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John L. Roberts (1) [1936–2000]

This page covers the author of The Highland Geology Trail.

For other authors named John L. Roberts, see the disambiguation page.

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Dr John L Roberts, who died in November 2000, was a well known Highland geologist. He graduated in geology from the University of Edinburgh in 1958, and did his PhD at Liverpool University, where, at his own suggestion, he worked under Robert Shackleton on the structure of the Dalradian of the Southwest Highlands. In 1963, he went to the Middle East, teaching in Saudi Arabia for a year, and for two years at the American University of Beirut in the Lebanon, where he met his first wife, Lynn. He returned to Britain in 1966 to a teaching post at Newcastle University, where he remained until taking early retirement in 1986.

John published over twenty papers on the structure of the Dalradian of Scotland, many in collaboration with Jack Treagus, which made a considerable impact on the interpretation of Highland geology. The Structure of the Dalradian rocks in the SW of Scotland, based on his PhD work and published in 1974, is a seminal work describing in detail the eight phases of deformation that affect these rocks and providing the first 'modern' account of the overall structure of the Dalradian from Islay to the Highland Border.

After retirement, John devoted his energy to writing books. Among them, An Introduction to Geological Maps and Structures is in its third edition and translated into several languages. The Macmillan Field Guide to Geological Structures is a wonderful tribute to his photography, and The Highland Geology Trail demonstrates his wish to share his love of Highland geology with others. More recently, three of his volumes on the history of the Scottish Highlands have been published by Edinburgh University Press, a fourth being completed in the last year of his debilitating illness. [Edinburgh Geological Society]

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