Helen Fallas

Mrs Helen Fallas

Chief Geologist for Scotland

Location: BGS Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 261

E-mail Helen Fallas


  • 2018 : Chief Geologist for Scotland, British Geological Survey
  • 2008 : Hydrogeologist, British Geological Survey
  • 2008 : MSc University of Birmingham, Hydrogeology
  • 2007 : BSc University of St Andrews, Geoscience

Published outputs

Current projects and collaboration

  • 2017 –2019 : Key Agencies Scotland sub-group - Understanding Environmental Evidence, & evidence approaches required to inform the development, and delivery, of new planning policy approaches for Scotland’s future places and people.
  • 2015 –2019 : UPGro Research Consortium Grant. A Hidden Crisis: understanding current rapid failure of boreholes in sub-Saharan Africa. NERC-DFID-ESRC funded.
  • 2015 –2018 : NERC KE Fellowship (PI) Integrating subsurface environmental research and data to city planning.
  • 2014 –2017 : European Cooperation of Science and Technology (COST) Sub-Urban Action (TU1206)
  • 2013 –2015 : UPGro Catalyst Grant (Project Manager) A Hidden Crisis: Strengthening the evidence base on the sustainability of rural groundwater services (NERC-DFID-ESRC funded)
  • 2012 –2015 : Groundwater resources in the Indo‐Gangetic Basin: resilience to climate change and abstraction. DFID Accountable Research Grant
  • 2010 –2012 : Groundwater resilience to climate change in Africa: DFID funded research to improve the understanding of the resilience of African groundwater to climate change and links to livelihoods.
  • 2009 –2014 : Clyde Urban Super Project. Hydrogeology of the Glasgow urban area – groundwater monitoring.
  • Mapping groundwater flooding susceptibility

Key papers

  • 2018 : Bonsor, H C, Shamsudduhu, M, Marchant, B P, MacDonald, A M, and Taylor, R G. 2018. Seasonal and decadal groundwater changes in African sedimentary aquifers estimated using GRACE products and LSMs. Remote Sensing, 10; 904, doi: 10.3390/rs10060904.
  • 2017 : Bonsor, H C, MacDonald, A M, Ahmed, K M, Burgess, W G, Basharat, M, Calow, R C, Dixit, A, Foster, S S D, Gopal, K, Lapworth, D J, Moench, M, Mukherjee, A, Rao, M S, Shamsudduha, M, Smith, L, Taylor, R G, Tucker, J, van Steenbergen, F, Yadav, S K, and Zahid, A. 2017. Hydrogeological typologies of the Indo-Gangetic basin alluvial aquifer, South Asia. Hydrogeology Journal. 10.1007/s10040-017-1550-z.
  • 2018 : Bonsor, H C, MacDonald, A M, Casey, V, Carter, R, and Wilson, P. 2018. The need for a standard approach to assessing the functionality of rural community supplies. Hydrogeology Journal, 26; (2), 367-370.
  • 2017 : Krabbendam M, Bonsor, H C, Horstwood, M S A, and Rivers, T. 2017. Tracking evolution of the Grenvillian Foreland Basin: Constraints from sedimentology and detrital zircon and rutile in the Sleat and Torridon Groups, Scotland, Precambrian Research.
  • 2017 : Bonsor, H C. 2017. NERC Policy Briefing report, Integrating NERC(BGS) subsurface environmental research into city development processes and policy, British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/17/005, 35 pp, Research, 183; 4; 791-804.
  • 2017 : Bonsor, H C, Dahlqvist, P, Moosman, L, Classen, N, Epting, J, Huggenberger, P, Garica-Gil, A, Janza, M, Laursen, G, Stuurman, R, and Gogu, C R. 2017. Groundwater, geothermal modelling and monitoring at city-scale: reviewing European practice, EU COST Action Report, British Geological Survey OR/17/007, 69pp.
  • 2016 : MacDonald, A M, Bonsor, H C, Ahmed, K M, Burgess, W G, Basharat, M, Calow, R C, Dixit, A, Foster, S S D, Gopal, K, Lapworth, D J, Lark, R M, Moench, M, Mukherjee, A, Rao, M S, Shamsudduha, M, Smith, L, Taylor, R G, Tucker, J, van Steenbergen, F, and Yadav, S K. 2016. Groundwater quality and depletion in the Indo-Gangetic Basin mapped from in situ observations. Nature Geoscience, 9. 762-766. 10.1038/ngeo2791
  • 2015 : Campbell, S D G, Bonsor, H C, Lawrence, D, Monaghan, A, Whitbread, K, Kearsey, T, Finlayson, A, Entwisle, D, Kingdon, A, Bricker, S, Fordyce, F, Barron, H, Dick, G, and Hay, D. 2015. Underground data and knowledge for the Cities of Tomorrow: lessons learned from Glasgow and its applicability elsewhere. City and territory territorial studies, 47 (186). 745-758.
  • 2013 : Bonsor, H C, Barron, H, Bricker, S, Entwisle, D, Lawrence, D, Lawrie, K, O Dochartaigh, B E, and Campbell, S D G. 2013. Maximising past investment in subsurface data in urban areas for sustainable resource management: a pilot in Glasgow, UK. Technical note. Ground Engineering, 46 (2). 25-28
  • 2014 : Bonsor, H C, MacDonald, A M, and Davies, J. 2014. Evidence for extreme variations in the permeability of laterite from a detailed analysis of well behaviour in Nigeria. Hydrological Processes, 28; 10, 3563-3573.
  • 2012 : MacDonald, A M, Bonsor, H C, Ó Dochartaigh, B E, and Taylor, R G. 2012. Quantitative maps of groundwater resources in Africa. Environmental Research Letters, 7, 024009

Professional association

  • 2008 : Chair of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Urban Groundwater Network

Publication downloads

Research interests

  • Groundwater systems understanding
  • Groundwater resources — issues of demand, vulnerability and access
  • Sedimentology
  • Use of GRACE data in groundwater science