophysical, geotechnical, geochemical and sediment-compositional approaches. He also actively contributes to the large international scientific drilling programs ICDP and IODP and hosts for Switzerland the coordinating platform swissdrilling.ch.
Daniel Ariztegui obtained his master in geology at the University of La Plata, Argentina. He joined the industry for a few years and further accomplished his doctoral degree at the ETH-Zürich in Switzerland. He was first appointed as Senior Research Scientist at the same institution in Zürich and moved to Geneva (Switzerland) in 2000 where he is presently professor in the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Geneva. Ariztegui is a well-known expert in the fields of global change and limnogeology, a specialty in Earth sciences dealing with the study of the different physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in modern and ancient lakes. One of the focuses of his research group is the fast evolving field of geomicrobiology and microbial life in sediments of lakes and rivers. Daniel Ariztegui research activity is shown by a large number of scientific publications in international journals and participation in national and international congresses. He has been president of the Commission of Limnology and Oceanography of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (2002-2020), vice-president of the International Association of Limnogeology (IAL) and president of the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS; 2018-2022). Ariztegui has actively collaborated in the editorial offices of several journals such as the Journal of Paleolimnology, Sedimentology and the Swiss Journal of Geosciences among others.
Michael J. Benton Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol. Michael Benton was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 for his fundamental contributions to understanding the history of life, particularly biodiversity fluctuations through time. He is fascinated by the transformation of palaeobiology from a speculative subject to testable science and led one of these discoveries – how to determine the colour of dinosaurs, rated as one of the top scientific discoveries of the 2010s. He works with fossils and rocks to interpret ancient environments, especially around the end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest loss of life on Earth, some 250 million years ago. He also works with fossils to build evolutionary trees and use them to date major events and rates and patterns of evolution, so helping us understand why some groups of animals are more successful than others. He is currently working on the Triassic, the time during which life recovered from the end-Permian mass extinction and when modern ecosystems arose; this was a time of arms races between major groups, and dinosaurs won. Michael Benton has written some 400 scientific papers and more than 50 books on a broad range of palaeontological topics. He has supervised more than 70 PhD students, and was founder of the Bristol MSc in Palaeobiology, which has welcomed 400 students since its foundation, in 1996. His latest books are new editions of the standard textbooks in palaeontology, Cowen’s History of Life (Wiley, 2019) and Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record (with David Harper, Wiley, 2020), as well as a presentation on the transition of palaeobiology from speculation to science over the past 30 years, Dinosaurs Rediscovered (Thames & Hudson, 2019, 2020).
Paul Bossart was born in 1956 in Switzerland; he is married and the father of two children. He holds a Ph.D. from the ETH Zurich in Structural Geology, and an Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Bossart worked in several geological consulting companies and was member of the management board of the Swiss company, Geotechnical Institute AG. He was involved in several research projects in rock laboratories, such as the Grimsel Test Site (Switzerland), Aespoe (Sweden), and Kamaishi (Japan). In 1995 he became Project Manager of the international Mont Terri rock laboratory, located in the Opalinus Clay near St. Ursanne, Canton of Jura, Switzerland. In this position, he was responsible for the planning, designing, construction, and operation of the experiments. From 2005 until 2020 Bossart worked for the Swiss Geological Survey, swisstopo, as Director of the international Mont Terri rock laboratory and was responsible for its operation and implementation of the research programs. Bossart retires in 2021. He now chairs the board of directors of Natursteinwerk Bossart AG.
