• Douwe van Hinsbergen

    Douwe is a geologist. He works as Professor of Global Tectonics and Paleogeography at Utrecht University. He investigates the plates, oceans, and continents that were lost to subduction. For this, he uses geological remains of these lost plates: rocks that are found in mountain belts all over the world, and subducted plates that can be seen in cat-scans of the Earth’s interior. Since 2021, he explains the geology of pro-cycling races, including but not restricted to the Tour de France.

  • Jose Been

    José studied geography, history, French and Spanish at the University of Amsterdam but didn’t finish one of them. After a few years of office life she followed her passion and started a company with the aim of combining her love for cycling and her talent for languages and history. Never in her wildest dreams could she imagine becoming a Eurosport cycling commentator. She covered Tour de France and Vuelta five times plus World Championships and big Classics in Dutch and English. At the Geosports project she uses her complete lack of knowledge of geology to make the scientific blogs accessible and easy to read for everyone.

  • Marjolein Naudé

    Marjolein studied geology and is currently a junior lecturer for the department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University. During her study she focused on stories told from the insides of long-dead volcanoes, the movement of tectonic plates, and how rocks can bend and break. She also uses her theatrical background to share her excitement about geology and all things science with anyone who will sit still for long enough. This year she became a host in the videos explaining the geology of the Tour de France-Femme, but she can also be found travelling around the theaters of The Netherlands as a host for a primary school science show.


  • Alexis Licht

    I use sedimentary archives to study the links between Climate, Tectonics, and Life through geologic time. My work involves geological fieldwork and sampling, geochemical and geochronological analyses. I date sedimentary deposits and decipher their sedimentological and geochemical features to reconstruct past climates, paleogeographies, and ecosystems. I would lie if I said that I bike a lot, and I have never watched the Tour de France. But tell me exciting stories about ancient rocks and mystery fossils, and I am on board!

  • Alexis Plunder

    I am a metamorphic petrologist and a field geologist. I have training in numerical modeling of geodynamics processes. I love to be outside hammering rocks before preparing them for EPMA analysis. For a few years I have now specialized in the behavior of metal elements during the melting of rocks

  • Alissa Kotowski

    My goal is to figure out how subduction zones get started, and after they start, how they change through time. I combine structural geology in the field and mineral and isotope chemistry in the lab (metamorphic petrology and geochronology) to reconstruct plate tectonic histories from ancient subduction zones. I’ve studied rocks from Greece, Oman, and Quebec, and I’m adding to the list! Fun Fact: I’m a Bostonian who has lived in Australia, Texas, and Montréal before transplanting to Europe. I’m also a first generation college/university student!

  • Anne Schulp

    Anne Schulp is a paleontologist. Fossils of dinosaurs and mosasaurs have his special interest. He is a researcher at the Naturalis museum in Leiden, and professor of vertebrate paleontology at Utrecht University.

  • Arwen Deuss

    Arwen Deuss is professor of structure and composition of Earth’s deep interior at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Before arriving at Utrecht in 2014, she spent ten years at the University of Cambridge as a fellow of Pembroke College and lecturer (and then reader) in Earth Sciences. She studied Geophysics at Utrecht University and obtained her D.Phil (PhD) from the University of Oxford in 2002. Her research focuses on using seismic waves generated by earthquakes to image the Earth’s deep interior, like making a brain scan. She is particularly interested in using whole Earth oscillations, which make the Earth ‘ring like a bell’.

  • Bart Braun

    Bart Braun is a former science writer turned to the Dark Side. He works at the Communications Department of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, which plays a supporting role in the Geo-Sports project.

  • Bernhard Steinberger

    Bernhard is from Germany but has also been studying and working in Scotland, USA, Taiwan, Japan and Norway before settling down in Potsdam. His research interests include the geodynamic modelling of mantle plumes and large-scale mantle flow, and the relation to geoid, topography, volcanism, plate tectonics and true polar wander. My life is centered on 11°E, and in one of my peer-reviewed publications I managed to sneak in an argument why this would be a more natural choice for defining the zero meridian.

  • Bram Vaes

    Bram is a postdoctoral researcher in the Coupled Earth Systems group at the University of Milano-Bicocca, studying the interactions between tectonics and climate during the Cenozoic. In June 2023, he obtained his PhD at Utrecht University on the use of paleomagnetism in reconstructing past plate motions. Since he grew up in a completely flat country (The Netherlands), he likes to spend his weekends exploring the mountains and glacial lakes of the nearby Southern Alps.

  • Daniel Pastor Galán

    I grew up in Segovia, Perico Delgado’s hometown, with a window looking to the classical last mountain stage of La Vuelta, Puerto de Navacerrada. Now I shuffle tectonic plates, try to understand how they move and deform and, from time to time, I lick rocks.

