William Brown

Dr William Brown

Global geomagnetic field modeller
BGS Edinburgh


I am a geophysicist working in the Geomagnetism Team at BGS. My research focusses on the Earth’s magnetic field and its time changes – known as secular variation. I help produce our field models, such as the BGS Global Geomagnetic Model (BGGM) and World Magnetic Model (WMM).I am also involved in organising and delivering science outreach, to introduce our science to schools and public events. I have presented at events such as Astronomy on Tap and Pint of Science.

William Brown’s Biography

  • 2015 – ongoing : Global Geomagnetic Field Modeller
  • 2011 –2015 : PhD; University of Leeds; Geomagnetism
  • 2009 –2010 : Exchange student; Colorado School of Mines; Geophysics
  • 2007 –2011 : MGeophys, BSc; University of Leeds; Geophysics


  • I was involved in the 2018 update to the World Magnetic Model, which garnered considerable media attention. You can read about this event in my blog post.



Research interests

  • Geomagnetic field modelling
  • Geomagnetic jerks and rapid secular variation

Current projects and collaborations

  • 2015 – ongoing : Development and production of BGS Global Geomagnetic Model (BGGM)
  • 2015 – ongoing : Scientist-in-loop for ESA Swarm Level 2 magnetic products validation.
  • 2017 : Organised “Auroras and Earthquakes” open days to celebrate 95th anniversary of the geomagnetic observatory at Lerwick, Shetland.
  • 2018 – ongoing : Lecturer for “Geomagnetism” honours course at University of Edinburgh.
  • 2018 – ongoing : Production of World Magnetic Model (WMM) in collaboration with NOAA, USA.

Professional associations

  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union
  • Member of the European Geosciences Union

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