Vladica Cvetković is Professor of Petrology and Geochemistry and Chief of the SEM-EDS Laboratory at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Mining and Geology as well as Corresponding Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The period 2004-2006 he spent at the University of Salzburg as a Fellow of the Lise Meinter Program of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). His major research interests are related to studying igneous formations of the Balkan Peninsula and adjacent regions (e.g., within the intra-Carpathian area and the Rodopes). A special emphasis in his research is given on petrogenetic and geodynamic interpretation of igneous rocks of different age using geochemical data and integrating them with textural relationsips and geological evidence. Vladica was coordinating and/or participating to many international projects within research or capacity building programs, such as FP7/Horizon 2020, EUROPROBE, TOPO-EUROPE, Interreg, Royal Socety Joint Grants, SCOPES (SNF), etc. He is member of editorial boards of Geologica Carpathica, Mineralogia Polonica and Geologica Balcanica. He is/was member of the panels for evaluation of the FP7/Horizon 2020 project proposals (''ERC Starting Grant'' and ''Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions''), as well as a referee for National Research Agencies of Romania, Portugal, Russia, Italy and Croatia. Vladica has so far published around 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals, which have been cited >1850 times (Google Scholar, December 2020). In the past decade, Vladica was also engaged in the reform of higher education in Serbia and had positions of president of the Serbian HERE Team (HERE: Higher Education Reform Experts) (2013-2017 as well as member of the National Council for Higher Education of the Republic of Serbia (2015-2017).
Edwin Gnos is curator in Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in Geneva and Titular Professor at the University of Geneva. His research focuses on Alpine-type fissure mineralizations, including the development of methods for dating mineral crystallization. He is also involved in meteorite research projects on the Arabian Peninsula and works on minerals occurring in ultra-reducing or strongly oxidyzing environments.
Christian Klug is a professor at the Palaeontological Institute and curator of the Palaeontological Museum of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He studied Geology at the Eberhard-Karly-Universität Tübingen, Germany, and at the Northern Arizona University, USA. He did his MSc and PhD on Devonian cephalopods from Morocco. His current research focuses on the palaeobiology of cephalopods and Devonian vertebrates. He is also interested in understanding the respective roles of these groups in the context of major changes in macroecology and mass extinctions.
Professor Dr Simon Löw in 1996 Simon Löw (Loew) was appointed as Chair of Engineering Geology at ETH Zurich after completing his PhD and a ten-year period in industry. The main research interests of Simon Löw at ETH concern hydro-mechanical processes in fractured rocks at project relevant scales. Major ongoing research projects of his large and interdisciplinary research group are related to HM coupled rock mass behavior of deep tunnels and repositories for nuclear wastes; permeability structure and heat transport in fractured rocks; and formation mechanisms and progressive failure of larger rocks slope instabilities. Many research projects involve comprehensive hydro-thermo- mechanical in-situ investigations, both at ground surface and in boreholes, with newest testing and monitoring technologies.
Simon Löw is strongly linked to the private industry and public administration sectors, mainly in the fields of deep tunnelling, geological waste disposal and rock slope instabilities. Currently he is president of the Swiss Commission for Nuclear Waste Disposal EGT and supports the Swiss Site Selection Program. At ETH Simon Löw is strongly involved in teaching, responsible for the MSc Program majoring in Engineering Geology and the Continued Education Program in Applied Earth Sciences.
Paola Manzotti is an Assistant Professor at Stockholm University (Sweden), Department of Geological Sciences. Her research focuses on the mechanisms of mountain building and especially on the rock record of burial and exhumation cycles. She combines fieldwork, metamorphic petrology, and geochronology in order to decipher the complex evolution of subducted continental crust.
Daniel Marty has completed a master degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Basel and a PhD in Palaeontology/Sedimentology at the University of Fribourg focusing on Late Jurassic dinosaur tracks excavated on Highway A16 and neoichnological experiments with human footprints on recent tidal flats.
From 2000 to 2017 he was working as a research palaeontologist at the "Paleontology A16" (Office de la culture, Canton Jura, Switzerland), a unique palaeontological service founded in year 2000, that was in charge of the excavation, documentation, and safeguarding of paleontological heritage along the future course of Swiss federal Highway A16. He was responsible for the excavation, documentation, and scientific research of the dinosaur tracksites, that were uncovered prior to the construction of the highway. He still is involved in research projects related to these and other dinosaur footprint discoveries in collaboration with researchers from Europe and abroad.
