KEYNOTES

Track 1. Atmospheric Sciences, Meteorology, Climatology, Oceanography

  • Georgiy Stenchikov

    Georgiy Stenchikov

    Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering
    Earth Sciences and Engineering Program
    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

    Georgiy Stenchikov completed his Ph.D. in the Numerical and Analytical Study of Weak Plasma Turbulence at Moscow Physical-Technical Institute in 1977. Afterward, he headed a department at the Russian Academy of Sciences, which used computational analysis to carry out crucial early research into the impact of humans on Earth's climate and environmental systems. From 1992 until 1998, Dr. Stenchikov worked at the University of Maryland in the USA, after which he held a position as a Research Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences of Rutgers University for almost a decade. Since 2009, he has been a Professor and a Chair of the Earth Sciences and Engineering Program at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. His work has brought about important advances in climate modeling, atmospheric physics, fluid dynamics, radiation transfer, and environmental sciences. Dr. Stenchikov published more than 150 refereed journal articles, 20 books, and book chapters, and co-authored the Nobel Prize-winning report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC-AR4 of 2007.

    In his keynote Professor Stenchikov will talk about 'Observations and modeling of the regional climate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) focusing on the mechanisms of its variability and long-term trend, as well as the effect of desert dust on radiative forcing, air quality, and precipitation.'

    The presentation will highlight the urgent necessity of understanding and predicting MENA's environmental stresses and designing viable regionally-based adaptation strategies. The rapidly growing MENA's population exceeds 300 million people, freshwater resources are depleting, the temperature rises 1.5 times faster than average over the Northern Hemisphere, and natural and anthropogenic air pollution is getting severer. The state-of-the-art regional climate studies must support Vision 2030, Saudi and Middle East Green Initiatives, development of wind and solar renewable energy resources, and inform environmental decision-making on national and regional levels.

Track 2. Biogeochemistry, Geobiology, Geoecology, Geoagronomy

  • Nurgul Balci

    Nurgul Balci

    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences
    Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

    Nurgul Balci is a professor of geomicrobiology at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey. She obtained a Ph.D. degree from ITU and Colorado School of Mines, USA. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Department of Earth Sciences, Riverside, CA (NASA Exobiology Program) and the University of Missouri, Biochemistry Department (Life Science Fellowship) between 2005–2007. She was a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. Dr. Balci’s research focuses on understanding microbe-mineral interactions in various modern and recent geological environments to interpret chemical, mineral, and morphological traces of microbial processes preserved in geological records. The current research in her lab combines geochemistry (stable isotopes), mineralogy, microbiology and materials science to elucidate microbially driven processes in diverse modern geochemical settings, particularly in extreme environments, to interpret the limits of life.

    In her keynote – titled ‘what is the meaning of Lake Salda’s microbialites? are they biosignature repositories for Jezero Crater (Mars)?’ – Professor Balci will present a review of biological processes that regulate and contribute to microbialite formation in modern lacustrine carbonate settings and explain the key findings from Lake Salda (southwestern Turkey) microbialites and discuss what offer and/or not offer for possible lacustrine carbonates on Mars (Jezero Crater).

Track 3. Earthquake Seismology and Geodesy

  • Sinan Özeren

    Sinan Özeren

    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences
    Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

    Sinan Özeren is a full professor at the Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey. He obtained a Ph.D. degree from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2002. He was a visiting scientist at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Salerno, Italy between 2003 and 2005. Prof. Özeren’s main research topics are fluid mechanics of Tsunami waves and continental deformation. In recent years he also started to work on Bayesian models of various time series in earth sciences including palaeoclimatology and satellite geodesy. His work on mathematical modelling of continental dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean contributed, especially, to a better understanding of the role played by the lateral variations of the gravitation potential energy in shaping the deviatoric stresses in actively deforming zones such as the Aegean. He participated in several oceanographic cruises in the Sea of Marmara and is actively working on the kinematics and seismicity of the Main Marmara Fault zone.

