ESM National Focal Points

Dr Nelson Boniface is a petrologist and structural geologists and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. He holds a PhD in mineralogy from the University of Kiel, Germany. His research topics include metamorphism, subduction and collision processes of Precambrian terrains with particular focus on the evolution of a Polyorogenic Proterozoic Ubendian Belt of Tanzania. He supervises MSc students on tectonic structural evolution of Tanzanianís coastal sedimentary basins and on geochronology and geochemistry of Rift volcanoes. He is a co-author of Tanzanianís Geological and Mineral Information System (GMIS) and the current Secretary General of the Geological Society of Tanzania in which capacity he played a key role in organizing the CAG25 and 3rd YES Congress in August 2014 in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Robert Krickl is a mineralogist and crystallographer with emphasis on interdisciplinary topics connected to other geo-, bio- and material- as well as historical sciences. Besides scientific work, he dedicated his life to the communication of science to general public of all ages. After finishing his PhD in 2009, he does project-based research and is self employed, devoting himself to outreach, i.e. journalism, giving lectures, organising exhibitions, roadshows, school and kindergarten activities. He is known and recognized for his new and innovative ways of communicating science to everyone, has a wide national and international network and is board member of the Austrian Mineralogical Society (OeMG).

Prof. Safouane Djemai is a geologist specialized in structural geology, metamorphic petrology and geochemistry of Precambrian rocks in the Touareg Shield in Algeria. He obtained his PhD in 2008 on remote sensing for geological mapping and is a lecturer and research scientist at the Department of Geology and the Laboratory of geodynamics, geotechnics and planetology at the Houari Boumediene University in Algiers, Algeria. He supervises MSc and PhD students with field trips. His current research focus is on geological mapping of the Touareg Shield terranes using remote-sensing and airborne geophysical data. It is also interested in petroleum geology and structural geology of the Saharan platform in Sonatrach's oilfields in Algeria.

EurGeol Alecos Demetriades is an internationally acknowledged Applied Geochemist, especially interested in mineral exploration and environmental impact assessment. Educated in the United Kingdom, and following his B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Geology (University of London), and M.Sc. in Mining Geology and Mineral Exploration (University of Leicester), he worked as an applied geochemist at the Hellenic Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration from 1976 until his retirement at the end of 2011, holding the post of Director of the Division of Geochemistry and Environment. Presently he is treasurer of the IUGS/IAGC Task Group on Global Geochemical Baselines and also in charge of field training. He is also actively involved in the work of the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group. He is co-author of three European Geochemical Atlases, and author of many scientific publications.

Izuchukwu Mike Akaegbobi is a geologist, specialised in organic geochemistry/coal petrography and applied sedimentology with a Ph.D. from the Technical University Berlin. Since his return to Nigeria (1995) he worked as a lecturer and research scientist for the Department of Geology, University of Ibadan. He has a broad interest in fossil energy resources. During a sabbatical Dr. Akaegbobi reviewed the integrated petroleum geology and sedimentology in one of Shell’s oilfields in Nigeria. His current research focus is on Quaternary palaeoclimatic changes in lake deposits. He is the co-founder of the West African Quaternary Research Association (WAQUA) and its Immediate Past President.

Prof. Maarten Johan de Wit is an internationally acknowledged scholar, especially interested  in the origin of continents, life and mineral resources and in the economics of natural-resources. He received his PhD in Cambridge University (UK) and held a.o. positions at the UN, NASA, Columbia University (LDEO), Queens University in Canada, Imperial College, MIT, and other prestigious research institutes in Europe and Africa. Prof. De Wit holds a personal Chair of Earth Stewardship Science at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. He is the Founding Director of AEON (Africa Earth Observatory Network).

Dr Pauline Yawoa D. Da Costa is a sedimentologist, stratigrapher and micro-palaeontologist with a wide interest in other disciplines in geology, biology and environmental sciences. She teaches at the Geology Department at the Lomé University in Togo and is the first woman geologist who contributed to the progress of geological research in Togo and an active member of the African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG). She has a wide national and international professional network and was involved in IGCP Project 381 on Mesozoic Correlations in the South Atlantic. Dr Da Costa coaches students in fieldwork and supervises master dissertations.