Since 2014, Daniel Marty teaches Palaeontology courses at the University of Basel. In 2014 he became chief editor of the Swiss Journal of Palaeontology and in 2018 of the Swiss Journal of Geosciences, both journals being published fully Open Access with SpringerOpen.
Chiara Montomoli is Associate Professor in Structural Geology and Tectonics at the Earth Science Department of the University of Torino (Italy). Her main research activity is addressed to the study of deformation processes of continental crust derived tectonic units involved in collisional orogens of different ages (Northern Apennines (Italy), Hercynian chain in Sardinia and western Alps, Himalayan belt, Ross Orogen (Antarctica). She mainly focuses on the relations between compressive and extensional tectonics in orogens and on the exhumation mechanisms of metamorphic units. Her researchers have been always strongly based on field work supported by meso and microstructural analyses. She is interested in the study of shear zone and on the kinematic of the flow during the tectono-metamorphic evolution of the orogens and in defining the timing of the different tectonic events. She has been involved in many cartographic projects, both national and international.
Adrian Pfiffner is an emeritus professor of the University of Bern. He worked as structural geologist in the Alps and Andes. His projects included the study of fold and thrust structures, the deep structure of the Swiss Alps (National Research Program NRP20), involving seismic reflection and refraction surveys, structural analyses, as well as recent faulting in the Alps. His research projects involved also the study of deformation mechanisms in rocks and the fold-and-thrust structures evolving from laterally heterogeneous layered sequences. Field work was accompanied by numerical (finite element) and analog modeling. Besides the Alps he analyzed the deep structure of mountain ranges on a global perspective. Presently he works on rock avalanches, with an emphasis on the Tamins and Flims rock avalanches and their impact on landscape evolution.
Adrian has been active in a number of scientific organizations. He was Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Director of the Institute of Geological Sciences, President of the Swiss Geological Commission, President of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UNESCO World Heritage “Tectonic arena Sardona”, member of the Executive Board of the Swiss Academy of Sciences and member of the Federal Commission of Geology. Adrian acted as European Editor of Tectonics and Guest Editor of Geosciences and Frontiers in Earth Sciences.
Christian Schlüchter is Emeritus at the Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of Bern. Quaternary Geology was the topic from beginning with his Diploma and PhD Thesis at the University of Bern. Postdoctoral research in Canada has brought him to the Canadian Arctic in Baffin Island. Back in Switzerland he joined the Institute of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering at ETH and he returned later to ETH's Institute of Geology. In 1991 he was promoted to Full Professor in Quaternary and Environmental Geology at the University of Bern. His main research throughout his career has focused on the role of glaciers in geology, especially sedimentology and stratigraphy and as the basis to understand the physical properties of soils in engineering geology. A new input to Quaternary geology was initiated under his guidance with the application of cosmogenig nuclides as a dating tool with students at ETH. - Christian Schlüchter undertook extensive expeditions to remotes areas worldwide aiming at the extent and chronology of the Last Glacial Maximum in Southern Chile, Mexico, Tibet, Japan, Anatolia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the Swiss Midlands. He has participated in 7 expeditions to the frozen continent. As a special field he has investigated in the geology of graveyards, as ultimate disposal aspects of humanity. He did understand Quaternary Geology as a truly interdisciplinary science with strong links to engineering, biology, physics, archaeology and daily human activities. Active programs include the geology of the Swiss national park, chronology of the last glaciation in northern Norway and the importance of indicator boulders in the Swiss Midlands to reconstruct LGM ice flow and the importance of ice domes for the reconstruction of palaeocirculation over the Alps during glaciations.
Stefan Martin Schmid, professor emeritus, is a geologist currently affiliated with the Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zurich, carrying out research in Tectonics and Geodynamics in close collaboration with geophysicists. 1989-2008 he was professor and head of department at Basel University, concentrating on structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics of the Alps, in close cooperation with his colleague in geophysics Edi Kissling from ETH. In 2008-2010 he enlarged his focus regarding large-scale correlations and compilations of the Mediterranean Alpine-type orogens as guest professor at FU Berlin, together with Mark Handy. Subsequently, he focused on projects regarding the correlation of tectonic units between Apennines, Alps, Carpathians, Dinarides-Hellenides and Western Turkey.
