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About Prof Cynthia Burek

Cynthia has published over 100 papers and given hundreds of talks and walks to society at all levels on geoconservation, how geodiversity underpins biodiversity, limestone pavements, women in science (especially in history of geology, but also raising public awareness), local geodiversity, soils and good science communication. She serves on several national committees to influence public policy on geoconservation.

My main interests are in habitat conservation, environmental issues, gender equality, rock miles, and sustainable development.

At present I am a research affiliate for the Institute of Gender Studies, and I am on the Athena Swann committee for the University. I was Deputy Director of the Centre for Science Communication and served on the University Health, Safety and Environment Committee putting Environment on a par with health and safety. I was chair of the Environmental Task Force for the University for 11 years. Nationally, I serve on the UKGAP (Geodiversity Action Plan) steering group, English Geodiversity Forum, Association of Welsh RIGS Executive as being former Chair of NE Wales Regionally Important Geodiversity Sites (RIGS). I am deputy chair of Cheshire RIGS and spearheaded the Heritage Lottery Fund 3-year project for the Saltscape landscape of Cheshire. I was also on the Stakeholders committee for the Irish Sea Conservation Zone, one of four marine areas set up by the government to designate marine conservation areas. Additionally, I am on the international steering group for limestone pavement habitat research and Director for the UNESCO recognised GeoMôn (Anglesey) Geopark with the portfolio for education. I am also on the steering group for the Geoconservation Wales/Cymru Forum. I also serve as Trustee for the Armoury Conservation Trust, (ACT) safeguarding stone buildings in Llangollen.

I am a trustee and Chair for the British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarship Fund and a trustee for the Funds for Women Graduates. I also serve on the assessment committee of Funds for Women Graduates. I am Chair/Convener of the Graduate Women International Fellowship committee awarding women across the world grants for the final year of their PhD. In the past I convened the International Federation of University Women Committee for the Award of International Fellowships for 6 years.

I also act as external advisor for other institutions both nationally and internationally. For 37 years I was an associate lecturer for the Open University in Wales and NW England within the Earth Science department and within the multidisciplinary environment and sustainable development areas.


I teach in the areas of conservation, science communication, wildlife ecology, soils and forensic biology. I specialise in marine and coastal geoconservation, soil conservation, environmental law and policy, history of geoconservation, LGAPS and environmental history. I teach ethics, gender equality and have a holistic approach to both environmental issues, conservation and multisensory teaching. I also teach on the Shrewsbury campus in the Institute of Medicine under current topics (1. Women in science, 2. science communication, 3. Climate change) and evolution and genetics (Palaeoecology, Mass extinctions).



My research interests are in geodiversity conservation, sustainable development, limestone pavement conservation, public understanding of how planning policy influences geodiversity and habitat conservation in general, Quaternary and past climate change, extinctions and all aspects of women in history of science. I also carry out research in geodiversity and implementation as well as in soil conservation. Thus my research interests support my broad interpretation of conservation especially geoconservation, environmental issues and the importance of geodiversity underpinning biodiversity.

I have three PhD students specialising in mass extinctions (a very recent successful completion), limestone pavement microclimates and women in science in Afghanistan. I also supervise Masters research on Lanzarote geo and bio conservation.


Professor Cynthia Burek - Research Project

Cynthia with Julia Bradbury 2011 at Malham Cove Limestone pavement

   Professor Cynthia Burek - Research Project

 With UNESCO assessors in Anglesey Geopark


Professor Cynthia Burek - Research Project 

Science communication in Ruthin, North Wales

   Professor Cynthia Burek - Research Project

 With UNESCO assessors in Anglesey Geopark



Cynthia representing UK female graduates at the International Conference of Graduate Women International,Cape Town, South Africa, 2016



Published Work

I have published over 100 articles, chapter and books. I publish in 4 main areas:

  • Geoconservation & Geodiversity
  • History of science & Quaternary Geology
  • Gender studies Especially Women in science
  • Pedagogy and education

Here is a sample of my publication record:

Burek, C. V., & Cubitt, J. M., (1979), Trace Elements Distribution in Northern Derbyshire: Minerals and the Environment1, (3) 90-100 (Now Environmental Geochemistry and Health)

Burek, C. V.  (1980), An Interdisciplinary Curriculum Linking Geology & Information Science:Journal of Geological Education28, (5), 161-164

Burek, C. V. (1985), The Use of Trace Elements Weathering Ratios in Pleistocene Geology:Quaternary Newsletter, (47). 4-18

Burek C. V. (1991), Quaternary History and Glacial Deposits in the Peak District in Ehlers, J., Gibbard, P. L. & Rose, J. (Eds.) Glacial deposits in Great Britain and Ireland: A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, p193-201. ISBN 9061918758.