    In his keynote Professor Özeren will talk about ‘how can space geodesy help us in seismic hazard studies in Anatolia, Turkey.’

    With ever increasing spatial density of GPS observations and the availability of INSAR data, we can now determine the strain rate field on the earth's surface with much higher accuracy. Novel computational approaches enable us to determine the potential seismic sources, even the ones which don't have the surface geologic evidence of past ruptures. Reliable interseismic slip rate assessments done this way can help us to produce synthetic earthquake catalogues which we can then compare with real catalogues. This enables us to produce realistic source models for earthquake engineers to use in their hazard models.

Track 4. Environmental Earth Sciences

  • Tolga Görüm

    Tolga Görüm

    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences
    Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

    Tolga Görüm is an associate professor of Geomorphology at the Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences of Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. He obtained his PhD degree from the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, the Netherlands, in 2013. Dr. Görüm is interested in elucidating the mass-wasting processes in different tectonic and geomorphic environments and their role in sculpting the landscapes and mountain range evolution as a limiting factor for topographic development. His current projects involve linking regional tectonic stress changes after major earthquakes and episodic increases in co-seismic landsliding along the Tibetan Plateau's eastern margin. He has received the Distinguished Young Scientist award from the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA-GEBIP-2016) and Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (ITDU – 111, 2020) award from China.

    In his keynote Dr. Görüm will talk about ‘landslides as a natural seismometer: the importance of faulting mechanism and rupture dynamics on the co-seismic landslide distribution characteristics.’

    The presentation will highlight how the co-seismic landslides are capable of recording earthquake dynamics. Their spatial distribution characteristics may serve as a valuable tool for understanding fault rupture dynamics, propagation, and major asperities' location through surface process response. The common expectation that the abundance of co-seismic landslides decays systematically away from the ruptured master fault requires careful reappraisal, given the possibility of more complex rupture dynamics that may involve stress propagation along different fault segments. Thus, conventional models of earthquake-triggered landslide susceptibility may need revision.

Track 5. Applied & Theoretical Geophysics

  • Hans Thybo

    Hans Thybo

    President of International Lithosphere Program (ILP)
    Editor-in-Chief of Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL)
    Professor at:
    • Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University Turkey
    • Center for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, University of Oslo, Norway

    Hans Thybo was a professor of Geophysics for 30 years at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, including being chair of the Geological Institute for five years. He is an Honorary Editor of Tectonophysics and member of the editorial boards of five other journals. He is a founding member of European Geoscience Union where he was the president/vice-president for 4 years after serving as General Secretary for six years. He is currently a member of the Committee for Freedom and Responsibility of International Science Council. He is chair and member of several panels of research councils in various countries. Thybo has provided significant contributions to the understanding of early plate tectonics, rifting processes, orogenesis, basin formation, and the structure, composition and metamorphic state of the lithospheric mantle. He and E. Perchuc discovered the still enigmatic Mid-Lithospheric Discontinuity. He discovered the importance of Magma-Compensated Crustal Thinning in rift zones, and he was the first to provide a high-resolution image of the core-mantle transition zone. He and I. Artemieva recently demonstrated that West Antarctica is a back-arc basin, contrary to the traditional belief of a rifted continent. Thybo is member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, where he has served as vice-president, Danish Academy of Natural Sciences, Royal Norwegian Academy of Sciences, and Academia Europaea. He is a fellow of Royal Astronomical Society of London and Geological Society of America. He has received the 1000 Talents Award from China.

    In his keynote Professor Thybo will present a review of continental rifting, evolution of sedimentary basins in various tectonic settings, and the connection to oceanic break-up and formation of continental shelves.

