The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Marie Cowan

BSc (QUB), PhD (QUB), Dip(IoD). PGeo (IGI)

Director Geological Survey of Northern Ireland

Member ScienceElected in 2020

RIA Standing Cttee for Council Recommended Membership, RIA North-South Standing Cttee, Irish Centre Research Applied Geosciences Board, Irish Journal Earth Sciences Editorial Board, Chair, NI Geothermal Advisory Ctte, RIA Higher Education Futures WG 2020/21, RIA Brexit TF 2017/2018, RIA Geosciences and Geographical Sciences Cttee 2x terms. On Council 2024-.

Marie Cowan MRIA MIoD PGeo is the Director of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, a senior management board member at the British Geological Survey (BGS), strategic advisor to BGS Wales, and chairs the BGS People, Culture Skills Oversight Group. Marie is an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly All-Party Group for Science and Technology. She is a member of the Governance board of the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences at University College Dublin. Marie currently chairs Northern Ireland’s Geothermal Advisory Committee for the Department for the Economy; in 2023 Marie was awarded the Geological Society of London Energy Group medal. Marie is also a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and holds an IoD diploma in Company Direction. Marie is also a Professional Geologist with the Institute of Geologists of Ireland.In 2021 Marie led the Governance working group of EuroGeoSurveys involving 37 geological surveys.

Marie holds a 1st Class Hons. B.Sc. Geology and Ph.D. in Geology from Queen’s University of Belfast. Outside work, Marie is the board chair of a community investment company.

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