Andy Baker – Karst and Climate Change – University of New South Wales, Australia – Andy Baker was born in Romford, England, in 1968. He received his BSc and PhD degrees in Geographical Science from the University of Bristol, in 1990 and 1993 respectively. He has been employed at the University of Exeter (1993-1998), University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1998-2003) and University of Birmingham (2003-2009). Since 2010 he has been employed at UNSW Australia. He is the Director of the Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre and co-author of the book Speleothem Science (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). His research interests include karst hydrogeology, geochemistry and the reconstruction of past climate records from speleothems. Home page
Pierre Bérest – Understanding the mechanics of collapse – Solid Mechanics Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique, France – Pierre Bérest was born in Brest, France, in 1950. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and Paris School of Mines. From 1990 to 2001, he was head of the Solid Mechanics Laboratory and an associate professor at Ecole Polytechnique. He is the author of numerous papers in the field of continuum mechanics applied to mines, tunnels, underground storage of gas, oil, CO2 and nuclear wastes disposal. He chairs the standing committee for nuclear waste disposal of the French Safety Authority and the committee for safety of hydrocarbon underground storages appointed by the French ministry of environment. He is an expert of the National Board for assessment of researches on nuclear waste management (CNE) appointed by the French Parliament. He was President of the Solution Mining Research Institute in 2011. Home page
Matt Covington – Next generation of speleogenesis models – Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, USA – Matt Covington has a background in philosophy and physics, and a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from the University of California – Santa Cruz. However, during his undergraduate and graduate years, he lived a second life as an expedition caver, exploring and mapping in some of the deepest caves in the world. These expeditions took him to Mexico, Peru, Sumatra, Alaska, China, Slovenia, Croatia, and other far-flung places. In the final year of his Ph.D., Covington’s career took a dramatic shift as he decided to pursue research in geoscience, combining his passion for caves with his skill set in mathematical modeling. Upon completion of his Ph.D. in physics, Covington began his first postdoc studying karst hydrology at the University of Minnesota supported by an NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship. Then he spend two years as an NSF International Research Fellow working at the Karst Research Institute in Postojna, Slovenia. Starting in fall of 2012, Covington returned to the University of Arkansas as an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences. Home page
Neven Kresic – Groundwater Remediation in Karst – Amec Foster Wheeler, USA. – Neven Kresic is Senior Principal Hydrogeologist and Hydrogeology Practice Leader at Amec Foster Wheeler. His areas of expertise include groundwater engineering, development and remediation, groundwater modeling, fractured rock and karst hydrogeology, and expert witness testimony. Dr. Kresic is Co-Chair of the Karst Commission of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, and currently serves a second 5-year term on the Academic Committee of the International Research Center on Karst (IRCK) under auspices of UNESCO in Guilin, China. Dr. Kresic has worked on various karst-related projects in the USA and internationally. He has also been teaching hands-on courses in karst hydrogeology, remediation and modeling for industry professionals, academic students and staff of public agencies. In addition to numerous scientific and professional papers, and several general textbooks on groundwater, Dr. Kresic has authored three books on the topic of karst and its water resources: Water in Karst; Management, Vulnerability and Restoration by McGraw Hill (2013), Groundwater Hydrology of Springs: Engineering, Theory, Management, and Sustainability by Elsevier (2010; co-editor) and Quantitative Karst Hydrogeology with Elements of Groundwater Protection by Naucna Knjiga, Belgrade (1992).
Gérard Massonnat – How the petroleum industry deals with karst reservoirs? – Total, Pau, France