Michael Schnellmann is a senior project manager at the Swiss National Cooperation for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra). He graduated at ETH Zurich with a master thesis on the structural geology of the Himalayan foothills in Pakistan. During his PhD he investigated subaqueous mass-movement deposits in Lake Lucerne by means of reflection seismics and sediment coring resulting in a reconstruction of the pre-historic earthquake history of Central Switzerland. During a postdoc at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, he investigated links between geophysical and geotechnical properties of a large submarine mass movement offshore Norway (Storegga slide). In 2005 he joined Nagra. As project manager and section head he was responsible for a broad field of projects in the fields of reflections seismics, tectonics, sedimentology, neotectonics as well as climate and landscape evolution. Currently, he is the principal project manager of Nagra’s geoscience programme preparing the geological database and the site-specific models for site selection and the general license application.
Working for years at the interface between academic research and applied earth sciences and collaborating with earth scientists from universities, geological consulting companies and administrations, Michael got a broad overview of the Swiss Alpine Foreland geology, the processes governing its evolution and the related applied questions. He regards strong links between academic research and corresponding applied fields as key to increase the understanding of the Swiss subsurface and to contribute to sustainable solutions to some of the challenges our society faces today, such as climate change and a sustainable use of natural resources.
Silvia Spezzaferri is the leader of the Micropaleontology research group at the Department of Geosciences in Fribourg since 2002. Before joining the University of Fribourg she has worked at the University of Milano, ETH-Zurich and University of Vienna. She has participated to several national and international oceanographic cruises in cold and tropical shallow and deep environments, including two ODP cruises and one Eurofleets cruise as chief scientist. She has expertise in micropaleontology (Cretaceous to Recent benthic and planktonic foraminifera and Bolboforma, an incertae sedis protist) and their application in paleo/oceanography, paleo/ecology and paleo/climatology and biomonitoring.
Benoît Valley is professor at the Center for hydrogeology and geothermics of the University of Neuchâtel. He is directing the group of geothermics and reservoir geomechanics. His research interests are at the interface of structural geology and geomechanics, with the main focus on stress and fracturing characterisation, the relation of stresses and structures, the strength of rock and rock masses and the experimental study of the thermo-hydro-mechanical processes occurring in rock masses. Benoît Valley research methodology is based on the acquisition and integration of experimental and field data pertinent to the understanding of stress state, fracturing , fluid flow and earth crust criticality. This research has practical implications for subsurface engineering with a primary field of application to deep geothermal projects.
Helmut Weissert (Professor, ETH Zürich) has his research focus on earth and climate history, on paleoceanography and co-evolution of the global carbon cycle and life through geological time. Helmut Weissert investigates how perturbations of the carbon cycle in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic affected climate, ocean chemistry and evolution of life. He contrasts natural variations in past climate with climate change of the Anthropocene. For many years he was an active member of the International Ocean Discovery program (IODP). Helmut Weissert was Vice-President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences and he was, as president of the Division Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleontology (SSP), a member of the Council of the European Union of Geosciences (EGU). Helmut Weissert is active in the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). For excellence in teaching at ETH he received the “Golden Owl-Award” in 2005 and 2014. For his research, he was awarded the Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2013 and the Capellini Medal of the Italian Geological Society in 2018.
Wilfried Winkler is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich. His training, research and teaching consists of sedimentology, basin and provenance analyses in orogenic belts such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Northern Andes and Central Asia to reconstruct mountain building processes and their temporal evolution from the linked sedimentary archives. Likewise, he is interested in the influences of paleoclimate on sediment formation.The use of geochemical methods such as U-Pb dating of detrital zircons in sandstones became an important research tool for him. Currently he is also working for the Swiss Geological Survey in mapping projects for the Geological Atlas of Switzerland.