Telephone: (01792) 295524
Room: Academic Office - 231
Second Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus

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. Benn, D., Jones, R., Luckman, A., Fürst, J., Hewitt, I., Sommer, C. Mass and enthalpy budget evolution during the surge of a polythermal glacier: a test of theory Journal of Glaciology 65 253 717 731
  2. Bevan, S., Luckman, A., Benn, D., Cowton, T., Todd, J. Impact of warming shelf waters on ice mélange and terminus retreat at a large SE Greenland glacier The Cryosphere 13 9 2303 2315
  3. Howe, J., Husum, K., Inall, M., Coogan, J., Luckman, A., Arosio, R., Abernethy, C., Verchili, D. Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) observations of recent tidewater glacier retreat, western Svalbard Marine Geology 417 106009
  4. Sergeant, A., Mangeney, A., Yastrebov, V., Walter, F., Montagner, J., Castelnau, O., Stutzmann, E., Bonnet, P., Ralaiarisoa, V., Bevan, S., Luckman, A. Monitoring Greenland ice sheet buoyancy-driven calving discharge using glacial earthquakes Annals of Glaciology 1 21
  5. Nuth, C., Gilbert, A., Köhler, A., McNabb, R., Schellenberger, T., Sevestre, H., Weidle, C., Girod, L., Luckman, A., Kääb, A. Dynamic vulnerability revealed in the collapse of an Arctic tidewater glacier Scientific Reports 9 1
  6. How, P., Schild, K., Benn, D., Noormets, R., Kirchner, N., Luckman, A., Vallot, D., Hulton, N., Borstad, C. Calving controlled by melt-under-cutting: detailed calving styles revealed through time-lapse observations Annals of Glaciology 1 12
  7. Young, T., Christoffersen, P., Doyle, S., Nicholls, K., Stewart, C., Hubbard, B., Hubbard, A., Lok, L., Brennan, P., Benn, D., Luckman, A., Bougamont, M., Luckman, A. Physical Conditions of Fast Glacier Flow: 3. Seasonally-Evolving Ice Deformation on Store Glacier, West Greenland Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 124 1 245 267
  8. Lovell, H., Benn, D., Lukas, S., Ottesen, D., Luckman, A., Hardiman, M., Barr, I., Boston, C., Sevestre, H. Multiple Late Holocene surges of a High-Arctic tidewater glacier system in Svalbard Quaternary Science Reviews 201 162 185
  9. Bevan, S., Luckman, A., Munneke, P., Hubbard, B., Kulessa, B., Ashmore, D. Decline in Surface Melt Duration on Larsen C Ice Shelf Revealed by The Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) Earth and Space Science 5 10 578 591
  10. Schild, K., Renshaw, C., Benn, D., Luckman, A., Hawley, R., How, P., Trusel, L., Cottier, F., Pramanik, A., Hulton, N., Luckman, A. Glacier Calving Rates Due to Subglacial Discharge, Fjord Circulation, and Free Convection Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 123 9 2189 2204

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  • GEG110 First Year - Dale Field Trip

    Dale Field course The Dale Field course is a weekend residential field trip for Year 1 Geography students. The aim of the course is to undertake human and physical geography field work in conjunction with the Field Studies Centre in Dale Village, Pembrokeshire. Although field work will be undertaken, the module is un-credited, as the main aim of the trip is to allow the students a safe space to meet and engage with fellow students. This module is has been developed as a response to feedback (University, and NSS) that suggested students needed a way of meeting and socialising before their Year 2 international field trips.

  • GEG135 Habitable Earth

    This module is an introduction to global environmental change and explores aspects of the issue of sustainability as it affects everyday lives. The challenge of sustainability is significant and the lectures will provide you with the information needed to engage with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • 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.


  • Stability of Antarctic Ice Shelves: Implications in terms of sea level rise (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Cornford
  • Dynamics of the Ferrigno Ice Stream and Venable Ice Shelf, West Antarctica (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Cornford
  • 'Recent variability in Himalayan glacier dynamics from remote sensing ' (awarded 2017)

    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.