Professor David S.G. Thomas' name on the board

Photo by Nando Machado of Panel Eight Photography

Professor Dave Thomas is this year’s recipient of the RGS-IBG Victoria Medal, which is awarded to recognise outstanding geographical scholarship, for his world leading research into drylands and societies and for his contributions to geography in the UK.

Professor Dave Thomas collects his prize

Dave collected his medal at a ceremony on Monday 3 June (pictured, right), as part of the Society’s Annual General Meeting in London. On his award, RGS-IBG commented:

"Professor David Thomas is a world-class scholar, internationally acclaimed for his outstanding record of research and for his promotion of geography, science and discovery. Over the course of his career David has made significant contributions to the understanding of Quaternary and contemporary climate change, resource use and development, and society-environment impacts. His greatest contributions have been in the field of aeolian geomorphology, most notably his agenda-setting research into past environmental change in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. Of note, though, is the diversity of this research and his contributions within and beyond Geography and Environmental Studies. He is at heart, and in practice, a geographer who does not fit into a single sub-disciplinary field. In addition, David is a brilliant champion for the discipline. He has served as Vice President and Trustee of the Society on two occasions, and chaired the British Society for Geomorphology, the most recent QAA benchmark statement for geography, and will chair the Geography and Environment Studies sub-panel for REF2021. He is widely called upon for his judgement, his expertise, and his commitment to the discipline.

"David has made, and continues to make, a massive contribution to Physical Geography and to Geography more generally and is most deserving of the Victoria Medal."

Prof Dave Thomas, with his Victoria Medal

"I am honoured and humbled by this award: it reflects not only on my efforts in desert and dryland research, particularly in Africa and Asia, but also on the wonderful people who live in these challenging environments and the colleagues I have been privileged to work with."

Professor David S.G. Thomas, Professor of Geography