  • Danny Stockli

    Dr. Danny Stockli is a Professor of Tectonics and Structural Geology and the head of the Dept. of Geological Sciences in the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He originally stems from Switzerland and received his undergraduate degree from ETH Zurich, before moving the USA in 1995 for his doctorate at Stanford University and a postdoctoral researcher position at Caltech. He subsequently taught as an Assistant and Associate Professor for ten years at the University of Kansas, before becoming a Professor at the University of Texas. He is an expert in Tectonics, Structural Geology, and Geo- and Thermochronometry and is interested in the timing and rates of plate tectonics processes, incl. mountain building and continental rifting and break-up. Stockli has worked around the world and ovr the past decade he was worked extensively on both Cretaceous rifting and Cenozoic collisional tectonics in Pyrenees in France and Spain. He has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles and advised over 50 Ph.D. and M.S. students.

  • David De Vleeschouwer

    David De Vleeschouwer is a geologist specializing in the study of Earth’s past climates. Fascinated by rocks and maps from a young age, he pursued geography and geology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, earning a Ph.D. in Devonian paleoclimatology. His research focuses on understanding how small changes in the Earth’s position relative to the Sun, known as Milankovic cycles, influenced climate and ecosystem shifts before humans were playing their part. David’s global travels have taken him to Mongolia, South Africa, Illinois, and offshore Australia to study these climate cycles in the geologic record. In his free time, he enjoys running and cycling in the Bremen flatlands, the Cretaceous Münster basin, or the folded Belgian Ardennes.

  • Dennis Voeten

    Dennis Voeten studied geology and palaeoclimatology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, during which he conducted field work in, among other locations, Spanish and French Basque Country. Dennis subsequently enjoyed a professional stint in archaeology before completing his PhD in Zoology at Palacký University in the Czech town of Olomouc. His doctoral research relied on powerful X-rays to visualise and study valuable and rare vertebrate fossils. Dennis continued his palaeontological research career at the Swedish Uppsala University and became curator of fossil vertebrates at its Museum of Evolution. Dennis recently returned to his home country of the Netherlands, where he works at the Frisian Museum of Natural History.

  • Derya Gürer

    My name is Derya – I am an Earth and Marine Scientist. My research revolves around tectonics and the evolution of Earth’s outer shell (the lithosphere) through geologic time, although I have not yet dared to go deeper beyond the Jurassic. I apply a combination of field-based methods with laboratory analyses – sometimes at sea, sometimes on land. Fun fact: my first word was ‘fish’ and I have been fascinated (if not obsessed) with fish since I was a little girl. During my undergraduate geology degree, I had a fascination for biology and palaeontology. However, when on a fieldtrip in a “Lagerstätte“ in southern Germany I stepped on and broke a perfectly preserved Jurassic (180-million-year-old) fish fossil (a survivor of a mass extinction event), I decided it was better to move to another subdiscipline within geology.

  • Emilia Jarochowska

    I am a palaeobiologist, so I try to understand evolutionary and ecological processes through the lens of the rocks in which they have been preserved. This is a journey from single crystals under an electron microscope to biodiversity at the scale of entire palaeocontinents. I get to share the joys of this journey with students, which is very rewarding.

  • Francien Peterse

    I am originally trained as a soil scientist, but I got lost in the world of lipid biomarkers during my PhD. Lipid biomarkers are molecules produced by (micro)organisms and plants. Their occurrence or molecular structure in sedimentary archives provides us with information on the climatic conditions during which they were produced. I love labwork (almost) as much as I love fieldwork. As a proper Dutch person I own 5 bicycles. I used to ride long distances and go on bikepacking trips until life took over and I now mostly go around electric. I do continue collecting veloviewer tiles, combining cycling with looking at maps!

  • Gerry van Dijk

    In 2011, cycling, with help of Johnny Hoogerland, stole my heart. These days, I ride multiple times a week and in the weekend I am part of the couch peloton watching the race. In Geo-Sports, my two passions meet: cycling and online marketing, which I do at Naturalis.

  • Guillaume Dupont-Nivet

    I focus on understanding how geodynamics, climate and life interact during major changes of our Earth evolution. Fun Fact: I biked the Vosges mountains as a teenager with friends every year just before the TdF. We once rode across a village butt-naked and got arrested by the police.

  • Janne Koornneef

    I am associate professor at the Earth Science Department of the VU Amsterdam. As a deep Earth geochemist I study the composition of volcanic rocks from around the world. My research aims to understand large-scale tectonic processes that control deep element cycles. I am specialized in analyzing compositions of very small (<1mg) samples using advanced mass-spectrometry techniques. I climbed over 20 volcanoes but never by bike.

  • Jean-François Buoncristiani

    I am a sedimentologist and geomorphologist working on glacial geology and landform evolution.