Burek C. V. & Cubitt, J. M. (1991), Geochemical Properties of Glacial Deposits in the British Isles in Ehlers, J., Gibbard, P. L. & Rose, J. (Eds.) Glacial deposits in Great Britain and Ireland: A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, p472-491. ISBN 9061918758.

Burek, C. V. & Davies, H., (1994), Communication of Earth Science to the public – how successful it been? In: Geological and Landscape Conservation, O’Hallaron, D., Green, C. et al. (Eds.). Geological Society of London Publishing House. 483-6, Proceedings of the Malvern International Geological Conservation Conference, 1993.

Burek C.V. & Deacon J., 1997, The limestone pavements of Brecknock : The geology of Brecknock – No 3. Brecknockshire Wildlife and Naturalist, (66) 10 – 12

Burek C.V. & Conway J, (2000), The relationship between Carboniferous Limestone insoluble residues and soils on limestone pavements in North Wales, Cave & Karst science 27, (2), 53-59

Burek C.V (2001), Setting geology within a science context – an aid to teaching Earth and Environmental science, Teaching Earth Science26, (1), 10-12

Burek C.V. (2002), Where are the women in science? A case study using women in the history of geology to develop a European curriculum, in Gonzalez  M.H. Ed., Proyecto Penelope, the role of the history of science in secondary education, Fundacion Canaria Orotava de Historia de la ciencia, La Orotava, Tenerife, Spain, 214-222

Burek C.V. & Potter J.A. (2002), Minding the LGAPs – A different approach to the conservation of local geological sites in England?  Geoscientist12, (9), 16-17

Burek C.V. (2003), Catherine Raisin – A role model professional geologist, Women in the History

of Geology III, Geology Today19, (3), 107-111 

Burek C.V. (2005), Stimulating public awareness in our urban environment in Wales, in Stone in Wales  – Material, Heritage and Conservation, National Museum & Gallery of Wales, Cardiff, Cadw, 36-40

Burek C.V. & Cleal C.J., (2005), The life and work of Emily Dix (1924-1972), in Eds. Bowden A.J., Burek C.V.& Wilding R., 2005, History of Palaeobotany: Selected essays, Geological Society. London, Special Publications 241, 181-196

Burek C.V. (2007), The role of women in Geological Higher Education – Bedford College, London (Catherine Raisin) and Newnham College, Cambridge In: Burek C.V & Higgs B (eds) The role of women in the history of geology. Geological Society of London, Special Publications, 281, 9-38

Burek C.V. (2008),The history of RIGS in Wales In Burek C.V. & Prosser C, (eds) The History of Geoconservation, Geological Society of London, Special Publications 300, 147-171

Burek C.V. (2008), The role women have played in the developing the science of geology 1797 to 1918-9 in Britain, Open University Geological Society Journal, 29, (2) 18-25

Burek, C.V. (2009). The first female Fellows and the status of women in the Geological Society, In Lewis C & Knell S. (eds), The Making of the Geological Society of London, Geological Society of London, Special Publications,  317, 373-407

Prosser C.D., Burek C.V., Evans D.H., Gordon J.E., Kirkbride V.B., Rennie A.F., & Walmsley C.A., (2010), Conserving Geodiversity Sites in a Changing Climate: Managing Challenges and Responses.Geoheritage, 2:123–136

Burek, C.V., (2011), Rock Miles and Fair Trade, Geoscientist21, (2), 6

Burek, C.V., (2011), Geovolunteers, The unpaid force that fuels Britain's geoconservation programme, Earth Heritage, 35, 8-9

Burek C.V. (2011).  Mary Anning - Mother of Palaeontology - “A woman in a man’s world”, Earthlearning ideas, eseu, University of Keele online at:

Burek C.V. (2011), Catherine Raisin, in: A Celebration of Women's achievements over the last 100 years and beyond - Inspirational stories of women from across the world, The National Federation of Women's Institutes - Wales, Cardiff WI p23

Burek C.V. (2012). The role of LGAPs (Local Geodiversity Action Plans) and Welsh RIGS as local drivers for geoconservation within geotourism in Wales. Geoheritage, 4, (1-2), 45-63

Brown, E.J., Gordon, J.E., Burek, C.V., Campbell, S., Bridgland, D.R. (2014) The contribution of the Quaternary Research Association to geoconservation: achievements and future challenges. In: Catt, J.A. & Candy, I. (eds), The History of the Quaternary Research Association. Quaternary Research Association, London

Burek, C. V., Ellis, N.V., Evans, D.H., Hart, M.B., and Larwood, J.G., (2013) Marine conservation in the United Kingdom. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 124, (4), 581-592

Burek, C.V., 2014 The contribution of women to Welsh geological research and education up to 1920. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. (2014), 125,

Burek C.V. (2015). A valuable Europe-wide summary - a book review: Geoheritage in Europe and its conservation (2012), W.A.P Wimbledon, S. Meyer-Smith (Eds), ProGEO, 405 pp. Hardback. € 40.00, ISBN 9788242624765. In: Earth Heritage 43, 31 

Burek C.V., & Sutton R, (2015) Malham Geology Trail: A geological trail around Malham Tarn House Published by Field Studies Council

Duruiheoma, F. I., Burek, C., Bonwick, G., & Alexander, R. (2015) Farmers’ Interest in Agricultural Technology and Organic Farming: Implications for AD Adoption and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK, Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, 4(1), 242-263.

