Alan MacDonald

Prof Alan MacDonald

Head of groundwater
BGS Edinburgh

Alan MacDonald’s Biography

  •  2018 : Individual Merit Scientist (IMP3)
  •  2012 : Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee
  •  2006 : Principal Hydrogeologist BGS Edinburgh
  •  2001 : PhD, University College London, Community Water Supplies from Mudstones
  •  1999 – 2006 : Senior Hydrogeologist BGS Edinburgh
  •  1996 – 1999 : Hydrogeologist, WaterAid Oju Community Water Supply project Nigeria
  •  1992 – 1996 : Hydrogeologist, BGS Wallingford
  •  1992 : MSc (dist.) Hydrogeology, University College London
  •  1991 : BSc (Hons) 1st Class, Geophysics, Edinburgh University

Research interests

  • International groundwater development and management — particularly in  developing countries in the context of poverty reduction and water security
  • The resilience of groundwater systems to climate change and abstraction
  • African groundwater and water security
  • Groundwater and catchment science: floodplain hydrogeology, groundwater & flooding, upland and glaciated catchments
  • Providing science and data to underpin groundwater management in the UK (aquifer properties, groundwater vulnerability mapping, nitrate contamination, groundwater monitoring networks, groundwater chemistry baseline)

Current projects and collaborations

  •  2016 –2018 : Monitoring the impact of the 2015/16 El Nino event on water supplies in the Ethiopian Highlands
  •  2015 – ongoing : Grofutures: Groundwater futures for Sub-Saharan Africa
  •  2015 – ongoing : UPGro Hidden Crisis: understanding the reasons for poor functionality in groundwater hand pumps in rural Africa
  •  2012 – ongoing : IGB Groundwater Resilience: A research programme aimed at strengthening the evidence base linking groundwater resources, climate variability and abstraction in the Indo-Gangetic basin
  •  2011 – ongoing : Glacier monitoring: monitoring and characterising glacier hydrology in the BGS observatory at Virkisjökull, Iceland with a particular emphasis on groundwater
  •  2011 – ongoing : Characterising groundwater surface water interactions in the Eddleston catchment : with Dundee University
  • Baseline Scotland: a joint BGS/SEPA project to characterise the baseline chemistry and residence time of groundwater in Scotland

Professional associations

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