Dr Roberto Rodriguez Fernandez honoured with 2023 EFG Medal of Merits

Awardee of the 2023 EFG Medal of Merits: Dr Roberto Rodriguez Fernandez. Photo: ICOG. 

Dr. Roberto Rodriguez Fernandez, a distinguished figure in the field of geology, has been awarded the 2023 EFG Medal of Merits. The EFG Medal of Merit is awarded to individuals who, in the view of Council, have provided exceptional and distinguished contributions to the EFG or to the geological profession in Europe. The award ceremony took place during the annual ICOG Christmas Cocktail on December 15th. 

EFG President David Govoni awards the 2023 Medal of Merit to Dr. Roberto Rodriguez Fernandez. Photo: ICOG. 

Dr Roberto Rodriguez has spent his entire professional career, spanning 47 years, working at the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) as a mapping geology specialist, significantly enhancing the standing and reputation of the profession.

He served as a consultant to the World Bank for over 5 years (2006-2010), on the PASMA Project (Plan to support the Argentine mining sector), collaborating on the design, implementation, personnel training, and quality control of the Geological Map of Argentina programme. He also provided support and advice for the institutional strengthening of the Dominican Republic authorities for the development of a new Dominican Geological Survey, financed by the SYSMIN Programme of the EU. He assisted the Colombian Geological Service (SGC) in the elaboration of the tectonic map of Colombia as an expert of the CCGM, alongside other European members of the Commission of Geological Map of the World (CCGM-CGMW) during 2017-2019. Additionally, he aided the Cuban authorities during 2019 to 2022, in the design and elaboration of the first geological guide of Cuba: the geological guide of the Viñales Geopark, published in 2022. This work was produced with the cooperation and support of the Energy and Mining Ministry of Cuba, The Geological and Paleontological Institute of Cuba (Cuban Geological Survey), the companies Ecovida and Geomining of Pinar del Río, and IGME.

As a researcher, he has been active both in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Andes and Antarctica, participating in several projects supported and financed by the National R&D Plan, Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, the World Bank, or EU. He has been a professor of PhD courses at the Oviedo and León Universities and has conducted numerous specialised courses in Structural Geology and Geological Mapping in Argentina, Peru, and Dominican Republic Geological Services. He has authored more than 140 scientific articles and papers.

His efforts to promote the role of geology to those outside the profession have centred on popularising geology in multiple radio, press, and TV programmes. He also served as editor and author of the National Parks Geological Guides collection, editing 21 guides of 15 Spanish National Parks and the Viñales Geopark in Cuba. He has delivered multiple conferences on the dissemination of Geology, Geological Maps, and Geological Guides through invited lectures and exhibitions.

Rodriguez has undoubtedly influenced the way the European profession is viewed, as the Spanish representative at the Commission for the Geological Map of the World, as coordinator of WP15 Geological and Surface Dynamics Data in the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), as editor and author of the Geological Map of Spain and Portugal, and as project manager of the geological map of the Iberia microcontinent and its adjacent orogens.

His contribution to the Spanish professional bodies has been significant and enduring, as he has served as the second vice president and a member of the board of ICOG for over 14 years. He has organised or taught in a long list of training courses at the School of Geology and conferences of ICOG and has also been responsible for several ICOG proposals to the national or regional authorities on geological policies.


Congratulations to Dr. Roberto Rodriguez Fernandez!