Meet your committee -Part 1


Welcome to the BSRG blog! In the coming weeks the blog will feature a series about the committee of the group. This time get to know Marco Patacci, our webmaster, and Yvonne Spychala, our Outreach Officer.


Marco Patacci – Webmaster

On the top of VieuxChaillol, France

Marco on the top of Vieux Chaillol, France

Hello, I’m Marco, a research fellow and co-investigator of the Turbidites Research Group at the University of Leeds. You might recognise me from my Italian accent and current full beard. I am mainly a field geologists, although I have done quite a bit of experimental work in flume tanks during my PhD. The newest bit of research I am working on is looking at mudstone caps of turbidites: where is the mud coming from, what is its composition? When I am not travelling, in my free time I like orienteering, skiing and relaxing on the beach, and I have a keen interest in macroeconomics.

Since when have you been a member of the BSRG?

My first BSRG conference was at the University of Durham in 2005 – that is when I met the BSRG! The year after in Aberdeen was my first BSRG presentation but I must confess I don’t remember much of the talk, I was probably too concentrated on not saying anything wrong…

What is your position in the committee?

I look after the website and the mailing list – not the most exciting job some might think, but there are a few nice perks, like the fact that I am often the first point of contact of people wanting to “talk” to the BSRG and also the fact that I curate the history of the BSRG: I like that part – being able to preserve the good memories!

mearuring mudcaps with my new Jacob's staff, Castagnola, Italy

Marco measuring mudcaps with his new Jacob’s staff, Castagnola, Italy

Why did you decide to volunteer for the society?

BSRG was a very welcoming society when I started attending and a couple of years later, when I was still a PhD student, a new webmaster was needed. I had some experience with website development and maintenance, so I thought it would be a good idea to help, and over the years I enjoyed being part of the committee greatly and I am glad I made that choice.

What do you like specifically about the BSRG?

Firstly, BSRG meetings, as they are a good mixture of postgraduate students and experienced sedimentologists and at the same time they remain quite small and easy to get by. In addition, postgraduate fieldtrips, as they have been a great source of experiences and ideas and an opportunity to meet other postgraduate students and post-docs. Finally, because meeting and fieldtrips cost relatively little, there is never a problem in finding some funding to go: how do you beat that?

Get in contact with Marco via


Yvonne Spychala -Outreach Officer


Yvonne in the field at Chos Malal, Argentina

Hi, I’m Yvonne a postdoctoral research assistant at the Comparative Sedimentology Group at the University of Utrecht. Most people might associate me with the University of Leeds where I was part of the Stratgroup going work in South Africa. I’m a field geologist that has recently started to also work on experimental sedimentology at the Eurotank. My current research focusses on dimensions of lobe deposits and the connection of flume experiments and outcrop studies. My favourite pastime is travelling – choose the right job to do a lot of that. When I’m not jetting around the world, I love to go on long hikes, kayaking and ,when the occassion arises, surfing.

Since when have you been a member of the BSRG?

The first BSRG I attended was 2012 at University College Dublin. It’s also where I gave my first presentation ever.

What is your position in the committee?

I’m the Outreach Officer. It is a new position that has been created at the AGM in 2016. Part of the role is to maintain the social accounts of the society: Facebook, Twitter…and recently I found out we even have a Linkedin group. I’m also the person people can get in contact with, when they have an idea of a joint event with the BSRG.


Yvonne on top of a magmatic intrusion at Bruchhauser Steine, Germany

Why did you decide to volunteer for it?

I have managed the Twitter account of the society for a while, before there was an official position. It’s quite funny, because when I started out I was a newbie regarding Twitter, but since no one else volunteered when Chris asked if anyone was willing to do it, I just went for it. I realised quickly that social media is a good way to inform members and the broader research community of what BSRG is all about. Conferences, events, grants, research- just to name some things. When the position of Outreach Officer was advertised I immediately thought that I could do more for the society if I had this official position.

What do you like specifically about the BSRG?

I really like the informal atmosphere at BSRG meetings. It’s easy to get into a discussion with the attendees, students as well as experienced sedimentologists. In addition, the BSRG offers postgraduate field trips and workshops – something I have not seen in this framework from any other society. These events bring PhD students (and post-docs) together and help them to connect with each other.

Get in contact with Yvonne via

To learn more about the committee visit: