Jon Mackay

Jon Mackay

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

As part of his doctoral research, Jon is collecting field data from a deglaciating catchment in Iceland and using computer models to investigate the historical and future changes in ice morphology as a result of changes in climate. Jon will combine models of ice flow, hydrology and landscape evolution to examine how changes in climate propagate downstream and drive changes in glacier flow and mass, catchment river flow and catchment geomorphology.


  • 2006 –2009: BSc (Hons) 1st Class, Environmental Science, Lancaster University
  • 2009 –2010: MSc with Distinction, Hydrology and Water Resource Management, Imperial College London


Jon undertook his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at Lancaster University before specialising in the field of hydrology at Imperial College London where he received his Master of Science degree. Jon then worked at the British Geological Survey (BGS) as a research scientist for over four years. Here, his research focused on using observation data and numerical models to understand the spatial and temporal distribution of surface and groundwater resources in the UK and internationally. Now, Jon continues to work with colleagues at the BGS along with academics at the University of Birmingham and the University of Iceland as part of his doctoral research degree.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Glacial, hydrological and landscape change in a deglaciating catchment: Virkisjokull, Iceland

University of Birmingham: Dr Nick Barrand, Professor David Hannah, Dr Stefan Krause
British Geological Survey: Chris Jackson, Jez Everest
University of Iceland: Gudfinna Adalgeirsdottir


Research interests

Jon is interested in using computer models to help understand and predict the movement and storage of water in the environment over a range of scales and settings. He is particularly interested in:

  • Glaciated catchment hydrology
  • Feedbacks between climate and hydrological systems
  • Prediction uncertainty in environmental models
  • Integrated modelling solutions

Other activities

Jon has been a member of the British Hydrological Society since 2011 and a STEM ambassador since 2015.


Mackay, J.D., Jackson, C.R., Brookshaw, A., Scaife, A.A., Cook, J., Ward, R.S. In press. Seasonal forecasting of groundwater levels in principal aquifers of the United Kingdom. Journal of Hydrology.

Svensson, C., Brookshaw, A., Scaife, A.A., Bell, V.A., Mackay, J.D., Jackson, C.R., Hannaford, J., Davies, H.N., Arribas, A., Stanley, S. 2015. Long-range forecasts of UK winter hydrology. Environmental Research Letters, 10 (6), 064006.

Jackson, C.R., Bloomfield, J.P., Mackay, J.D. 2015. Evidence for changes in historic and future groundwater levels in the UK. Progress in Physical Geography, 39(1), 49-67.

Watts, G., Battarbee, R.W., Bloomfield, J.P., Crossman, J., Daccache, A., Durance, I., Elliot, A., Garner, G., Hannaford, J., Hannah, D.M., Hess, T., Jackson, C.R., Kay, A.L., Kernan, M., Knox, J., Mackay, J.D., Monteith, D.T., Ormerod, S., Rance, J., Stuart, M.E., Wade, A.J., Wade, S.D., Weatherhead, K., Whitehead, P.G., Wilby, R.L. 2015. Climate change and water in the UK – past changes and future prospects. Progress in Physical Geography, 39(1), 6-28.

Mackay, J.D., Jackson, C.R., Wang, L. 2014. A lumped conceptual model to simulate groundwater level time-series. Environmental Modelling and Software, 61, 229-245.

Prudhomme, C., Haxton, T., Crooks, S., Jackson C.R., Barkwith, A., Williamson, J., Kelvin, J., Mackay, J.D., Wang, L.., Young, A., Watts, G. 2013. Future Flows Hydrology: an ensemble of daily river flow and monthly groundwater levels for use for climate change impact assessment across Great Britain. Earth System Science Data, 5 (1), 101-107.