John Heathcote has an MA in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge and a PhD in chemical hydrogeology from University of Birmingham. He is a Chartered Geologist. After two years as a research fellow at Birmingham, he then spent 24 years in commercial consultancy working on many aspects of groundwater overseas and in the UK. These projects covered a wide range of topics including speculative drilling for groundwater in Oman, reserve evaluation of potassium-rich brines in Chile, radioactive waste disposal, and renewable groundwater resources in major British aquifers. Latterly he was Principal Specialist – Contaminated Land at Dounreay, where his responsibilities include the site’s hydrogeology, ground contamination inventory, and the radiological standards necessary for site closure. He was also a key member of the site’s environmental review committee, reviewing all of the site’s regulatory environmental submissions, giving him an excellent overview of site operations and their regulation. He is particularly able to join up ideas across several disciplines in order to solve contamination management issues. He also has a sound working knowledge of the statistics of characterisation.