Dr Melanie Jane Duncan

Dr Melanie Jane Duncan

Volcanologist/hazards and risk

Location: BGS Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 344

E-mail Dr Melanie Jane Duncan


My main research interest is multi-hazards in volcanic environments, with a particular emphasis on the assessment of multiple, interacting and cascading hazards and how these processes manifest from local to global scales. I have a background in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the links between DRR, sustainable development and climate change adaptation, having worked closely with an international humanitarian and development NGO during my doctoral research. I am an experienced interdisciplinary researcher, working with and across different disciplines. I work within a number of collaborations at the UK, European and international scales, including the Global Volcano Model network. I have overseas research experience in Iceland, the Caribbean and Philippines.


  • 2015 – ongoing : BGS volcanologist (hazards and risk)
  • 2013 –2015 : Part-time Consultant: Disaster Risk Reduction 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 –2015 : EngD, University College London: multi-hazard assessments
  • 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) Physical Geography, University of St Andrews


  • 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

Research interests

  • Multi-hazards in volcanic environments
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Global reporting of volcanic activity and impact
  • Citizen science


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

Published outputs

  • Duncan, M, Mee, K, Hicks, A, Engwell, S Robertson, R, Forbes, M, Ferdinand, I, Jordon, C, and Loughlin, S. 2018. Using the 'myVolcano' mobile phone app for citizen science in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: a pilot study. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 48pp. (OR/17/045).
  • Šakić Trogrlić, R, Cumiskey, L, Triyanti, A, Duncan, M J, Eltinay, N, Hogeboom R J, Jasuja, M, Meechaiya, C, Pickering, C J, and Murray, V. 2017. Science and Technology Networks: A Helping Hand to Boost Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030? Int., J. Disaster Risk Sci, p. 1-6.
  • Šakić Trogrlić, R, Wright, G, Adeloye, A, Duncan, M, and Mwale, F. 2017. Taking stock of community-based flood risk management in Malawi: different stakeholders, different perspectives. Environmental Hazards 17(2), p.107-127.
  • Cadag, J R, Driedger, C, Garcia, C, Duncan, M, Gaillard, J C, Lindsay, J, and Haynes, K. 2017. Fostering participation of local actors in volcanic disaster risk reduction. Observing the Volcano World: Volcano Crisis Communication. Advances in Volcanology, Springer.
  • Crowley, K, Fedaeff, N, Macara, G, and Duncan, M. 2017. Chapter 5: Climate and weather hazards and their drivers. In Kelman, I, Mercer, J, and Gaillard, J C. (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Routledge.
  • Duncan, M, Edwards, S, Kilburn, C, Twigg, J, and Crowley, K. 2016. An Interrelated Hazards Approach to Anticipating Evolving Risk. Case Study F in The making of a riskier future: How our decisions are shaping future disaster risk. GFDRR.
  • Mee, K, and Duncan, M. 2015. Increasing resilience to natural hazards through crowd-sourcing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 50pp. (OR/15/032)
  • Duncan, M, Crowley, E, Cornforth, R, Edwards, S, Ewbank, R, Karbassi, P, McLaren, C, Penya, J L, Obrecht, A, Sargeant, S, and Visman, E. 2014. Integrating science into humanitarian and development planning and practice to enhance community resilience: initial guidance for non-governmental organisations.