DPhil, Electronic Engineering, York, 1991; BSc. (Hons) Electronic Engineering, York, 1987

Specialist subjects
Glacier and Ice sheet Dynamics: Measuring and monitoring contemporary dynamic change in Greenland ~ Application of optical feature tracking to understanding dynamics of Himalayan glaciers ~ Analysis of Antarctic ice shelf dynamics, rifting and stability ~ Topographic and dynamic change at Breiðamerkurjökull, Iceland using lidar and photogrammetry ~ Development of techniques: Satellite Radar Interferometry (SRI), speckle and feature tracking

Melt extent on ice sheets, ice caps and ice shelves: Application of Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) Global Monitoring Mode (GMM) to detect and monitor seasonal melt extent over various Arctic ice masses with particular emphasis on Greenland, Austfonna, and Devon ice cap ~ Monitoring of melt extent and pattern on the Antarctic peninsula Larsen C ice shelf.

Areas of Expertise

  • Glaciology
  • Earth Observation


  1. & Structure and evolution of the drainage system of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier, and its relationship with patterns of mass loss. The Cryosphere 11(5), 2247-2264.
  2. & Melt-under-cutting and buoyancy-driven calving from tidewater glaciers: new insights from discrete element and continuum model simulations. Journal of Glaciology 63(240), 691-702.
  3. & Ice and firn heterogeneity within Larsen C Ice Shelf from borehole optical televiewing. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
  4. & Annual down-glacier drainage of lakes and water-filled crevasses at Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 121(10), 1819-1833.
  5. & Ocean forcing of glacier retreat in the western Antarctic Peninsula. Science 353(6296), 283-286.
  6. & Massive subsurface ice formed by refreezing of ice-shelf melt ponds. Nature Communications 7, 11897
  7. & Stagnation and mass loss on a Himalayan debris-covered glacier: processes, patterns and rates. Journal of Glaciology 62(233), 467-485.
  8. & Calving rates at tidewater glaciers vary strongly with ocean temperature. Nature Communications 6, 8566
  9. & Extensive Retreat of Greenland Tidewater Glaciers, 2000–2010. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 47(3), 427-447.
  10. & Heterogeneity in Karakoram glacier surges. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 120(7), 1288-1300.

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  • GEG103 Global environmental change: The human impact

    This unit is an introduction to global environmental change and provides a wide range of examples how humans change there environment. The module covers the following aspects of global change: Tropical deforestation, desertification, sea-level rise, and climate change. We will explore the evidence provided for each of these aspects of global change and discuss their projected impacts. The aims of this unit are: 1) to consider past human impact in prehistoric and historical times; 2) to take selected human impacts on environments today and investigate the intentional and unintentional human modifications to the environment; 3) to review the likelihood of future human-induced global environmental change and the predicted effects; 4) to introduce students to recent methods in geography used to monitor and model aspects of global environmental change.

  • GEG208 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

    A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based technology for solving problems of a geographical nature ¿ i.e. involving spatial relationships between people, places and objects. It can be applied to a wide range of disciplines within geography and has developed to provide a means to quickly and professionally produce maps from geospatial data. This module provides a basic grounding in GIS from the nature of spatial information, through the use of GIS in social and physical geography contexts, to the application of computers to solving complex geographical problems. Most importantly, it allows hands-on experience in using ArcGIS, the market leading GIS software package, and therefore provides a valuable skill for research and the for workplace.

  • GEG268 Dissertation Preparation

    The module prepares students for their independent research dissertation through dissertation fairs, lectures and a series of tutorials focusing upon the formulation and construction of a research proposal. The module also includes three lectures which explore career opportunities for Geography graduates and skills to enhance graduate employability.

  • GEG331 Dissertation Report: Geography

    The dissertation is an original, substantive and independent research project in an aspect of Geography. It is typically based on approximately 20 - 25 days of primary research and several weeks of analysis and write-up. The end result must be less than 10,000 words of text. The dissertation offers you the chance to follow your personal interests and to demonstrate your capabilities as a Geographer. During the course of your dissertation you will be supported by a student-led discussion group and a staff supervisor, and you will also provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This support and supervision is delivered through the 'Dissertation Support' module, which is a co-requisite.

  • GEG332 Dissertation Support: Geography

    This module provides structured, student-led peer-group support and academic staff group supervision for students undertaking the 30-credit 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module. This support and supervision is assessed through the submission of a PowerPoint Poster in TB1 and the submission in TB2 of an individually composed, critical and reflective log of the 5 dissertation peer-group meetings and the 4 group supervisory meetings (with a verified record of attendance at meetings). Working within a supervised Student Peer Group, you will also have the opportunity to provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This module complements the 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module, which is a co-requisite.

  • GEG344 Glaciology

    This module will provide you with the scientific basis to understand the physical behaviour of glacier ice at spatial scales ranging from individual ice crystals to continental-scale glaciation. The module core topics will include glacier mass balance, transformation of snow to ice, glacier hydrology, dynamics, ice crystal structure and deformation, glacier sliding, deformation of glacial sediments, glacier flow instabilities and glacier surging. We will then introduce example topics of current research interest. You will have the opportunity to work in a small group on a guided research project. The module is assessed through an individual paper critique and ¿take-home¿ examination, as well as group presentation of your research project results at a poster-based mini-conference, and as a report. The research project work will normally be assigned a group mark, however, individual student¿s marks may be moderated based on self and peer assessment.

  • GEGM22 Geographical Information Systems

    This module will provide students from a range of disciplines including Geography, Epidemiology and Bioscience, with a comprehensive understanding of Geographic Information Systems, and key practical skills in the market-leading GIS software tool, ESRI ArcGIS. At the end of the module students will know how and where to acquire geospatial data, how to combine and analyse these data for specific objectives, and how to visualise primary and derived data in the form of maps.


  • 'Recent variability in Himalayan glacier dynamics from remote sensing ' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Bernd Kulessa

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2006 Present Reader, College of Science Swansea University
2003 2006 Senior Lecturer, College of Science Swansea University
1997 2003 Lecturer Earth Observation Science Init
1992 1997 Higher Scientific Office British National Space Centre
1991 1991 Visiting Lecturer at Institute of Computer Science University of Nairobi, Kenya
1990 1991 Research Assistant, Department of Electronics University of York

Research Groups

  • Glaciology Group

    A research group dedicated to furthering knowledge in the quantification of the past and future contribution from glaciers and ice sheets to sea-level rise; the processes driving the present rapid and dramatic changes observed in glaciers, and the instabilities inherent in glacial systems; and the record of palaeo-ice mass instabilities and the processes that drove these changes.