Dr Clare Bond

Dr Clare Bond
Dr Clare Bond

Dr Clare Bond



Department of Geology and Geophysics, School of Geosciences, Meston Building, Aberdeen Univeristy Aberdeen AB24 3UE UK


I am an Earth Scientist interested in how the Earth works. My research focuses on mountain building and how the Earth’s crust deforms as a result of natural and anthropogenic processes. Other research interests are investigating uncertainties and human biases in subjective data interpretation and links between society and science. I use my geological skills to help solve a range of contemporay issues and research challenges including; carbon storage, communication of science, understanding and communicating scientific uncertainty, geothermal energy, and radioactive waste disposal; and currently advise and work on several Net Zero projects linking across the academic, industry, policy interface. 

I gained a first class degree from the University of Leeds followed by a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. I then worked across a range of sectors and interests from conservation and policy to technical consulting and academia. Since 2010, I have been at the University of Aberdeen. I co-direct eRock, an open access resource of virtual outcrop models inconjunction with former PhD student Adam Cawood and the Fold-Thrust Research Group with colleague Rob Butler. I am a Director of Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) and chair the Science Steering Committee for the scoping study in to a UK subsurface CO2 storage research site.  

In 2020 I was selected for the Homeward Bound global leadership initiative for Women in Science Technology Engineering, Maths and Medicine. I will be one of 100 women from across the globe that together form Homeward Bound's Team 6. The 12 month leadership programe culminates in a voyage to Antarctica in 2022. As part of my leadership journey I have set-up 'Breaking the Ice Ceiling' where I will be blogging about my leadership journey, talking to women leading global change on the breaking the ice ceiling podcast and raising money to support these initiatives and my leadership journey.


Research Overview

My research interests are broad spanning uncertainty analysis through to structural modelling.

  • Uncertainty analysis of the interpretation of seismic image data.
  • Structural modelling to inform interpretations and make predictions of strain and fractures.
  • Fold-thrust geometries and formation damage.
  • The role of fluids in the crust and deformation, fluid, rock interactions; particularly for carbon capture and storage (CCS), but with interests in radioactive waste disposal, geothermal energy and hydrogen storage.
  • Model building from seismic image data and outcrop informtaion to build models, including the creation of virtual outcrops from LiDAR and photogrammetry.
  • Perceptions and differences in expert opinion related to climate change and unconventional resources.
  • The use of social media in scientific engagement and inquiry.

Current Research

Structural Geology - I co-direct the industry funded consortium the Fold-Thrust Research Group, with Rob Butler. The group investigates uncertainties in interpretations for fold-thrust belts, fold thrust belt evolution, characteristics and fore-limb deformation. We often work collaboratively with Mark Cooper (Calgary). PhD students include Lauren Kedar funded through the NERC Oil and Gas CDT who is investigating strain partitioning and deformation styles in multi-layers and applying Raman Specroscopy techniques in collaboration with David Muirhead to determine thermal maturity. Ramy Abdallah, also funded through the NERC Oil and Gas CDT  is investigating uncertainty in the interpretation of fold-thrust structures to inform machine learning algorithms. Phoebe Sleath funded through the GeoNetZero CDT is working in partnership with NAGRA (Swiss National Cooperative for Radioactive Waste Disposal). The Fold-Thrust Research Group tweets on @FoldThrust. PhD student Kinglsey Chiadikobi is working on seismic data from the Eastern Mediterranean investigating fault patterns. 

Uncertainty in Interpretation - A significant part of my research worked has investigated Interpretational Uncertainty, focusing on areas of structural complexity, this work has been funded by Scottish Enterprise, NERC, BGS, and several companies, most recently Total in a collaboration with Florian Wellmann (Aachen) and Guillaume Caumon (Nancy). Between August 2018 and December 2019 I worked on a project funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to investigate the psychologies of seismic image interpretation with Ben Tatler.

Sub-surface Fluid Pathways - I have been working on aspects of carbon capture and storage for several years, particularly focusing on the structural controls of fluid migration in the sub-surface. This started with work on fracture controlled fluid flow at the InSalah CCS project and has lead to a series of research projects including a UKCCSRC funded project investigating natural CO2 flux along a fault in South Africa. Completed PhD student Roy Ponfa Bitrus worked on 4D seimsic data from Sleipner to map the CO2 pathways using seismic attribute analysis, whilst Ali Jihad, using similar methodologies, has investigated the genesis of natural gas chimmneys in the Loyal Field, OffShore West Shetland. Between 2017 and 2019 I lead input into the ACT Acorn project on geological site characteristaion for potential storage sites in the UK. This EU project completed in February 2019 and brought together University partners across the UK (Liverpool, Edinburgh, Heriott Watt and Aberdeen) with Bellona and Raboud University, and was led by Pale-Blue Dot. I am currently chair of the steering committee for the scoping project for a UKRI CO2 Storage Test Bed. In 2021 a GeoNetZero CDT funded PhD student will be working with Adrian Hartley and myself on low enthalpy geothermal energy

eRock - eRock launched in 2018 is a virtual geology project jointly led with former PhD student Adam Cawood. eRock aims to provide 3D virtual outcrops for fellow researchers, educational institutions and the general public. eRock tweets on @eRocktweets


Knowledge Exchange

Breaking the Ice Ceiling  www.breakingtheiceceiling.com

In 2020 I applied for and was accepted on Homeward Bound a global initiative to increase the influence and impact of women leading with a Science Technology Engineering, Maths and medicine (STEMM) background in making decisions that shape the future of our planet. I will be part of TeamHB6. Starting in March 2021 I joined 100 other women from around the globe on a 12 month leadership programme that culminates in 2022 with a journey to Antarctica, global pandemic allowing. I want to use the opportunity to elevate women in STEMM and their active leadership in making positive World change. You can follow my journey on the breaking the ice ceiling webpage, where I am blogging about the experience, fundraising and have a podcast of conversations with Women Changing the World. If you want to find out more get in touch. 



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