Duruiheoma F., Burek, C.V., Bonwick, G., & Alexander, R., (2015), Farmers’ Perception of Soil: Implications for Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture in the UK. Global Journal of agricultural research, 3 (3) 11-24 .

Burek C.V. & Cubitt-Caddy, V.L., (2016). Saltscape: a successful cooperation in conservation. Earth Heritage, 46

Burek, C.V. & Drew, I., (2016), Middlewich Cemetery Geodiversity. Waking through the past Graveyard series, Cheshire RIGS. Chester

Burek, C.V. & Drew, I., (2016), Walking through the past. A geological trail around Warrington. Cheshire RIGS. Chester

Burek, C.V., Drew, I. & Todhunter R., (2016), St. Chad’s Churchyard at Over in Winsford Geodiversity. Waking through the past Graveyard series, Cheshire RIGS. Chester

Burek, C.V., & Hose, T.A. (2016), The role of local societies in early modern geotourism: a case study of the Chester Society of Natural Science and the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. In (Ed.) Hose, T.A. Appreciating the physical landscape: Three hundred years of Geotourism. Geological Society of London. Special Publication. 417. 95-116.

Burek, C.V., Drew, I. & Todhunter R., (2016), Walking through the past. A geological trail around Northwich. Cheshire RIGS. Chester

Burek, C.V. (2017). Much to learn from dual geopark conferences, Earth Heritage, 47, 5

Burek, C.V., Drew, I., (2017). Walking through the past: A geological trail around Middlewich, Cheshire RIGS, Chester

Burek, C.V., Drew, I., Todhunter, R. & Buckley, S., (2017). Walking through the past: A geological trail around Winsford, Cheshire RIGS, Chester

Burek, C.V., & Todhunter, R (2017). St. Helen’s churchyard Witton and Northwich cemetery Geodiversity, Walking through the past Graveyard series, Cheshire RIGS. Chester

Todhunter R., Burek, C.V., Cubitt-Holmes, V.L., & Drew I., (2017). Geodiversity sites in Cheshire’s Salt landscape. Cheshire RIGS, Chester

Burek, C.V. (2018) Anomalies – Pioneering women in Petroleum geology: 191702017 Book review. Geoscientist 23 (1), 23

Burek C.V. (2018). Maria Ogilvie Gordon, The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women 2nd Ed. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh

Dunlop, L., Larwood, J. G. & Burek, C.V. (2018). Geodiversity Action Plans – A method to facilitate, structure, inform and record action for geodiversity. In Eds. Reynard, E. & Brilha, J., Geoheritage: Assessment, Protection and management Chapter 3. Elsevier. ISBN: 9780128095317

Sendino, C., Ducker, E., & Burek, C.V. 2018-9. Ida Slater, a collection researcher in a male world at the beginning of the 20th century. Collections: A journal for Museums and Archives Professionals 14(4), 439-453

Burek, C.V. Archibald Geikie: His influence on and support for the roles of female geologists In: Betterton J., Craig, J., Mendum, J., & Tanner, J. (eds) Aspects of the life and works of Archibald Geikie. Geological Society of London. Special Publication. 480. DOI: 10.1144/SP480.6

Burek, C.V., & Drew, I. (2019), Walking through the past: A geological trail around Crewe. Cheshire RIGS, Chester

Burek, C.V.  (2019) The importance of professional and educational societies and groups to late 19th and early 20th century female geologists: In Jones, C & Bainbridge J., (Eds) The Palgrave handbook of women and science – History, cultures and practice [since 1660], Palgrave

Burek C.V. & Higgs B. (2019) Uncovering the historical contribution of women in the Geosciences: A Celebration of the first female fellows of the Geological Society of London. Geological Society of London Special Publication

Burek C.V. (2020) Female medal and fund recipients of the Geological Society of London: a historical perspective. DOI: 10.1144/SP506-2019-190 -

Burek C.V.  (2020) Mabel Elizabeth Tomlinson and Isabel Ellie Knaggs: two overlooked early female Fellows of the Geological Society. DOI: 10.1144/SP506-2019-235

Burek C.V. (2020) Margaret Chorley Crosfield, FGS: the very first female Fellow of the Geological Society DOI: 10.1144/SP506-2019-209