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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2017  /  December 2017  /  Death of Professor John Catt

Death of Professor John Catt

Distinguished soil scientist at Rothamsted and UCL

Death of Professor John Catt

Colleagues at UCL Geography have been saddened to learn of the death on 7 December of Professor John Catt BSc PhD DSc.

John graduated in Geology and completed his PhD at Hull University before working from 1963 to 1999 at Rothamsted Experimental Station (now Rothamsted Research) in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. There he carried out research on soil genesis, palaeosols and Quaternary stratigraphy, soil erosion, and contamination of rivers and lakes by agricultural pesticides and plant nutrients.

After retiring, he became Honorary Professor in UCL Geography, continuing his research and writing, and sharing his comprehensive knowledge of regional geology and geomorphology with students and colleagues.

As well as scientific papers, his most recent books were the widely praised Hertfordshire Geology and Landscape, published in 2010 by the Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and The History of the Quaternary Research Association, to mark the 50th anniversary of the QRA in 2014.

John was active in conveying his knowledge to the lay public as Chair of the Hertfordshire Geology Society and through field excursions. His many activities were marked by the Geological Society's Distinguished Service Award in 2015, recognising his 'significant contribution to the geological community’.


John (left) receiving the Geological Society Award from the President, Professor David Manning in 2015