Dr Martin Gillespie

BGS Building Stones team leader
BGS Edinburgh

Martin Gillespie’s biography

  •  2010 – ongoing: Leader, BGS Building Stones team
  •  1991 – ongoing: British Geological Survey, Geologist
  •  1985 – 1989: University of St Andrews, PhD, Granite intrusions in the Himalaya
  •  1981 – 1985: University of Aberdeen, BSc (Hons) Geology & Mineralogy

Research interests

  • Building stone provenance, sourcing and decay
  • Deep geothermal energy in Scotland
  • Granite petrology and petrogenesis
  • Rock-water interaction, flow pathways and palaeohydrogeology

Current projects and collaboration

  • Building Stone Database of the UK
  • Deep geothermal energy potential in Scotland with AECOM for the Scottish Government
  • Geological survey & modelling for the Geological Office of Singapore Building and Construction Authority
  • Producing an online learning course in ‘Essentials of Geoscience’ for SAMS and University of the Highlands & Islands

Published outputs

NERC Open Research Archive – Dr Martin Gillespie

Appleby, S K, Gillespie, M R, Graham, C M, Hinton, R W, Oliver, G  H, Kelly, N M and EIMF. 2010. Do S-type granites commonly sample infracrustal sources? New results from an integrated O, U-Pb and Hf isotope study of zircon. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 160, 115-132.

Appleby, S K, Graham C M, Gillespie, M R, Hinton R W, Oliver, G M H and EIMF. 2008. A cryptic record of magma mixing in diorites revealed by high-precision SIMS oxygen isotope analysis of zircons. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 269, 105-117.

Auton, C A, Gillespie, M R and Smith, M. 2012. British Geological Survey 2012. Nairn 84E Scotland Sheet 84E Bedrock. 1: 50 000 Geology Series. 1:50000. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey.

Bateman, K, West, J M, Coombs, P, Gillespie, M R, Henney, P J, Reeder, S and Milodowski, A E. 1998. Laboratory examination of microbial effects upon redox in a geological disposal site for radioactive waste. Mineralogical Magazine 62A(1), 124-125.

Gillespie, M R and Styles, M T. 1999. BGS Rock Classification Scheme, Volume 1: Classification of Igneous Rocks. British Geological Survey Research Report (2nd edition) RR 99-06.

Gillespie, M R, Barnes, R P and Milodowski, A E. 2011. British Geological Survey scheme for classifying discontinuities and fillings. British Geological Survey, 56pp. (RR/10/005).

Gillespie, M R, Campbell, S D G and Stephenson, D. 2012. BGS classification of lithodemic units: a classification of onshore Phanerozoic intrusions in the UK. British Geological Survey Research Report RR/12/01.

Gillespie, M R, Milodowski, A E, Shepherd, T J, Bouch, J E, Chenery, C A, Chenery, S R N, and McKervey, J A. 2003. The palaeohydrogeological evolution of the deep groundwater system from Sellafield (NW England), recorded by late-stage fracture-lining calcite (abstract). In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 67(18S), pA120.

Gillespie, M R, Stephenson, D, and Millward, D. 2008. BGS classification of lithodemic units: Proposals for classifying lithodemic units of intrusive rock. British Geological Survey Research Report RR/08/05.

Gillespie, M R. 1992. Potential for secondary iron oxyhydroxide minerals to retard radionuclide migration: a literature review and assessment. Nirex Safety Studies Research Report No. NSS/R294.

Hall, A M, Gillespie, M R, Thomas, C T, and Ebert, K. 2012. Scottish Landform Examples: The Cairngorms – A Pre-glacial Upland Granite Landscape. Scottish Geographical Journal. 1-13. 10.1080/14702541.2012.728243

Key, R M, Loughlin, S C, Gillespie, M R, Del Rio, M, Horstwood, M S A, Crowley, Q G, Darbyshire, D P F, Pitfield, P E J, and Henney, P J. 2008. Two Mesoarchaean terranes in the Reguibat Shield of NW Mauritania. In: The Boundaries of the West African Craton, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 297, 33-52.

Leslie, A G, Krabbendam, M, and Gillespie, M R. 2012. BGS classification of lithodemic units: Proposals for classifying tectono-metamorphic units and mixed-class units. British Geological Survey Research Report RR/12/02.

Miles, A J, Graham, C M, Gillespie, M R, Hawkesworth, C J, Hinton R W and EIMF. 2013. Evidence for distinct stages of magma history recorded by the compositions of accessory apatite and zircon. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, DOI 10.1007/s00410-013-0862-9.

Milodowski, A E, Gillespie, M R, Naden, J, Fortey, N J, Shepherd, T J, Pearce, J M, and Metcalfe, R. 1998. The petrology and paragenesis of fracture mineralization in the Sellafield area, west Cumbria. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 52 (2), 215-241.

Schofield, D I, and Gillespie, M R. 2007. A tectonic interpretation of “Eburnean terrane” outliers in the Reguibat Shield, Mauritania. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 49, 179-186.

Schofield, D I, Horstwood, M S A, Pitfield, P E J, Gillespie, M R, Darbyshire, F, O’Connor, E A, and Abdouloye, T B. 2011. U-Pb dating and Sm-Nd isotopic analysis of granitic rocks from the Tiris Complex: New constraints on key events in the evolution of the Reguibat Shield, Mauritania. Precambrian Research, 204-205, 1-11.

Tanner, P W G, Leslie, A G, and Gillespie, M R. 2006. Structural setting and petrogenesis of the Ben Vuirich Granite Pluton of the Grampian Highlands: a pre-orogenic, rift-related intrusion. Scottish Journal of Geology, 42, 113-136.

Thomas, C W, Gillespie, M R, Jordan, C J, and Hall, A M. 2004. Geological structure and landscape of the Cairngorm Mountains. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 064 (ROAME No. F00AC103).

Waters, C N, Gillespie, M R, Smith, K, Auton, C A, Floyd, J D, Leslie, A G, Millward, D, Mitchell, W I, McMillan, A A, Stone, P, Barron, A J M, Dean, M T, Hopson, P M, Krabbendam, M, Browne, M A E, Stephenson, D, Akhurst, M C, and Barnes, R P. 2007. Stratigraphical Chart of the United Kingdom: Northern Britain. British Geological Survey, 1 poster.


  • Characterisation and classification of rocks, fractures and faults
  • Granite petrology and petrogenesis
  • Project management
  • Taxonomy and semantics in geology
  • Transmitted and reflected light petrography

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