Track 6. Geo-Informatics and Remote Sensing

  • Hesham El-Askary

    Hesham El-Askary

    Professor of Remote Sensing and Earth Systems Science
    Editor of Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer)
    Director Computational & Data Sciences Graduate Programs
    Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling & Observations
    Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, USA

    Hesham El-Askary is the 2015 recipient of the Chapman University's elite Senior Wang-Fradkin Professorship award. He served as the regional coordinator on a $3 million Euro grant from the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020. He is an Earth System Scientist with a major interest in studying natural hazards using different remote sensing technologies and data sciences. He is involved in studying extreme events, air pollution problems over mega cities, climate change and its impacts on sea level rise and coral reefs for coastal areas. He also employs earth observations in studying impact of sever dust storms causing anomalous chlorophyll outbreaks in the marine environment, hurricanes intensification as well as transport of microbes’ causing Kawasaki disease outbreaks. Recently Prof. El-Askary has been focusing on using earth observations for water resources management, precision agriculture along the sustainable development goals. He has published over a 150 refereed research publications, conferences full paper and book chapters in these research areas. Prof. El-Askary’s research has been supported by National Science Foundation, NASA, United States Department of Agriculture and European Union. Prof. El-Askary has received the Saudi Arabia award hosted by the Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO) affiliated with the League of Arab states for the best published article in Environmental Management among 150 articles in 2006. He is also member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), AGU, EGU, COSPAR, and Phi Beta Delta Honor Society.

    In his keynote Professor El-Askary will talk about ‘Multi-source satellite imagery, studying the filling of the GERD reservoir and its impact on downstream countries.’

    The presentation will highlight the drying trend downstream at Lake Nasser in Southern Egypt before December 2020. It will also show the increasing trend in the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) anomalies for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and the decreasing trend for Lake Nasser. In addition, it will also discuss potential interactions between GERD and the rainfall and resulting flood in Sudan.

Track 7. Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology, Volcanology

  • Astrid Holzheid

    Astrid Holzheid

    University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany

    Astrid Holzheid studied Geology and Mineralogy at University of Mainz in Germany, Edinburgh University in Scotland and Max-Planck-Institute of Chemistry in Mainz. She received her PhD from the University of Cologne, Germany, and completed postdocs at MIT, USA and the University of Münster, Germany. Since November 2006, she has been a full professor at Kiel University in Germany and, since 2020, honorary professor at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. She applies experimental and theoretical petrology and geochemistry to mineralogical questions in planetary processes in the early solar system and during formation and evolution of terrestrial planets.

    In her keynote Professor Holzheid will talk about Platinum Group Elements and their various applications to shed light on early Earth processes, mantle evolution as well as crustal differentiation.

Track 8. Geological Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering

  • Pijush Samui

    Pijush Samui

    FICDM, FESI
    Editor of Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer)
    Associate Professor at Department of Civil Engineering, NIT Patna, Patna, Bihar, India
    Adjunct Professor at Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Title of Docent from Tampere University, Finland

    Pijush Samui is working as an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering Department at NIT Patna, India. He graduated in 2000, with a B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, India. He received his M.Sc. in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India (2004). He holds a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (2008) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. He was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Pittsburgh, USA (2008-2009) and Tampere University of Technology, Finland (2009-2010). In 2010, he joined the Center for Disaster Mitigation and Management at VIT University in India as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to full Professor in 2012. Dr. Samui is the recipient of the prestigious CIMO fellowship (2009) from Finland, for his integrated research on the design of railway embankment. He was awarded Shamsher Prakash Research Award (2011) by IIT Roorkee, India for his innovative research on the application of Artificial Intelligence in designing civil engineering structure. He was selected as the recipient of IGS Sardar Resham Singh Memorial Award (2013) for his innovative research on infrastructure project. He was elected Fellow of International Congress of Disaster Management in 2010. He has been selected as an adjunct professor at Ton Duc Thang University (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). He has been Visiting Professor at Far East Federal University (Russia). He served as a guest editor in Disaster Advances journal. He also serves as an editorial board member in several international journals.

