Steve Sparks has been a Professor of Geology at the University of Bristol since 1989. His research interests are in volcanology and the applications of fluid mechanics in modelling geological flows and applying statistical methods to the assessment of natural hazards and their attendant risks. He was recipient of the 2015 Vetlesen Prize, regarded as equivalent to the "Nobel Prize"for the earth sciences and received the Royal Medal (Physical Sciences) in 2018. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Natural History Museum. He is a former Chair of the Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education (ACME).