Dr Manuel A. Iturralde Vinent is the President of the Cuban Geological Society, emeritus Academician of the Cuban Academy of sciences and serves the geoscience community in many more capacities. Dr. Iturralde has been the  representative of the National Committee for Cuba in the International Year of Planet Earth and a very prominent promoter of geoscience outreach through books as Geologia de Cuba para todos and seven brochures and posters about geohazards: Protect your family from ... He is the recipient of many awards for his geoscientific and educational work, including the award of Educator of the
20th Century

Dr Alireza Gharagozlou is the CEO of JBP Co, a major trading company in Iran, and a marketing consultant to the Geological Survey of Iran. Dr. Gharagozlou has a wide international experience and is a senior technical advisor of the National geoscience database of Iran. He was trained as a GIS expert but moved into information marketing research and has a dual experience as a practitioner and academician in info marketing especially Geo information. He has been involved in the National Committee of the IYPE in Iran which has been quite successful in encouraging students to embark on a study in the geosciences..

Mr Hussein Ali Ahmed Idrees is a senior applied geophysicist. He worked as project manager, field production manager, seismic superintendent, seismic engineer and geologist in various geophysical and petroleum companies in Sudan and China, currently he is the head of the Seismic Section of Petro Energy in E&P Company Ltd, in Sudan.

Dr Enas Abd Elhady Ahmed is a palaeontologist and stratigrapher and the first lady with a PhD in vertebrate palaeontology in Egypt and the Middle East. She was an assistant lecturer and trainer at the ICTP Centre of the Mansoura University and a curator at the Cairo Geological Museum. She received several awards for her scientific work and has been involved in the UNESCO Earth Science Education initiative in Africa, in Geo-tourism and Geopark development. Currently she plays an active role in the the African Association of Women in Geosciences and in the Young Earth Science initiative representing the Egypt Chapter.

Ashvin  Kamal  Wickramasooriya is an applied geoscientist who currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. His prime field of interests are landslide risk and disaster reduction in coastal zones. He has been the representative of the National Committee for Sri Lanka on the International Year of Planet Earth and one of the initiators of Earth science Olympiads in secondary schools in his country. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Geological Society in Sri Lanka and is the Founder President of the National Chapter of the Young Earth Scientist global network. He received several awards for popularization and promotion of the geosciences.
Prof. Jesus Martinez-Frias is a Senior Scientist at the Geosciences Institute, IGEO (CSIC-UCM) of Spain and Honorific Professor of Planetary Geochemistry at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. He is founder and director of the Spanish Planetology and Astrobiology network (REDESPA) and a specialist in extreme environments and planetary geology (mainly meteorites and Mars) and combines this with aspects on Geoscience Education and Geoethics. Prof. Martinez-Frias has published many books and articles and been involved in many national and international scientific Commissions and editorial boards. Currently, he chairs the IUGS-Commission on Geoscience Education, Training and Technology Transfer (COGE) and the International Association for Geoethics (IAGETH). Prof. Martinez-Frias received two NASA group achievement awards and various recognitions.  
Dr Bhanooduth Lalljee is a soil scientist specialized in soil chemistry and soil microbiology. Presently, he is the Director of the Centre for Contract Research & Consultancy in the University of Mauritius. Dr Lalljee has been involved in the preparations for a national report for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. He was the National representative for Mauritius of the International Year of Planet Earth and responsible for a nation-wide geo-awareness campaign. Through his public lectures Dr Lalljee is an active promoter of outreach for the geosciences, in particular concerning climate change, land-use and food security.

Dr Gabriele I.C. Schneider is an applied geologist specialised in base metals and industrial minerals. Since 1996, she is the Director of the Geological Survey of Namibia. Dr Schneider has been a Councillor of the International Union of Geological Sciences and inter alia in her capacity as the leader of the National Committee for the International Year of Planet Earth she took many initiatives to promote the geosciences in Namibia. Dr. Schneider has a vast professional network in Africa and beyond and holds leading and other positions in a large number of scientific, policy, industrial and governmental organisations.  

Prof. Dr Jiun-Chuan Lin is a geomorphologist  and currently the Vice-Dean General Affairs at the National Taiwan University. His fields of research interest include slope erosion and mitigation, coastal landforms, monitoring and risk mapping, fluvial sedimentation, modelling, environmental geographical education, landscape conservation and Geoparks. Prof. Lin is a member of many national and international geoscientific organisations and chairs the regional and geographical section of the National Science Council in Taiwan, the National Engineering Environment Society and the Global Land Project of the IHDP in Taiwan.


Dr Kiril Anguelov is an engineering geologist and Associate Professor in the University of Mining and Geology, in Sofia. His principle expertise are landslides, dam and bridge construction. From 1990-1994, Dr Anguelov served as a Vice President of the International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment. Currently, he is the Secretary of the National Group of Engineering Geology in Bulgaria. He is the President of EUROBUILD, Ltd and Director of two other companies, GEOLOBBY and GEOTECHNICA. He is the author and co-author of more than 70 scientific publications.