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Scholarly biography

Aggeliki (Aggie) Georgiopoulou is a Marine Geoscientist, with a BSc in Geology from the University of Patras in Greece, a MSc in Oceanography and a Phd in Marine Geology from the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre. Before joining the School of Environment and Technology she was a Lecturer in Sedimentology at the UCD School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin and before that she was a Griffth Geoscience Research Fellow at the same School. Before going to Ireland, Aggie was a PDRA at Cardiff University, in the 3DLab, as part of an industry-led consortium, CAPROCKS, in which the University of Newcastle and Heriot-Watt were also involved.

Aggie has published extensively on processes involved in submarine landslides, the offshore record of the British Irish Ice Sheet and bottom current circulation and its impact on sedimentary processes. She has been part of many collaborative teams and has participated in numerous offshore oceanographic expeditions and has led some herself on the Irish national Research Vessel Celtic Explorer.

She is a member of the Applied Geosciences and the Past Human and Environment Dynamics Research and Enterprise Groups, and the Centre for Aquatic Environments.

Research interests

My research interests are in deep sea sedimentary processes and more specifically submarine mass movements, their triggers, flow and depositional processes, frequency, geohazard potential. I use and combine multiple datasets, including, but not limited to, sedimentary cores, acoustic data such as seismic profiles and echosounder bathymetry, micropalaeontology, deep sea video. I believe that it is imperative to look at these problems across all scales and all resolutions by combining different datasets as it is the only way to reveal whether what are considered large-scale events are not in fact composites of smaller-scale events. The implications this has on geozard assessment (including size and frequency) are substantial and significant and cannot be overlooked. I have recently discovered the use of structure-from-motion techniques and photogrammetry transforming deep sea marine research into outcrop geological research, as it is now revealing properties of landslide scarps that have never seen before.

I also work on the offshore record of the British Irish Ice Sheet that has a better preservation potential than the subaerial record and thus has allowed us and continues to feed into reconstructions of ice sheet advances and retreats. 

Bottom current-related sedimentary processes are strongly linked with both of the above topics and thus are of great interest to me; bottom currents have the ability to not only erode slope bases and lead to oversteepening but may also contribute to rapid sediment accumulation, both of which are important factors of slope instability. Bottom currents are also significantly affected by and involved in offshore glacial processes, for example in driving iceberg movement.

The complexity and connectivity of the oceanic environment requires cross-disciplinary collaborations, while the difficulty in accessing it requires the constant push for technological development, both of which fascinate me and keep the research topic interesting.

My study sites:

  • Hikurangi Margin, offshore the North Island of New Zealand
  • Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, Mid-Atlantic Ridge
  • Rockall Trough, NE Atlantic
  • East US margin
  • Central Mediterranean Sea
  • SW Indian Ocean, offshore South Africa
  • Nova Scotia, Canada
  • NW African Margin

Approach to teaching

I believe in the power of fieldwork when it comes to conveying complex concepts to students. Geology involves very large scale processes across four dimensions that in order to grasp they must literally surround you and I think this is fundamental in teaching geology. Field geology also allows the students to get in contact with nature and deep time, both of which are essential to like and enjoy if you are going to be a geologist. So I like to take students to the field where they can observe fossilised geological processes, as well as modern active processes. I combine these with laboratory experiments, such as flume channels where the students can get a "hands-on" experience in the parameters that control sedimentary structure formation. 

I keep much of my teaching research-led, and I often use my own research material in practical assignments as well as the latest published literature.

With my coursework assignments I aim to develop many skills in students, beyond the understanding of geological processes; I aim to develop their writing skills, their presentation skills, their research skills, their deduction skills and their logical skills. Overall I aim to instill self-confidence in my students.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising projects in the following topics:

  • Slope instability in multiple geological environments, siliciclastic passive margins, active tectonic margins, seamounts, atolls, etc.
  • Alongslope bottom current sediment transportation and its links to slope instability as well as past climatic events;
  • Offshore glacial processes, modern and ancient;
  • Industry-related projects on topics such as pipeline/cable routes, offshore wind energy foundations, geohazard assessments for seafloor installations;
  • Continuous processes from the shelf to the deep sea;
  • Applicants' own ideas on marine geological processes.

Specific projects:

1) Landslide processes on Oceanic Core Complexes: geohazard assessment from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

2) Earthquake-triggered large flushing events in submarine canyons: Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand

3) Effect of Oceanic Core Complexes on deep sea circulation at the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, Mid-Atlantic Ridge

4) Origin of the Gollum Channel and sedimentary processes in the Porcupine Seabight, offshore SW Ireland

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, University of Patras


Award Date: 11 Nov 1999

PhD, National Oceanography Centre


Master, University of Southampton



  • QE Geology
  • marine geology
  • submarine landslides
  • deep sea processes
  • turbidity currents
  • contourites
  • marine geohazards


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