Melanie Duncan

Dr Melanie Duncan

Volcanologist, hazards and risk
BGS Edinburgh


My main research interest is multi-hazards, specifically the characterisation and impact of multiple, interacting and cascading hazards in volcanic environments. My work looks at local and global scales. I have a background in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and I am an experienced interdisciplinary researcher, working with and across different disciplines and regularly apply social science methods. I work within a number of collaborations at the UK, European and international scales. I have overseas fieldwork experience in Iceland, the Caribbean and Philippines.

Melanie Duncan’s Biography

  • 2021 – present: Topic Lead for Multi-hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • 2015:  Joined BGS Volcanology Team
  • 2013 – 2015: Part-time Consultant: DRR 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 – 2014: EngD, University College London: multi-hazard assessments and disaster risk reduction
  • 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) Geography, University of St Andrews

Research interests

  • Multi-hazards (including interrelated hazards) in volcanic environments
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Global reporting of volcanic activity and impact
  • Citizen science
  • MYRIAD-EU (2021-2025): WP1 lead and BGS project manager. Project vision is to catalyse the paradigm shift required to move towards a multi-risk, multi-sector, systemic approach to risk management. Funding: H2020 (Grant agreement ID: 731070).
  • International Natural Hazards Forward Look (ongoing) – Weekly reporting of global volcanic activity and impacts for government.
  • EUROVOLC (2021-2021): European Network of Observatories and Research Infrastructures for Volcanology (contributed to WP7 and WP12). Funding: H2020. Citizen science tool
  • MyHAZ-VCT :Multi-hazard citizen science app (myHAZ-VCT) project for St Vincent and the Grenadines, in partnership with UWI Seismic Research Centre (Trinidad and Tobago) and the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).  Funding: BGS NC-ODA grant NE/R000069/1: Geoscience for Sustainable Futures. NORA publication




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


  • 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

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