Dr Melanie Jane Duncan

Dr Melanie Jane Duncan

Volcanologist/hazards and risk

Location: BGS Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 344

E-mail Dr Melanie Jane Duncan


My main research interest is multi-hazards in volcanic environments, with a particular emphasis on the assessment of multiple, interacting and cascading hazards and how these processes manifest from local to global scales. I have a background in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and am well-versed in the links between DRR, sustainable development and climate change adaptation, having worked closely with an international humanitarian and development NGO during my doctoral research. I am also an experienced interdisciplinary researcher, working with and across different disciplines. I work within a number of collaborations at the UK, European and international scales, including the Global Volcano Model network.


  • 2015 – ongoing : BGS volcanologist (hazards and risk)
  • 2013 –2015 : Part-time Consultant: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change: UNISDR, World Bank and Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)
  • 2010 –2011 : Part-time Research Assistant (‘Volcanoscope’), University College London, London
  • 2009 –2015 : EngD, University College London: multi-hazard assessments
  • 2008 –2009 : Flood Incident Management, Environment Agency for England and Wales
  • 2006 –2007 : MSc Geophysical Hazards, University College London
  • 2001 –2005 : BSc Hons (First Class) Physical Geography, University of St Andrews


  • 2005 : Edwards Prize for distinction in the pursuit and presentation of fieldwork (awarded to honours students), University of St Andrews
  • 2002 : Geoscience fieldwork prize (geological mapping in Ullapool), University of St Andrews

Research interests

  • Multi-hazards in volcanic environments
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Reporting of volcanic activity and impact
  • Citizen science


  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Multi-hazard science
  • Qualitative social science research methods
  • Science writing and communication

Published outputs

  • Duncan, M, Mee, K, Hicks, A, Engwell, S Robertson, R, Forbes, M, Ferdinand, I, Jordon, C, and Loughlin, S. 2018. Using the 'myVolcano' mobile phone app for citizen science in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: a pilot study. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 48pp. (OR/17/045).
  • Šakić Trogrlić, R, Cumiskey, L, Triyanti, A, Duncan, M J, Eltinay, N, Hogeboom R J, Jasuja, M, Meechaiya, C, Pickering, C J, and Murray, V. 2017. Science and Technology Networks: A Helping Hand to Boost Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030? Int., J. Disaster Risk Sci, p. 1-6. DOI 10.1007/s13753-017-0117-x.
  • Šakić Trogrlić, R, Wright, G, Adeloye, A, Duncan, M, and Mwale, F. 2017. Taking stock of community-based flood risk management in Malawi: different stakeholders, different perspectives. Environmental Hazards 17(2), p.107-127 DOI 10.1080/17477891.2017.1381582.
  • Cadag, J R, Driedger, C, Garcia, C, Duncan, M, Gaillard, J C, Lindsay, J, and Haynes, K. 2017. Fostering participation of local actors in volcanic disaster risk reduction. Observing the Volcano World: Volcano Crisis Communication. Advances in Volcanology, Springer. DOI: 10.1007/11157_2016_39
  • Crowley, K, Fedaeff, N, Macara, G, and Duncan, M. 2017. Chapter 5: Climate and weather hazards and their drivers. In Kelman, I, Mercer, J, and Gaillard, J C. (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781315684260.
  • Duncan, M, Edwards, S, Kilburn, C, Twigg, J, and Crowley, K. 2016. An Interrelated Hazards Approach to Anticipating Evolving Risk. Case Study F in The making of a riskier future: How our decisions are shaping future disaster risk. GFDRR.
  • Mee, K, and Duncan, M. 2015. Increasing resilience to natural hazards through crowd-sourcing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 50pp. (OR/15/032)
  • Duncan, M, Crowley, E, Cornforth, R, Edwards, S, Ewbank, R, Karbassi, P, McLaren, C, Penya, J L, Obrecht, A, Sargeant, S, and Visman, E. 2014. Integrating science into humanitarian and development planning and practice to enhance community resilience: initial guidance for non-governmental organisations: Available: http://www.ukcds.org.uk/resources/integrating-science-into-humanitarian-and-development-planning