Jake Hancock

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For the Australian cricketer, see Jake Hancock (cricketer).
John Michael "Jake" Hancock
Born (1928-08-10)10 August 1928
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Died 4 March 2004(2004-03-04) (aged 75)
Shaftesbury, United Kingdom
Residence Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Nationality Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British
Fields Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Institutions Imperial College, London
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Maurice Black
Doctoral students Andrew Gale, Keith Holdaway
Known for Geology of the Cretaceous, appreciation of Wine
Notable awards 1989 Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London

John Michael Hancock (1928–2004),[1] known professionally as Jake, was a geologist with particular interests in chalk and the Cretaceous Period.


Hancock was born on 10 August 1928 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, educated at Dauntsey's School near Devizes and was a national serviceman in the Royal Air Force between 1947 and 1949, before going to the University of Cambridge to read geology and petrology as an undergraduate.

He graduated in 1952 and stayed on to work for his doctorate under the supervision of Maurice Black. His thesis was entitled The marginal facies of the British Chalk and in 1955 he joined the junior academic staff at King's College, London. He became Senior Lecturer in 1970 and Reader in 1977.

In 1986 he moved to Imperial College London where he was awarded the 1989 Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London[2] and retired in 1993 to Shaftesbury but continued to teach at Imperial as Emeritus Professor.

He was also an erudite teacher, bringing all aspects of science and general life to bear on his subject; one of his more generalist themes for the undergraduate geologist, being "How can the study of gardening benefit the geologist?". He also had a long time commitment to the Working Men's College in North London.

His contributions included over 110 scientific papers in English and French and a pursuit of the study of the relationship between geology and viniculture.

He died of cancer on 4 March 2004. He was the subject of a memorial volume of the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association in 2006 (Vol 117, Part 2), on which some of this article is based.


  1. ^ The Independent. Obituary for Professor Jake Hancock 17 March 2004.
  2. ^ Geological Society of London. Lyell Medal Award Winners Verified 31 January 2011.

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