About Me

MPhys (Oxon), PhD (Reading)

I am a glacial modeller, with interests in large and small scale dynamic modelling, calving and subglacial hydrology.

Beginning in 2003, I played a central role in the development of the Glimmer-CISM community ice sheet model. Glimmer-CISM is a regional ice model that can be flexibly coupled to a GCM, through a highly-configurable interface.

More recently, I have used Elmer/Ice to model processes of iceberg calving at tidewater glacier margins. I have also begun to work on modelling subglacial hydrology and its influence on ice dynamics.

Running through all these topics is a concern for the application of sound software engineering techniques to scientific programming. Numerical models form the foundations on which much of the geosciences are built, but while the numerical and mathematical approximations used in these models are the subject of scrutiny and discussion, the way that code is developed is often given less thought. My interest in this topic led to my participation in founding the EGU journal Geoscientific Model Development.

My teaching responsibilities in Geography include the coordination of Level 1 tutorials, and the teaching of statistical techniques to Level 2 students.

Areas of Expertise

  • Ice Sheet Modelling
  • Glaciology
  • High Performance Computing
  • Scientific Software

Publications

  1. & The Glimmer community ice sheet model. Journal of Geophysical Research 114(F2), n/a doi:10.1029/2008JF001015
  2. & Investigating the sensitivity of numerical model simulations of the modern state of the Greenland ice-sheet and its future response to climate change. The Cryosphere 4(3), 397-417. doi:10.5194/tc-4-397-2010
  3. & A variational method for orographic filtering in NWP and climate models. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 132(619), 1795 doi:10.1256/qj.05.133
  4. & Closure of the Panama Seaway during the Pliocene: implications for climate and Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Climate Dynamics 30(1), 1 doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0265-6
  5. & Modelling large-scale ice-sheet–climate interactions following glacial inception. Climate of the Past 8, 1565-1580. doi:10.5194/cp-8-1565-2012
  6. & Testing the effect of water in crevasses on a physically based calving model. Annals of Glaciology 53(60), 90-96. doi:10.3189/2012AoG60A107

Teaching

  • GEC267 Dadansoddi Data

    Mae'r modiwl yma yn astudio pwysigrwydd dadansoddi data ystadegol yng nghyd-destun ymchwil meintiol ym meysydd Daearyddiaeth Ddynol a Ffisegol. Bydd ystod o ddulliau ystadegol ag amryw ddefnydd yn cael eu trafod, gan ddefnyddio esboniadau damcaniaethol ac enghreifftiau ymarferol i ddangos eu defnydd. Rhoddwyd pwysigrwydd arbennig ar osod y technegau hyn o fewn y cyd-destun ehangach o ymchwil Daearyddol. Defnyddiwyd meddalwedd safonol pwerus er mwyn dadansoddi ystadegau yn y sesiynau cyfrifiadurol ymarferol. Yn ogystal i ystadegau, bydd y modiwl yn paratoi myfyrwyr ar gyfer eu hastudiaethau ymchwil personol trwy gyfres o diwtorialau yn canolbwyntio ar baratoi a datblygu cais ymchwil. This module examines the importance of statistical data analysis in quantitative research in both Human and Physical Geography. A range of statistical methods with wide application are discussed, using theoretical explanation and practical examples to illustrate their use. Particular importance is given to placing these techniques within the broader context of Geographical research. Powerful, industry-standard statistical analysis software is used in the computer practical sessions. In addition to statistics, the module prepares students for their independent research dissertation through a series of tutorials focusing upon the formulation and construction of a research proposal.

  • GEG111 Geographical Writing Skills and Personal Development Planning

    This module introduces students to key skills in scientific writing and career development. The module is taught through a tutorial programme throughout the year.

  • GEG267 Data Analysis

    This module examines the importance of statistical data analysis in quantitative research in both Human and Physical Geography. A range of statistical methods with wide application are discussed, using theoretical explanation and practical examples to illustrate their use. Particular importance is given to placing these techniques within the broader context of Geographical research. Powerful, industry-standard statistical analysis software is used in the computer practical sessions. In addition to statistics, the module prepares students for their independent research dissertation through a series of tutorials focusing upon the formulation and construction of a research proposal.

  • GEG331 Dissertation Report: Geography

    The dissertation is an original, substance 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.

  • GEG333 Geographical Research Frontiers

    This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)

Supervision

  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Professor Tavi Murray
  • Modelling circulation within glacial fjords in south-east Greenland: Implications for sea-level rise predictions from the Greenland Ice Sheet (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Tavi Murray
  • 'Modelling and field data analysis of subglacial hydrological conditions in West Greenland' (awarded 2014)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Bernd Kulessa
  • Forward and adjoint ice sheet model sensitivities with an application to the Greenland Ice Sheet (awarded 2013)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Tavi Murray
  • Environmental Controls on Calving in Grounded Tidewater Glaciers (awarded 2013)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Tavi Murray

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Exchange/ERASMUS Coordinator - Geography

    2007 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2007 Present Lecturer in Glaciology Swansea University
2003 2007 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Bristol Glaciology Centre University of Bristol
1999 2003 PhD in Meteorology University of Reading
1995 1999 MPhys, Oriel College University of Oxford

External Responsibilities

  • Peer Review College member, NERC

    2009 - Present

  • Executive Editor, Geoscientific Model Development

    2009 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • NERC Network of sensors project ‘High-Resolution Glacier Dynamic Monitoring’ (Co-I) 2011 - 2013

  • NERC Consortium Grant ‘BRITICE-CHRONO: Constraining rates and style of marine influenced ice sheet decay’ (Co-I) 2012 - 2017

Research Groups

  • Glaciology

    The issues we aim to contribute to are: Quantification of the past and future contribution from glaciers and ice sheets to sea-level rise; Understanding the processes driving the present rapid and dramatic changes observed in glaciers, and the instabilities inherent in glacial systems; Understanding the record of palaeo-ice mass instabilities and the processes that drove these changes.