Lisa McNeill




Professor of Tectonics, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

AGU embraces the global community and welcomes diverse leaders from around the world, representing various identities, voices, and perspectives. List any identities, voices, and perspectives you would bring, including but not limited to nationality, regional representations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and any other identity you feel comfortable sharing.

Encouraging and welcoming an increased diversity of scientists and other contributors to AGU is important - much more diversity is needed in the Earth sciences, for example. I am a woman from the U.K., so slightly different to the dominant membership of AGU; however I appreciate I am still part of a common demographic. I have worked with a broad diversity of scientists from around the world, and I am respectful and inclusive. On marine expeditions, the composition of the group onboard is usually very diverse, with many backgrounds, nationalities and ethnicities. The focus is collecting quality data and generating great science results, regardless of background. As a university teacher and tutor, I also support a diverse student population. Within our university department, as Research Group Head, we encourage promotion of and applications from people with diverse backgrounds, and will hopefully in time generate new role models. I also support and encourage students and early career scientists, especially women, to continue with and into their chosen careers.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

Co-Chair of the Science Evaluation Panel (SEP) for the International Ocean Discovery Program - (IODP): scientific ocean drilling (2019-2022); member of IODP SEP (2012-2015); member of the UKIODP Programme Advisory Board (2012-2016, 2019-present); member of the IODP Working Group on new program Science Framework implementation (2020-2021); member of the Geological Society of London, Marine Studies Group (2005-2008); member of the Geology Editorial Board 2008-2010; topic editor of Frontiers in Earth Science special volume (2021-2022).


This leadership position is a liaison role; it is one that aims to catalyze community and build AGU as envisioned by the strategic plan. How will you engage with members of your section to advance AGU’s strategic plan? How will you facilitate engagement with other sections and people outside AGU to support our mission?

AGU is the broadest community I have encountered in my career, and I am excited by the chance to become more involved. Tectonophysics is exceptionally well placed to engage with other sections due to its multidisciplinary science, with many members working across boundaries, advancing technology, and focusing on societally impactful science, e.g., geohazards. I would encourage inter-sectional activity, a focus of AGU’s strategic plan, by encouraging new groups, joint meeting sessions and online communities, particularly involving early career scientists who are the future and ever enthusiastic! I would draw on my own contacts and of other section members in other national and international science and non-science organisations, to increase liaison outside AGU and to diversify membership. Presenting our science and learning from others at meetings and in publications is at the heart of AGU - we should find ways to meet together as effectively as possible and use our valuable time wisely to share and take forward our science (we are all fatigued due to the pandemic, but have also learned new skills and ways to communicate). I would communicate across a range of methods (via the Tectonophysics newsletter and discussion community online, website, social media, etc.) to encourage and bring together groups and to increase the impact of our science outside AGU to the public, media, policy makers, etc. But I would be mindful of how much we are bombarded by information – focusing and streamlining communication and getting your views on how best to communicate would be important.

Section affiliations:

Geodesy; Natural Hazards; Ocean Sciences; Seismology; Tectonophysics