Professor Emeritus Peter Styles

Title: Emeritus Professor in Applied and Environmental Geophysics
Location: c/o William Smith : WS 1.04
Contacting me:

As a boy growing up in a fishing and coal mining village in coastal Northumberland I was always fascinated by all aspects of science: astronomy, marine biology, geology but was also always sure that I wanted to be a Nuclear Physicist! I read Physics at Wadham College, Oxford graduating in 1972. However, Plate Tectonics had just been invented and I decided that this was the subject for me and studied for a PhD in Geophysics at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on the rifting of Africa to form the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden which took me on research cruises and also fieldwork in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.

Pete Styles in the field As a Lecturer in Geophysics at Swansea University, I continued my research in East Africa but also became interested in using induced earthquakes to predict catastrophic failures in coal mines, landslide and glacial instability and other aspects of Environmental Geophysics especially microgravity. I moved to Earth Sciences at the University of Liverpool in 1988 where my plate tectonics research moved to remote Chilean Patagonia, investigating the subduction of the Chile Rise beneath the Taitao Peninsula with colleagues from Liverpool and venturers from Operation Raleigh using seismology, gravity and heat flow.

The mining and environmental research also prospered and I spent a sabbatical with CSIRO Division of Geomechanics in Brisbane, Australia studying stress imaging using microseismology and microgravity for the detection of abandoned gold workings at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and cave systems in the Middle East and the Bahamas. I moved to Keele as Professor of Geophysics in 2000 to head up the Applied and Environmental Geophysics group and my research is principally in renewable energy and environmental problems rather than tectonics.

I give a lot of invited external lectures and I was both proud and amazed to be elected President of the Geological Society of London from 2004 to 2006. As my hair has vanished and my beard greyed I have been asked to chair and serve on a number of Government Committees including the Board of BGS, Chair of the DEFRA/DTI Criteria Proposals Group (CPG) Sub-Surface Exclusion Criteria for Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste and a member of the Geosphere Characterisation Panel of the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.

I was awarded the William Smith Medal by the Geological Society of London in 2014.

I am a member of the Research Centre for Geography, Geology and the Environment.