  • Jean-Louis Mugnier

    My objective is to understand the tectonic-relief-erosion interactions during the quaternary climatic cycles; indeed the quaternary is characterized by an increase in erosion. The question is to understand how a mountain range reacts to such an increase, both in terms of localization of movement along faults in the upper crust and in terms of of uprising? For this it is also necessary to understand where the erosion is particularly increasing in a chain and what are the dominant erosive processes during the glaciation-deglaciation cycles.

  • Jesse Bleeker

    I am Jesse, an enthusiastic Earth Sciences student at the University of Utrecht. I am interested in geological processes and climate change and am driven to unravel the secrets of our earth. In addition to being an earth scientist, I am a passionate cycling enthusiast. In my free time I like to get on my road bike and explore the landscape on two wheels. So the GeoTDF project, where I helped with the production of the videos, is the perfect combination for me.

  • Jochem Braakhekke

    Cycling geologist/glaciologist, always on the lookout for traces of former landscapes and long-gone glaciers. Founder of Recogn.ice (www.recognice.org), a non-profit organization to spark positive awareness of the glaciers that do still exist. Also, looking for a new job as geospatial analyst, because Earth observation is key.

  • Kasia Sliwinska

    I am employed as a senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). In my work I primarily focus on major climatic transition events that have taken place over the last 60 million years. For that purpose, I mainly combine microfossils (such as dinocysts – fossil remains of a form of marine plankton called dinoflagellates) and molecular fossils (such as membrane lipids of archea and bacteria, which are preserved in sediments over million of years). In addition to climate information, fossil dinocysts can also be used to tell the age of sedimentary rocks, so that is what I am doing too. My main research focus area stretches from the Arctic to the North Atlantic. Over the last years I have mainly been working on the Miocene Climatic Optimum (which took place 17 and 14 million years ago), the most recent interval in Earths history with CO2 levels over 400 ppm. I am Polish by birth and Danish by choice. I currently live in Denmark – the second most cycling country in the world, so I bike a lot!

  • Léa Courtial-Manent

    I am a PhD student and I work on erosion rates in high alpine areas. I use two tools in order to confront two time scales: cosmogenic nuclides for the long term part and terrestrial laser scanning for the short term.

  • Lorraine Tual

    I am a metamorphic geologist, that means I am interested in rocks, which went to hell and back, eclogite being the archetypal example. I translate their chemical record in terms of pressure, temperature and time. I chase down oceans’ relicts in the heart of old mountains to reconstruct the geodynamics of past eras and I interpret the rising pace and style of old mountains from single minerals (of which garnet is my fave).

  • Manuel Sintubin

    Trained as a field geologist in the Belgian Ardennes, I have been intrigued all my professional life in the ‘bewilderingly complicated’ Variscan mountain chain, which I have been studying from the Ardennes in the north, Brittany in France, Iberia in Spain and Portugal, to the Moroccan Jebilet, all the way in the south. What I like about geology, is that it is everywhere, in every landscape, in every historical building, even in the taste of a good glass of French wine … and yes, in every stage of the Tour de France.

  • Marco Maffione

    I am Associate Professor of Tectonics and Structural Geology at the University of Birmingham (UK). I investigate large-scale tectonic processes, with a specific focus on oceanic detachment fault kinematics, subduction initiation mechanisms, and the origin of ophiolites, using paleomagnetism as main technique. I have been cycling to work every single day, under any weather, in the past 12 years!

  • Mark Carpenter

    Mark Carpenter is a producer, screenwriter, and director of earth science documentaries, and produced and directed the Geology of the Tour de France clips 2023. His work has featured on the Science Channel – Faces of Earth, and the award-winning spin off series Visions of Earth. Recent films focused on challenges to energy literacy in the Andes and Amazon of Ecuador (SEED) and the impact of Covid on a watershed study in U.S. Schools (STREAMS). His vision combines experiences in geoscience education at the American Geosciences Institute, near Washington D.C. with film school in New York. As a passionate filmmaker, he strives to reveal the exciting story of our planet through the places and people that study it. Carpenter also loves to ride bikes. Once a triathlete, he’s now happy to get out in lycra or with a shopping bag.

  • Martina Rocca

    Martina is a third-year PhD student in structural geology at the University of Milano-Bicocca. She grew up in the province of Lecco and has been hiking in the Orobic Alps since she was a child. Now she is studying their intricate tectonic history (or at least she is attempting to do so) using rocks that indicate past seismic activity related to ancient faults.

  • Martine Vernooij

    I am a geologist working as a science coordinator at ETH Zurich and program manager of The Branco Weiss Fellowship. Before that, I worked in the fields of materials science, aerosol science and cultural heritage. I particularly enjoy translating disciplinary knowledge into other fields in order to challenge traditional views. Fun fact: Because I wanted to stay in Switzerland after my doctorate, I turned my job as a geologist into a hobby. Now I can spend all my free time in the mountains.

