Dr Natasha Dowey will deliver the ESE Departmental Seminar on 24 November 2022, “Working towards equity in Geoscience postgraduate research”

Join us in room 1.49/50 – RSM Building – on Thursday 15th December 2022 at 12h15.

Or on Microsoft Teams:  Natasha Dowey Seminar


There is a well-documented diversity crisis in geoscience subjects in the Global North, due to structural inequity and subject-specific hostile environments. The NERC-funded Equator project set out to increase participation and retention of UK-domiciled ethnic minority students in geoscience postgraduate research, through three evidence-based interventions. 

(1) To remove barriers to access, a doctoral training working group was formed to share best practice and develop recommendations to make PhD recruitment more equitable. (2) To improve access and participation, a ring-fenced research school for ethnic minority undergraduate, masters and doctoral students was delivered. (3) To increase retention and improve student experience, a targeted mentoring network pairing students with mentors from both industry and academia was created. Work was overseen by a steering committee of grassroots organisations, higher education institutions, professional bodies and an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) consultant. 

This talk will report the findings of Equator. It will explain why we should all care about representation in geoscience, reflect on how to build effective interventions that positively impact students, and make straightforward recommendations for how we can make our discipline more equitable.

About the speaker

Natasha Dowey

Natasha Dowey (she/her) is Senior Lecturer in Geoscience and Course Lead of Environmental Science at Sheffield Hallam University. She is founder and editor of the Geoscience for the Future initiative, a trustee of the charity Geology for Global Development, and sits on the Geological Society of London council. Following her PhD in volcanic stratigraphy, Natasha spent seven years working as a research geoscientist in industry. Since returning to academia, first at Hull and now at SHU, her time has been split between volcanology research and working on collaborative projects aimed at improving equity and representation in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science.

Getting here