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Katherine Ascott


In 2014 I graduated from the University of Plymouth with a first class masters degree in Geology. For two years following this I worked as a geologist for a geotechnical and environmental consultancy firm, where I gained experience conducting field investigations and site assessments to produce land appraisals.

It was here that I encountered a diverse range of site development proposals, which in some cases start to consider the value of geo-resources in urban design. However, this is not often the case, and it is becoming increasingly evident that in order to address this issue, a new method of analysing urban design from a geo-resources perspective is required.


My current area of research is focused on understanding the relationship between urban design and geo-resources underneath cities. This study will develop a new geoscientific-thinking approach towards urban design, and define a new technique to express how well urban design can work with the landscape.

This innovative topic has only in recent years been recognised as a key area which has the potential to significantly contribute towards sustainable design of cities and urban landscapes. It is anticipated that the findings of this research will be of interest to city practitioners, industry, urban planners and service providers.

This research is funded by NERC in the framework of the Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA) Doctoral Training Partnership and is hosted by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS). This project also benefits from additional support from the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (WISC) and Warwick Resilient Cities Laboratory My supervisors are; Prof. Jon Coaffee (University of Warwick) and Ms. Stephanie Bricker (British Geological Survey).


Ascott,K.,Bricker, S. and Coaffee, J. (2019) Understanding the value of geo-resources for resilient and sustainable urban growth: Investigating water and urban design at North West Cambridge. EcoCity2019, Vancouver, 7-11 October.

Ascott, K., Kenny, M.J. (2019) Addressing the complexities of resilience in urban design and planning. Town Planning Review, 90(5). Available at:

Menegon, L., Pennacchioni, G.,Malaspina, N., Harris, K., & Wood, E. (2017). Earthquakes as precursors of ductile shear zones in the dry and strong lower crust. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18. Available at:


I support teaching in the following modules:

Professional Skills (CS133)

Katherine Ascott

Warwick Institute for
the Science of Cities,
Fourth Floor,
Mathematical Sciences,
University of Warwick,
CV4 7AL.