Professor Nigel Trewin



Photo: University of Aberdeen

The Geological Society of Glasgow is sad to announce the death of the eminent geologist, Professor Nigel Trewin. Professor Trewin, who was an emeritus professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen, died on October 25 2017. He was the editor of the latest, 4th, edition of The Geology of Scotland. The notice of his death can be seen here.


On 8 October 2009 Professor Trewin received the society's T.N. George medal for his contributions to palaeontology. The following citation was delivered by Dr Alan Owen before the presentation of the medal.

The breadth of Professor Nigel Trewin's research is remarkable. His PhD at the University of Keele was on the palaeontology, sedimentology and stratigraphy of Carboniferous rocks in Staffordshire. Since then he has made significant contributions to these three fields from settings ranging in age from the Lower Palaeozoic to the Recent, from the British Isles to the Falkland Islands, Aberdeen to Australia – and in doing all of this he has inspired others to follow him into our science.

Nigel Trewin's considerable expertise in clastic sedimentology shines through in many of his palaeontological works, not least in his research in palaeoecology and in numerous publications on both marine and non-marine trace fossils. He has been involved in the discovery, identification, description and interpretation of a prodigious 16 range of fossils from bacteria through invertebrates to vertebrates. Amongst the last of these, his painstaking studies of the fish from the Devonian Orcadian Basin are particularly noteworthy.

Even more renowned is Nigel's work on the world famous Rhynie Chert – the early Devonian hot spring deposit in which the exceptional preservation of plants and an increasing array of animals has provided a unique window into life on Earth during the colonization of the land by complex organisms.

In addition to all of this primary research, Nigel has also found time to edit geological field guides and, importantly, the most recent edition of the Geology of Scotland – a daunting task for which those of us who use the book are extremely grateful. Most recently he has made an impact on the world of popular science with his acclaimed book "Fossils Alive".

The T.N. George Medal is awarded "for excellence in palaeontology and/or stratigraphy". For the breadth and quality of his contributions, especially in palaeontology, Professor Nigel Trewin is a very worthy recipient of the award and I am pleased to call on our Vice President, Dr Chris Burton, to make the award.


Following the presentation of the medal, Professor Trewin addressed the society on Fossils Alive! Interpreting Scotland's classic fossil localities.