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Alumni news

Sacha Borthwick - BSc Geology 1994

We are sad to report the death, on July 19 2007, of Sacha Borthwick. After developing cancer whilst a student, Sacha enjoyed 11 years of remission before he finally succumbed to the disease.

Following his graduation from Bristol in 1994, Sacha went on to study for an M.Sc in Mineral Deposit Evaluation at Imperial College. During the next ten years or so, he worked for N.M.Rothschilds, Hargreave Hale and Société Générale, earning a first-rate reputation as a Mining Analyst in U.K. financial markets. In 2006, he was named Mining Analyst of the Year, by the Association of Mining Analysts. Earlier this year, he joined the UK office of BMO Capital Markets.

Sacha leaves a wife, Lucy, and their 4 year daughter Olivia.


Jeremy Willson - MSci Geology 1998

June 2007: A charity set up in his memory of Jeremy Willson, who died in March 2006 of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), is to fund an annual research grant for undergraduates and recent graduates of the University of Bristol.

The Jeremy Willson Research Grant is available on an annual basis to undergraduates and recent graduates of the University of Bristol conducting independent and innovative research relating to geology or environmental science in areas outside the United Kingdom.


Michael Seavers - BSc 1976

August 2006: Michael Seavers' body was eventually found in August 2006, in a melting glacier on Mont Blanc. Michael, who graduated in 1976 and had worked for some time in the oil industry, was a member of a climbing party that was caught in a severe storm when trying to climb Mont Blanc in 1989. A report of the discovery of his body, and that of a German member of the expedition, appeared on the BBC website on 19th August.


Daniel Frost - PhD 1996

February 2006: Dan has just won the American Geophysical Union's 2006 Macelwane Medal, which honours the achievements of promising young (under 35) scientists. Dan, who did his PhD "The properties of C-O-H fluids under upper mantle conditions" with Prof. Bernie Wood, is currently a member of staff of the University of Bayreuth's Bayerisches Geointitut.


Brian McConnell - PhD 1989

28th October, 2005: Brian was presented with the Evening Post/ Jurys Business Person of the Year award at a gala evening in Bristol. After gaining his PhD, Brian worked on various civil engineering construction projects in Australia and the Middle East, returning to Bristol to launch Hydrock Consultants in 1995. He is now managing director of the Almondsbury-based company, which has an expected turnover of £12 million. Hydrock carried out the emergency stabilisation of the Combe Down stone mines under part of Bath.

See Bristol Evening Post 28.04.05


Tom Avery - Geography-Geology 1995-8

26 April, 2005: After becoming the youngest ever Briton to reach the South Pole, in December 2002, Tom Avery has been in the news again. This time, as leader of a team of 5, Tom has narrowly beaten Pearey's 1909 record of 37 days to reach the North Pole. The expedition saw them cover 423 nautical miles, over ice ridges up to 30ft high and in temperatures as low as -40C, equivalent to -55C with wind chill.

See BBC News website -


Louise Leakey - BSc

24th April, 2005: Louise was interviewed by Caroline Scott for the Sunday Times "A Life in the Day". A third generation palaeontologist of the famous Leakey lineage, Louise - now married and with an eight-month-old baby - describes her life during the field season. She is National Geographic explorer in residence working from the Leakey's base camp at Koobi Fora on the shore of Lake Turkana in Kenya, helping to excavate and piece together more hominid remains.

See Sunday Times 24.04.05


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This page is maintained by Liz Loeffler and was last updated on 8/8/07