Tom Mitchell

Mineral and Rock Physics



Professor of Earthquake Geology and Rock Physics, University College London, London, UK

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I am an associate editor of Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (2017-present) and a previous member of the Physical Properties of Earth Materials (PPEM) Steering Committee. Having been lucky enough to attend 14 AGU Fall Meetings, I have co-convened eight successful AGU conference sessions between 2008 and 2019. In Europe, I have co-convened five European Geosciences Union (EGU) conference sessions between 2011 and 2018


Council members play critical roles as communication conduits among AGU members and leaders. How will you engage with members of your section to advance AGU’s new strategic plan? How might you facilitate engagement with other sections and people outside AGU to support our mission?

AGU is an organisation that I have had the utmost respect for ever since I began my scientific journey. I have been very lucky in my career to date, being supported and inspired by incredible mentors and role models, many of whom I met through AGU interactions. The AGU motto of “unselfish cooperation in research” resonates strongly for me, as AGU has provided an incredible network of opportunity and allowed me to work, collaborate with and learn from scientists from all over the world. With increasing numbers of young scientists in an increasingly competitive scientific community, I understand acutely just how important AGU is for young researchers, for its collaborative meetings and fantastic platforms to publish and promote, and how important it is for their voice to be heard. Making sure all young researchers have such opportunities would be key to my role as president of the Mineral and Rock Physics section.

Despite improvements over the years, we still have a long way to go in improving inclusion and diversity. I believe we can’t wait around for others at the top of organisations to fix these issues; we need to make efforts to address them directly within our spheres of influence and make sure inclusivity is embedded within the heart of our scientific community and culture, rather than an afterthought. It is vital to remove barriers to career progression in science, be it from gender, color or ethnicity, as well as encouraging inclusion and equality across all areas of our scientific community.

Section affiliations:

Earth and Planetary Surface Processes; Mineral and Rock Physics; Seismology; Tectonophysics; Volcanology, Geochemistry and Petrology