Hot and Dangerous - The Tropical History of Bristol | Best of Bristol

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Hot and Dangerous - The Tropical History of Bristol | Best of Bristol

Presented by Dr Mary Benton

  • I studied for a BSc in Geology at the University of Dundee (1980) and for a PhD at the University of Newcastle (1985).  My PhD project was on the Fell Sandstone Formation (Border Group) of the Northumberland Trough, supervised by Dr. Brian Turner.  Following that were 5 years at Queen's University, Belfast where I had an EEC-funded post doc investigating mineralisation in the Rhodope Block and started teaching Years 1 and 2 of the part-time BSc in Geology.  The latter, combined with OU tutoring since PhD days led to a love of teaching, and enjoyment of students of all ages. I moved to Bristol in 1989 and began teaching various soft-rock units as a contract teacher, evolving through time into a part-time and finally full-time Pathway 3 (teaching and teaching-related administration) member of staff.


Geologists can prove that Bristol once lay south of the Equator and has tracked northwards for the past 700 million years.


Local evidence includes coral thickets inthe Avon Gorge and verification of desert conditions on the banks of the Severn Estuary. The local pictures fit the wider, global evidence of plate tectonics and continental drift. Working through cliffs, quarries and cuttings in an area within a radius of 10 km from the Wills Memorial Building it is possible to reconstruct environments very different from those seen today, including arid plains, tropical seas, an explosive volcano and coal forests.


Venue: Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building


Start Date Thursday 30-03-2017 - 13:00

End Date Thursday 30-03-2017 - 14:00

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