Leading UK geologist joins forces with India’s top scientists

Two of Professor Storey’s new collaborators in the field in Kerala, southern India

Two of Professor Storey’s new collaborators in the field in Kerala, southern India

A UK geologist has shared his knowledge with India’s National Centre for Earth Science Studies as its first international visitor under a new scheme to broaden and deepen the understanding of our planet.

Professor Craig Storey, a geologist and associate head of research in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, was invited to spend two weeks at the Centre in Trivandrum, in Kerala.

The Centre is part of central government’s Ministry of Earth Sciences and its mission is to take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding our planet, from its evolution to facing an ever-increasing demand for natural resources. The Ministry’s role includes providing India with the best possible services in forecasting monsoons, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena related to earth systems.

Professor Storey said: “The Centre is investing heavily in modern analytical equipment and staff and they want to collaborate with international experts to help establish both the facilities and their international reputation.

“They aim to work with international experts on earth science projects.”

-Part of the National Centre for Earth Science Studies in Trivandrum, Kerala, southern India

– Part of the National Centre for Earth Science Studies in Trivandrum, Kerala, southern India

Professor Storey met its director Dr Purnachandra Rao, a seismologist and geophysicist, and staff, including PhD and Masters students. He also spent six days in the field with Dr Batuk Kumar, who he has collaborated with on research previously, visiting areas of potential collaborative interest to collect samples for scoping.

He said: “I was asked to advise on ordering of a state-of-the-art $US1m mass spectrometer and installation of a laboratory to host the equipment and a separate ultra-clean lab facility to undertake dissolution of materials and chemical separation of elements. The idea is that I will visit again, perhaps in a year, when the equipment has been installed to help set up the analytical protocols we use in our labs in Portsmouth.”

The Centre has four research groups studying the planet’s crust, coasts, atmosphere and water.

In his talk to staff, Professor Storey invited them to work with scientists in Portsmouth. The Centre’s director said he was keen to pursue this and has already presented an outline bid to the Ministry of Earth Sciences for a five-year project with Professor Storey to study a range of geological problems in India.

Staff at the Centre have already expressed interest in visiting Portsmouth and in making joint funding applications and collaborating on research.

“I have visited India a number of times before, but on this trip my hosts were incredibly thoughtful,” Professor Storey said. “I tasted the best of Keralan food and was even given an Ayurvedic massage and a cookery lesson. It was a fantastic trip and I look forward to returning and progressing with our collaboration. I also look forward to welcoming our new Indian collaborators in Portsmouth and returning their hospitality.”

 

 

 

 

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