Alison Monaghan

Dr Alison Monaghan

Head of Geothermal
BGS Edinburgh

Alison Monaghan’s Biography

  • 2023 – ongoing : Head of Geothermal, British Geological Survey
  • 2016 – 2023: Science Lead, UK Geoenergy Observatory, Glasgow
  • 1997 – ongoing : Geologist and from 2017 Principal Geologist, British Geological Survey
  •  1997 : PhD University of Edinburgh
  •  1994 : MA (Hons) University of Cambridge, Geological Sciences

Research interests

  • UK geothermal datasets, resources and sustainability
  • Mine water geothermal energy and underground thermal storage science, regulation, resources, environmental impacts
  • Basin analysis, 3D geological modelling & uncertainty for geoenergy resources
  • The crowded subsurface and geoenergy; multiple sources of anthropogenic change, characterisation, monitoring, impact, regulation
  • Carboniferous geochronology, stratigraphy and tectonics
  • Urban and coalfield geology

Current projects and collaborations

  • UK Geoenergy Observatories in Scotland: Glasgow; Science Lead – Leading the science delivery of the Glasgow Observatory from inception, programme of environmental baseline monitoring and open data delivery
  • Collaborating with IEA geothermal, BEIS and the Coal Authority on the Mine Water Energy Symposium 2022 and IEA mine water energy expert group
  • Collaborating on the Geothermal Energy from Mines and Solar-Geothermal Heat (GEMS) project with Durham University, funded by EPSRC/NERC Decarbonisation of Heating and Cooling 2 grant
  • Lead, Carboniferous chapter, new 5th edition of ‘The Geology of Scotland’ book.


Published outputs


  • Project leadership for industry, Government and academic partners
  • Mine water geothermal energy subsurface planning, characterisation, monitoring
  • Basin analysis, 3D modelling, monitoring in geoenergy, urban geology, coalfields
  • Central Scotland & North Sea Carboniferous stratigraphy and geochronology

Professional associations

  • Fellow of The Geological Society, London and Edinburgh Geological Society.
  • 2002 : Chartered Geologist
  • 2021 : MBE for services to geology
  • 2022: Coke Medal of The Geological Society, London

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