    In his keynote Professor Samui will present the application of various machine learning models in different fields of geosciences. He will also discuss about the concept and application of hybrid machine learning models.

Track 9. Geomorphology, Geography, Soil Science, Glaciology, Geoarchaeology, Geoheritage

  • Stefan Grab

    Stefan Grab

    Chief Editor – Track 9, Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer)
    Southern African lead coordinator: Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE)
    Past President: Southern African Society for Quaternary Research
    Professor of Physical Geography and Chair of Geography Program at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Stefan Grab is professor of Physical geography at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he has served as an academic staff member for the past 25 years. He has served on many scientific committees. During the earlier part of his career his work focused primarily on African mountain geomorphology, with specialization in cryogenic processes and landform development. He was founding member of the Lesotho Mountain Research Group and also served as Vice-President of the African Mountains Association. He currently serves on the advisory board for the Afromontane Research Unit. More recently, Stefan has shifted his research focus on historical climate reconstructions and is much involved in historical weather data rescue activities as part of the international ACRE initiative, for which he serves as the coordinator for the southern Africa, southern Atlantic and southeast Indian Ocean regions. But his work, where possible, continues to incorporate geomorphology, especially in the area of climatic (change) impacts on geomorphic processes. His current primary project is building the longest (~ 366 years) daily weather chronology for the southern hemisphere, centered on Cape Town.

    In his keynote Professor Grab will review contributions made across the Arabian regions to the field of geomorphology and place this in a global context. Areas of research strengths and weaknesses are identified, and recommendations made for future research initiatives, particularly where there are notably gaps in thematic coverage. Sub-regions are identified for specific areas of geomorphic investigation and a call is made for greater scientific cooperation and collaboration to address these gaps.

Track 10. Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Hydrochemistry

  • Imran Ali

    Imran Ali

    Ph.D., FRSC, C. Chem., London (UK)
    Editor of Arabian Journal of Geosciences (Springer)
    Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher (2020)
    Stanford Univ. Survey Rank: 24 Global (Anal. Chem.)
    Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia (A Central University), New Delhi, India

    Imran Ali is a world-recognized academician and researcher. He is identified as a Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science in 2020. Moreover, Professor Ali stands at 24 Global Ranks in Analytical Chemistry; as per a report of Stanford University, USA (global list of top 2% scientists). He completed his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India. Professor Ali is known globally due to his great contribution in water treatment using nanomaterials and water quality, environmental chemistry and separation science; especially chiral separations. He has published more than 450 papers in reputed journals including papers in Nature and Chemical Reviews of more than 52 impact factors. He has also written six books published by Marcel Dekker, Inc., USA; Taylor & Francis, USA; John Wiley & Sons, USA; John Wiley & Sons, UK; Elsevier, The Netherlands and Springer, Germany. His total citation is 27,200 with h-index 82 and i10-index 266. He is a member of various scientific societies globally. He has been co-chair of a conference on the application of graphene, chaired many conference sessions and delivered several keynote lectures. He is a widely travelled person as enjoying various visiting Professor/Consultant positions in many universities of the world.

    In his keynote Professor Imran Ali will present the future scope of the marvellous material graphene in water treatment because there may be a great scarcity of drinking, recreation and irrigation water globally in near future.

Track 11. Marine Geosciences, Historical Geology, Paleoceanography, Paleoclimatology

  • M. Akif Sarıkaya

    M. Akif Sarıkaya

    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences
    Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

    M. Akif Sarıkaya is a professor of Quaternary geology at the Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences of Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. He graduated from the geological engineering department of Hacettepe University, Turkey in 1998. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Hydrology and Water Resources Department of the University of Arizona, USA in 2009. Afterward, he continued his postdoctoral research at the University of Nebraska, USA until 2011. His main interests are Quaternary geomorphology and cosmogenic isotope geochronology in various environments, including glacial, fluvial, volcanic and tectonic settings. He mainly uses 36Cl and 10Be to infer the dating and evolution of landforms. He is the founder and director of Turkey's first and the only cosmogenic dating lab (ITU/Kozmo-Lab).

