Distinguished Lecture Program

The European Association of Geochemistry started its Distinguished Lecture Program in 2011 and it currently focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. This program aims to introduce and motivate scientists and students located in under-represented regions of the world to emerging research areas in geochemistry.

The distinguished lecturer is selected each year based on a combination of outstanding research contributions to geochemistry and the ability to clearly communicate these contributions to a broad audience.

Distinguished Lecture Tour 2018

Distinguished Lecturer

Jim McQuaidDr. Jim McQuaid, University of Leeds, UK

Dr Jim McQuaid is based in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. His research is primarily focused upon observations of the composition of both gas phase and aerosol species in the atmosphere. Over the last 20 years he has participated in a large number of research campaigns both ground-based and airborne across the globe. He has been involved in studying a range of diverse topics including long range transport of pollutants across the Atlantic and over Europe, emissions from biomass burning activities in South and West Africa as well as from the Amazon and more recently the distribution of ice nucleating particles in remote regions. He is also the atmospheric scientist on Black and Bloom, which is a major 5 year program funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. This highly cross discipline project brings together geochemists, glaciologists, remote sensing specialists and microbiologists to tackle the questions surrounding the accelerating melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet caused by the noted increase in surface darkening over the last 30 years. In 2013, Jim sailed across the US from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the Pacific coast in Monterey, California, in a 60 metre long airship as one of the team for a BBC TV series. Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies is “one of television’s most ambitious experiments on the atmosphere” (BBC Press release). He also provides scientific and technical advice to a number of broadcasting production teams, including making clouds as part of Richard Hammond’s Wild Weather series, and has contributed to BBC iWonder (cloud weighing and perfect sunrise). He is a regular contributor to the weekly Paul Hudson Weathershow, which is broadcast across five local radio stations in the UK.


  • Lecture 1: Geoengineering the Climate
  • Iron fertilisation of the oceans, injecting particles high into the atmosphere and other methods that might reduce the effects of climate change. However their interactions go far beyond that for which they are designed, we must fully understand the whole cycle of such actions before committing ourselves to them.

    Recorded at the Department of Geophysics, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Lecture 2: The impact of volcanic eruptions on local, regional and global scales
  • Major historic eruptions such as Krakatoa, Laki and Tambora had huge implications across the planet far beyond their immediate impact on the local region. These will be described and we will discuss how they have helped our understanding of nature’s power. More recently, eruptions such as Pinatubo and El Chichón have allowed us to test our understanding of the global atmosphere whilst significant financial losses associated with the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 have resulted in significant focus in our efforts to monitor and predict such eruptions including systems to monitor post eruption allowing impacted airspace to reopen as soon as possible.

    Recorded at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.

  • Lecture 3: The role of atmospheric mineral dust in modifying surface albedo and cloud radiative properties
  • Mineral dust blowing off the Sahara produces a number of changes in local marine geochemistry resulting in algal blooms that can change the oceanic ecosystems, which can have a profound effect upon the global albedo both near field and at significant distance from the emission.

    Recorded at the Department of Geophysics, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Lecture 4: High altitude mineral dust and ice clouds
  • High in the atmosphere supercooled water can exist in the liquid phase well below 0 °C, in fact ultra pure water does not freeze until around -38 °C. In order to freeze, water droplets need a helping hand in the form of a tiny fragment of material known as an ice nucleating particle (INP). But what exactly is an INP? What is it made of? Recent studies have started to help us unpick what makes for a good INP.

    Recorded at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.

Tour information

Date Institution Location Lecture
Friday 16 November Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland Lectures 1 and 4
Monday 19 November Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Hungary Lectures 2 and 4
Tuesday 20 November Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pannonia Veszprém, Hungary Lecture 1
Thursday 22 November Dept. of Matter Structure, Atmospheric and Earth Physics and Astrophysics, University of Bucharest Bucharest, Romania Lecture 1
Wednesday 5 December Department of Geophysics, University of Zagreb Zagreb, Croatia Lectures 1 and 3

Invite a future EAG Distinguished Lecturer to your institution

Invitations for this year’s lecturer are now closed but if your institution is located in Eastern or Central Europe and if you wish to invite a future lecturer, please contact Marie-Aude Hulshoff, EAG Office, at mahulshoff@eag.eu.com with the following information:

  • Contact name, email and tel number
  • Name of the institution and address
  • Preferred date(s), if possible in October or November
  • Availability of video recording equipment (yes/no)

The European Association of Geochemistry will pay for the lecturer’s travel expenses and host institutions are requested to cover local expenses (such as accomodation, meals), however should this be an issue, please do not hesitate to let our office know.

Past Lecture Tours

  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2017Videos of lectures available
  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2016Video of lecture available
  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2015Video of lecture available
  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2014Video of lecture available
  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2013Videos of lectures available
  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2012
  • Distinguished Lecture Tour 2011Videos of lectures available
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