Dr Matthew Ascott

Senior hydrogeologist
BGS Wallingford

Matthew Ascott’s Biography

  • 2014 – ongoing:Hydrogeologist, British Geological Survey
  • 2017 – PhD Environmental Science, Lancaster University (Part-time)
  • 2012 – Hydrogeologist, Affinity Water
  • 2011 – MSc Hydrogeology, University of Birmingham (Distinction)
  • 2010 – Water Resources Assistant, Veolia Water Central
  • 2007 – BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia (1st Class)



Research interests

  • Groundwater resources and quality management for public water supply
  • Macronutrient cycling in groundwater systems
  • Impacts of climate variability and change on groundwater resource availability
  • Development of conceptual and numerical groundwater models for water resources management

Current projects and collaborations

  • 2018 – ongoing:Modelling nitrate transport in groundwater and the unsaturated zone across Europe (GeoERA HOVER)
  • 2018 – Quantification of rapid groundwater flow to Chalk public water supplies in Southern England
  • 2015 – ongoing:Quantification of relative impacts of climate change and geological heterogeneity on chalk borehole yields during drought (NERC Historic Droughts and ENDOWS)
  • 2015 – ongoing:Impacts of public water supply processes on nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes in groundwater and surface water systems (with Lancaster University)
  • 2015 – ongoing:Groundwater resource assessment in East and West Africa (BRAVE and HyCRISTAL

Published outputs

NERC Open Research Archive – Matthew Ascott

Key papers

Ascott, M J, Mansour, M, Bloomfield, J P and Upton, K. 2019. Analysis of the impact of hydraulic properties and climate change on estimations of borehole yields. Journal of Hydrology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.123998
Cuthbert, M O, Taylor, R G, Favreau, G, Todd, M C, Shamsudduha, M, Villholth, K G, MacDonald, A M, Scanlon, B R, Kotchoni, D O V, Vouillamoz, J, Lawson, F M A, Adjomayi, P A, Kashaigili, J, Seddon, D, Sorensen, J P R, Ebrahim, G Y, Owor, M, Nyenje, P M, Nazoumou, Y, Goni, I, Ousmane, B I, Sibanda, T, Ascott, M, Macdonald, D M J, Agyekum, W, Koussoubé, Y, Wanke, H, Kim, H, Wada, Y, Lo, M, Oki, T, and Kukuric, N. 2019. Observed controls on resilience of groundwater to climate variability in sub-Saharan Africa, Nature, 572: 230-234. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1441-7
Bornemann, F J, Rowell, D P, Evans, B, Lapworth, D J, Lwiza, K, Macdonald, D M J, Marsham, J H, Tesfaye, K, Ascott, M J, and Way, C. 2019. Future changes and uncertainty in decision-relevant measures of East African climate. Climatic Change, 1:20. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-019-02499-2 Ascott, M J, Stuart, M E, Gooddy, D C, Marchant, B, Talbot, J, and Surridge, B W J, et al. 2019. Provenance of drinking water revealed through compliance sampling. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 21: 1052-1064. DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00437D
Ascott, M J, Gooddy, D C, and Surridge, B W J. 2018. Public water supply is responsible for significant fluxes of inorganic nitrogen in the environment. Environmental Science & Technology, 5224; 14050-14060. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b03204
Ascott, M J, Gooddy, D C, Lapworth, D J, Davidson, P, Bowes, M J, and Jarvie, H P, et al. 2018. Phosphorus fluxes to the environment from mains water leakage: Seasonality and future scenarios. Science of The Total Environment, 636: 1321-1332. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.226
Sorensen, J P R, Vivanco, A, Ascott, M J, Gooddy, D C, Lapworth, D J, and Read, D S, et al. 2018. Online fluorescence spectroscopy for the real-time evaluation of the microbial quality of drinking water. Water Research, 137: 301-309. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.001
Ascott, M J, Gooddy, D C, Wang, L, Stuart, M E, Lewis, M A, and Ward, R S, et al. 2017. Global patterns of nitrate storage in the vadose zone. Nature Communications, 8: 1416. 10.1038/s41467-017-01321-w
Ascott, M J, Marchant, B P, Macdonald, D, McKenzie, A A, and Bloomfield, J P. 2017. Improved understanding of spatio-temporal controls on regional scale groundwater flooding using hydrograph analysis and impulse response functions. Hydrological Processes, 31: 4586-4599. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.11380
Gooddy, D C, Ascott, M J, Lapworth, D J, Ward, R S, Jarvie, H P, and Bowes, M J, et al. 2017. Mains water leakage: Implications for phosphorus source apportionment and policy responses in catchments. Science of The Total Environment, 579: 702-708. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.038
Ascott, M J, Gooddy, D C, Lapworth, D J, and Stuart, M E. 2016. Estimating the leakage contribution of phosphate dosed drinking water to environmental phosphorus pollution at the national-scale. Science of The Total Environment, 572: 1534-1542. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.12.121
Ascott, M J, Lapworth, D J, Gooddy, D C, Sage, R C, Karapanos, I. 2016. Impacts of extreme flooding on riverbank filtration water quality. Science of The Total Environment, 554–555: 89-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.169
Ascott, M J, Wang, L, Stuart, M E, Ward, R S, and Hart, A. 2016. Quantification of nitrate storage in the vadose (unsaturated) zone: a missing component of terrestrial N budgets. Hydrological Processes, 30: 1903-1915. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10748
Wang, L, Stuart, M, Lewis, M, Ward, R, Skirvin, D, Naden, P, Collins, A, and Ascott, M J. 2016. The changing trend in nitrate concentrations in major aquifers due to historical nitrate loading from agricultural land across England and Wales from 1925 to 2150. Science of the Total Environment, 542: 694-705. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.127
Gooddy D C, Lapworth D J, Ascott M J, Bennett S A, Heaton T H E, and Surridge B W J. 2015. Isotopic Fingerprint for Phosphorus in Drinking Water Supplies. Environmental Science & Technology, 49: 9020-9028. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01137
Numerous UK water industry reports on low flow studies and groundwater resources management for public water supply.

Professional associations

  • 2019 – ongoing:Member of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences
  • 2019 – ongoing:Member of the European Geosciences Union
  • 2016 – ongoing:Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Boards and committees

  • 2018 – ongoing:Committee member of the Hydrogeological Group of the Geological Society of London

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