Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Postgraduate



+44 (0)7714 795 860alex.colyer16




305Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Ph.D. Title: Scale-dependent variation in lithology and their control on water resources and flooding in the Eden Valley, Cumbria


Supervisors: Adrian Butler, Andrew Hughes, Denis Peach

I am a PhD student based at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment and part of the 5th cohort of the 'Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet' Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP), funded by NERC. My research focuses on scale-dependent variations in lithology and the impact this has on water resources and flooding. This research involves developing databases of hydrogeologic properties and analyzing the variation spatially and temporally to provide a greater understanding of the hydrogeologic functioning of a study catchment. This understanding will be used to build distributed groundwater models at a range of scales, for a variety of purposes related to water resources and flooding.


In 2015 I graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, with a First Class (equivalent) honours degree in Geological Science. While at UBC I worked as a research assistant in Dr Scoates’ research laboratory and gained experience in geochemical analysis such as U-Pb geochronology, LA-ICP-MS and using a Scanning Electron Microscope to identify zoning of Zircon crystals. This was a fantastic experience and sparked my interest in research within the geosciences.

During my undergraduate studies, I became aware of the importance of managing resources carefully, both mineral and natural. I was drawn to water management as it impacts a variety of industries and politics. I joined Imperial College London 2016 to pursue an MSc in Hydrology and Water Resources Management within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Once again, I benefitted from the wealth of knowledge at the university and was able to graduate with distinction in October of 2017.

Upon graduation, I worked as a data analyst in the water resources department at Wessex Water Services Ltd. This experience showed the challenges of meeting supply on a daily basis while minimizing the impact on the environment.

In 2018 I rejoined Imperial College London to start a PhD.  This project brings together my modelling experience from the Hydrology MSc and geology understanding from my undergraduate studies.


Extra-curricular activities at Imperial or outside

Challenge team - Environmental Impact of food on ICL campus

SPRING – community volunteering


European Geoscience Union - Student Member

Geological Society - Candidate Fellow