    In his keynote Professor Sarıkaya will talk about ‘glacier based paleoclimatology of Eastern Mediterranean.’

    Glaciers are sensitive to climate changes. The extent and timing of past glaciers can be used as a proxy of paleoclimate. Despite their unfamiliarity, glaciers do exist in the Eastern Mediterranean. They are vulnerable to recent and past climate changes because of their sizes. The societies and agriculture-based economies of the countries bordering the Eastern Mediterranean were severely affected by such changes in the past. The Quaternary glacial archive of the Eastern Mediterranean can be used to reconstruct and model the effects of past environmental, regional climate and hydrological changes in the region. The region hosts many mountains that are high enough to sustain paleo-glaciers. The numerical dating techniques mainly by cosmogenic 36Cl provide the timing of glaciations in the Eastern Mediterranean. The physical based glacier modelling efforts offer clues about the past climate changes in the region.

Track 12. Numerical and Analytical Methods in Mining Sciences and Geomechanics

  • Lysandros Pantelidis

    Lysandros Pantelidis

    Cyprus University of Technology
    Limassol, Cyprus

    Lysandros Pantelidis is an Associate Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT). The time span between 2003 and 2010, Dr Pantelidis was Adjunct Professor at the department of Civil Infrastructure Engineering of Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece (now part of the International Hellenic University, Greece). He obtained a Ph.D. degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2009; the following year he was postdoctoral researcher at Colorado School of Mines (USA). He joined CUT in 2011. His research interests cover a wide range of subjects, among others, analytical and numerical modelling in geotechnical engineering, analytical and numerical probabilistic analysis of geotechnical engineering problems based on the theory of random fields, reliability of geotechnical engineering structures with respect of field investigation, landslide risk assessment, investigation of rockfall measures adequacy and cost-effectiveness and soil erosion risk assessment.

    In his keynote Professor Pantelidis will present his analytical work “the Generalized Coefficients of Earth Pressure: A Unified Approach”, focusing mainly on the validation of the proposed expressions. The validation will include, among others, comparison with numerical results, in-situ earth pressure cell reads, and contemporary centrifuge test results (carried out at the Berkley University of California). Further comparison with EN1998-5:2004, the draft standard prEN1998-5:2021 and AASHTO standard will give rise to explaining the long-standing “negative root” problem that these methods present.

    The proposed method is a holistic continuum mechanics approach for deriving earth pressure coefficients for any soil state between the “at rest” state and the active or passive state, applicable to cohesive-frictional soils and both horizontal and vertical pseudo-static conditions. It is worth mentioning that under static conditions this rather complicated analysis based on Cauchy’s first law of motion (extended suitably to deformable bodies with internal resistance) leads to the well-known Rankine’s expression for cohesive-frictional soils for the active state. By just changing the arithmetic value of a controlling parameter from infinity to 1, the same approach leads to Jaky’s well-known Ko=1-sinφ’ expression for the earth pressure at rest with an additional term for the cohesion of soil. Analytical expressions for the calculation of the required wall movement for the mobilization of the active or passive state are also given and numerically validated.

Track 13. Petroleum and Energy Engineering, Petroleum Geochemistry

Track 14. Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Geochronology

  • Aral I. Okay

    Aral I. Okay

    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences
    Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

    Aral I. Okay is emeritus professor of geology in the Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. He holds a B.Sc. degree in geology from the University College London and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK. Between 1980–1983 he worked as a geologist at the Geological Survey of Turkey (MTA), and since then he has worked in the Istanbul Technical University. His research interests are regional geology and tectonics of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region, and metamorphic petrology. He was a visiting scientist in the University of California Los Angeles (1986), in the University of Bochum, Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow (1995), in the École Normal Superiéure de Paris (1996), in the University of California Santa Barbara as a Fulbright fellow (2005–2006) and in the Freie Universität Berlin (2020) as a Georg Forster research awardee. He has received the Science Prize of the Turkish Scientific Research Council (TÜBİTAK), and is a member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) since 1996, and a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America. For more information see his web page.

