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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Alexandra Gormally-Sutton supervises 5 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Alexandra Gormally-Sutton

Senior Lecturer in Subsurface and Society

Alexandra Gormally-Sutton

LEC Building



Tel: +44 1524 594376

Current Research

Ally is a human geographer with a background in energy geographies. She has undertaken research across the energy sphere including recent work on the role of invisible energy policy in Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) and is a part of the Supergen Energy Storage Network +. Additionally, much of Ally's emerging research involves exploring the relationship between social and earth processes with a specific focus on the underground. This often has an energy theme but not exclusively so and recent work has involved exploring the conceptualization of subsurface governance. This profile of research has in part been developed through an ongoing collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and takes a critical perspective exploring societal interactions with the subsurface. 


Ally often takes an interdisciplinary approach in her research, working collaboratively with other disciplines.  This began during her doctoral research which was funded by a competitively won studentship from the UK Energy Research Centre and took an interdisciplinary approach to assessing renewable energy potential in upland communities. Since then she has worked collaboratively with geoscientists, engineers and computer scientists and has also been involved in research with Energy Lancaster, a cross-faculty research centre that aims to address societal challenges around sustainability and security of energy. Ally now leads Energy Lancaster's theme on 'Energy & Society'.


Current Teaching

Ally mainly teaches on LEC's UG Geography programme including: 

  • LEC 227 'Geosocial Spaces' which explores society's relationship with earth processes (convenor)
  • LEC 202 'Being a Geographer; Issues, ethics and skills' (convenor)
  • LEC 101 'Global Environmental Challenges' (contributor)

In addition to this, she has a number of both UG and PG dissertation students exploring topics such as the use of subterranean spaces in cities, the role of social media in natural hazard response, Governance of groundwater in the UK, the Value of geology in settlement patterns and Community Energy, amongst others. 

PhD Students:

  • Jack Hemingway, exploring the Resilience of Groundwater Governance in Southern Africa. This is in collaboration with BGS and funded through the ESRC NWSSDTP. Read Jack's blog post for more info.
  • Joseph Earl - 'Coastwatchers:A citizen observatory for mitigation of coastal hazards'. Funded through a Faculty of Science and Technology Studentship award.
  • Hannah Charles - 'Social housing challenges in the low-carbon transformation to Net Zero'. Hannah is based at The University of Manchester and co-supervised by Prof Stefan Bouzarovski and Dr Rob Bellamy. Funded through the ESRC NWSSDTP, CASE partner is OneManchester.

 PhD students funded through the Centre for Global and Eco-Innovation:

  • Kathy New, looking at adaptive thermal comfort in non-domestic building

 Masters by Research students:

  • Mike Lusty, looking at the role of citizen science in coastal management (completed, 2019).
  • Stephen King, exploring the underlying tensions in delivering long-term collaborations for clean and sustianable growth (completed, 2021).

Additional Information

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG)

Previously Secretary of the RGS-IBG Energy Geographies Research Group (2018-2020) http://www.energygeographies.org @EnergyGeography

My Role

Ally is LEC's academic lead for Athena SWAN. For more information about our approach to Athena SWAN see here.

Ally was previsouly Senior Admissions Tutor for LEC's UG Geography degree programmes. For more information about our degrees see here.

Research Grants

  • EPSRC (CREDS) - End Use Energy Demand Technology 2. (Award to LU £1.6M) Title: Reducing End Use Energy Demand in Commercial Settings Through Digital Innovation. PI: Prof Adrian Friday. 2020-2024. 
  • BGS (£3k) PI:'Underground futures/Conflicts - Scoping Project' Jan-March 2020 
  • EPSRC Supergen Energy Storage Network + (Co-I) 2019-2023
  • ESRC-CASE Studentship (£75k) PI:'Resilience of Groundwater governance in Southern Africa' 2018-2023
  • FST Research Grant (£2.5k) PI: 'Scoping Project - Energy from Magma; The Re-Imagination of Subsurface Opportunities' Jan-July 2018
  • LEC-BGS PI:'Society and Subsurface' collaboration 2016-2019

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