  • Mélody Philippon

    I’m a structural geologist studying plate tectonics. My research interests are focused on the way rocks deformed at the vicinity of tectonic plate boundaries such as subduction zones (where slab of lithosphere are going down in the mantle). Along these zones exposed at seismic and volcanic hazard, I try to understand the relationships between fault activity and volcanism and the way these geological phenomena control major geographic changes (formation and dismissal of island or land bridges) in the course of geological times. I have been fan of Tour de France before being a geologist : My grandfather initiated my during my youth to wait the caravan of the Tour de France.

  • Natalia Pardo

    Natalia Pardo is Associate Professor of the Department of Geosciences at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, a country of cycling lovers. Natalia is a geologist from the National University of Colombia (Bogotá). Motivated by the beauty of volcanic landscapes, fascinated by Earth’s dynamics, and seeking for mitigating volcanic risk, she followed a Master’s of Science degree with an emphasis in volcanology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and completed a PhD in physical volcanology at Massey University, New Zealand. Natalia’s research focuses on the study of volcano geology, the physicochemical processes that trigger explosive volcanic eruptions, the mechanisms of transport and accumulation of the resulting products, the quantification of eruptive violence in Holocene volcanoes and the search for multidisciplinary strategies to bridge the gap between geoscientific knowledge and other ways of knowing and thinking the Earth System.

  • Patrick De Wever

    I am a geologist, specialized in Radiolaria. I spent many years as a full professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. I have interest for the interaction between biosphere and geosphere. I also interested myself in the geoheritage, being in charge of the national geoheritage inventory.

  • Pim Kaskes

    I am a geologist and geochemist working at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Earlier this year I finished my PhD thesis in which I reconstructed the first moments after the Chicxulub impact event in Mexico. In other words: that asteroid that killed off the (non-avian) dinosaurs 66 millions years ago! The time period of the Cretaceous fascinates me tremendously, and currently I am studying the bones and ancient habitat of the famous Iguanodon dinosaurs from the natural history museum in Brussels. After living in Belgium now for more than five years, I fell in love with their love for ‘de Koers’ and the geology of the Ardennes. Even for me, as a Dutchie, climbing a cobblestone hill is not too bad if at the end of your bike ride a Trappist beer is waiting.

  • Riccardo Vassallo

    The common denominator of my research activity is the understanding of geomorphology as a result of the interactions between tectonic and climatic processes. My current research aims in particular to quantify the impact of glacier retreat on seismicity and the behavior of active faults. Tierra del Fuego (southern Patagonia) and the Western Alps are my favorite places to understand these phenomena.

  • Richard Palin

    Richard primarily conducts field- and laboratory-based studies combining metamorphic petrology, structural geology, and geochemistry to investigate the evolution of the lithosphere from the micro- to the macro-scale. His areas of current research interest include studying fluid–rock and melt–rock interactions in the crust, and performing comparative studies of the early Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system to quantify how metamorphic and magmatic processes and products have changed though geological time. He completed his DPhil (PhD) at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK, in 2013, where he studied the thermal and structural evolution of parts of the Himalayan Range and Tibetan Plateau. After working in Germany and Colorado, USA he returned to the University of Oxford as Associate Professor of Petrology, where he is involved in several projects related to studying the evolution of the early Earth, the genesis of critical metal-bearing magmas, and machine learning applications for mineral exploration.

  • Stephan van Meulebrouck

    Stephan van Meulebrouck is press officer and communications advisor at the Faculty of Geosciences (Utrecht University) and enjoys spending time in the mountains, especially the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Ardennes.

  • Stephen Johnston

    Stephen Johnston is a professor and chair of the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences of the university of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada. As a geologist he has worked as an exploration geologist for Shell, as a project geologist for the BC and Yukon geological surveys, and as a professor of Geology at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, and the University of Victoria before his current position at the University of Alberta. Stephen has visited stages in the Vuelta de Espana and the Giro d’Italia, but laments the fact he hasn’t ticked the Tour de France off just yet.

  • Thomas Schouten

    I study plate tectonics, particularly the so-called subduction zones, where one plate dives beneath another one. I use computer models that simulate how rocks deform at the boundary between these two plates, and how this determines the speed at which they move. In my spare time you can find me in the Alps: if there is enough snow I bring my skis, but otherwise I take my bike!

  • Thomas van der Linden

    Thomas studied geology, loves to ride bikes and likes building websites. No wonder he made this website too.

  • Walter Immerzeel

    Walter Immerzeel is professor in mountain hydrology at Utrecht University. He led a young team of scientists and led many research expeditions to the Himalaya. His research focuses on climate change and snow, ice and water in the mountains at different scales. New documentary on Youtube

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