    In his keynote Professor Aral Okay will talk about the geology of Turkey, which consists of continental fragments located on opposing sides of the Tethys ocean. The closure of the Tethys oceans and subsequent continental collisions have shaped the geology of Anatolia.

Track 15. Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geodynamics, Petroleum Geology

  • Celâl Sengör

    Celâl Sengör

    Associate Editor, Mediterranean Geosciences Reviews (Springer)
    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University Istanbul, Turkey

    A. M. Celâl Sengör is professor of geology in the İstanbul Technical University and a former chairman of the History of Geology Division of the Geological Society of America. He is the author, editor, co-author or co-editor of 19 books and some 302-research papers on diverse aspects of geology. Şengör is a member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences the Academia Europaea, the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences and a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Şengör also received numerous awards and medals for his work on geology, including the Bigsby Medal of the Geological Society of London, the Lutaud Award of the Academy of Sciences in Paris, the Gustav-Steinmann Medal of the Geologische Vereinigung, the Arthur Holmes Medal of the European Geosciences Union and the Eduard Suess Medal of the Austrian Geological Society.

    In his keynote Professor Şengör will talk about ‘how to deal with continental reconstructions: the importance of the details of the high strain along former plate boundaries.’

    This presentation emphasises the very considerable strains along former orogenic belts that now flank former continental entities. Such strains are often overlooked while making continental reconstructions of the past geological times based on palaeomagnetism and biogeography. This almost always results in unrealistic geographies of the past. Work on such orogenic systems as the Altaids and the Saharides has shown that without sorting out the structure and evolution of major orogenic belts, reliable reconstructions of past geographies of continental entities cannot be made.

Track 16. Special session on the occasion of the International Year of Caves and Karst (2021)

  • Francisco Gutiérrez

    Francisco Gutiérrez

    Full Professor, Vice-President of the International Association of Geomorphologists
    Editorial Board Member of "Environmental Earth Sciences" (Springer) and "Geomorphology" (Elsevier)
    Department of Earth Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain

    Francisco Gutiérrez (b. Salamanca 1969) studied Geology at the Universities of Zaragoza (Spain) and Aberdeen (UK). He is currently Full Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences in the University of Zaragoza. Francisco was the Secretary of the 6th International Conference on Geomorphology (Zaragoza, 2005) and served as Treasurer of the IAG (International Association of Geomorphologists) between 2005 and 2013. His main research topics include karst, slope movements, tectonic geomorphology and geomorphological mapping, and has conducted investigations in various regions (Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Malta, Zagros Mountains, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain). He has published more than 115 papers in journals included in the Journal Citation Report (JCR of the Web of Science). Francisco is a member of the Editorial Board of "Environmental Earth Sciences" (Springer) and "Geomorphology" (Elsevier), and has co-edited eleven special issues for international journals. He has co-edited the book "Landscapes and Landforms of Spain" (Springer) and is the co-author of the book "Landforms of the Earth" (Springer). Recently, he was appointed as an expert by the International Court of Justice and a member of the Seismic Source Characterization Team of a SSHAC Level 3 Project in Spain. Prof. Francisco Gutiérrez is the Vice-President of the IAG (2017 – 2021).

    In his keynote Prof. Francisco Gutiérrez will present some of the main findings of recent investigations on karst depressions conducted in several karst areas in the Middle East. Sinkhole activity is experiencing a significant increase in many of these regions despite their aridity. This hazard enhancement is mainly related to unprecedented alterations in the hydrological systems imposed by human activity and can be considered as one of the manifestations of the Anthropocene.