THE former student of a retired Kendalian has become the British Geological Survey's new director.

Dr Karen Hanghøj, who is Danish, studied at the University of Copenhagen and did research in a remote part of Greenland with Professor Kent Brooks, who is originally from Kendal.

Dr Brooks was educated at Heversham School and he now holds an emeritus position with the Natural History Museum of Denmark. He lives in Kendal.

He said his former student was the first woman in around 200 years to become the survey's director, telling the Gazette: "The British Geological Survey is the oldest in the world and directors since early Victorian times have been, often, bewhiskered gentlemen at the top of their profession. It is one of the world’s most prestigious jobs in earth sciences."

Dr Hanghøj was born in Lemvig, a small fishing town on Denmark's west coast.

For her masters degree, she studied one of the world's largest precious metal deposits, in Greenland. She went on to examine the nature of the Earth's mantle more than 100km under Greenland, and rocks in the Sultanate of Oman, with a view to using these deposits to fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to help combat global warming.