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Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

School of GeoSciences

Glaciology & Cryosphere

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Who we are

Academic Staff

Dr Robert Bingham Reader in Glaciology and Geophysics / Chancellor's Fellow
Cryospheric geophysics; subglacial environments; Antarctic glaciology; ice radar / radio-echo sounding; links between glaciology and geomorphology
Email: r.bingham at ed.ac.uk
Personal website | Edinburgh Research Explorer profile
Dr Richard Essery Reader
High-resolution atmospheric modelling, land-atmosphere interactions, micrometeorology and snow hydrology.
Email: richard.essery at ed.ac.uk
Dr Daniel Goldberg Lecturer in Glaciology
Glaciologist and ice modeller researching the behavior and role of land ice in the climate system.
Email: dan.goldberg at ed.ac.uk
Personal website
Dr Noel Gourmelen Lecturer in Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere
The effect of climate change on the cryosphere, seismic cycle, magmatic unrest, reservoir dynamics and radar interferometry.
Email: noel.gourmelen at ed.ac.uk
Personal website
Dr Andy Hein Chancellor's Fellow
Glacial geologist/geomorphologist specializing in the application of cosmogenic nuclides to surface exposure age dating.
Email: andy.hein at ed.ac.uk
Personal website
I am a glacial geologist/geomorphologist specializing in the application of cosmogenic nuclides to surface exposure age dating. I initially trained as a geologist, working first in the geophysics division of the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado and later for Geoterryx-Dighem in Australia. After a period of travel while pursuing other interests, I completed an MSc in GIS at the University of Edinburgh. Here I got involved with glacier modelling of the Patagonian Ice Sheet, this in turn led to my PhD project which aimed to directly date pre-LGM glacial deposits in Patagonia by surface exposure methods. Since completing my PhD, my work has turned to Antarctica and the dynamics of ice streams in the Weddell Sea. I am currently involved in a range of research projects; please visit my personal site for further information.
Dr Nicholas Hulton Senior Lecturer
Glacial modelling; glaciology; climate change; high performance computing; Geographical Information Science.
Email: nick.hulton at ed.ac.uk
Awaiting biography.
Prof. Peter Nienow Professor of Glaciology
Glacier hydrology, ice dynamics and their links under a variety of climate change forcing scenarios.
Email: peter.nienow at ed.ac.uk
Personal website
My research investigates glacial processes and in particular, glacier hydrology, ice dynamics and their links under a variety of climate change forcing scenarios. GLACIER HYDROLOGY - the structure and temporal evolution of glacial drainage systems. ICE DYNAMICS - hydrological controls on basal sliding and the stability of ice flow. CRYOSPHERIC RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE - including investigations into the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. GLACIER EROSION - factors controlling sediment evacuation from subglacial drainage systems. SNOWPACK STRUCTURE - temporal and spatial variations in supraglacial snowpack structure. Research driven by field-based investigations in the Alps/Canadian High Arctic/Norway and Greenland. Much fieldwork was undertaken at Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland and John Evans Glacier, Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic. Currently involved with the European Space Agency's (ESA) CryoSat mission providing ground based estimates of elevation change.

Emeritus Professors and Honorary Positions

Prof. Geoffrey Boulton Senior Honorary Professional Fellow
Stability of large ice sheets, particularly the hydraulic and deformational processes at the ice sheet bed; modelling the dynamic behaviour of former ice sheets and their geological products; and the future evolution of glacier cover in the Himalayas.
Email: geoff.boulton at ed.ac.uk
Prof. David Sugden Emeritus Professor & Senior Research Fellow
Glacial and polar geomorphology; the polar regions. Antarctic ice sheet stability. Climate and the dynamics of the Patagonian ice cap.
Email: david.sugden at ed.ac.uk
Personal website
Recipient of the IGS Seligman Crystal, 2012.

After many seasons in the Transantarctic Mountains in the Ross Sea area, I have been working with Stewart Jamieson, Martin Siegert and others on the subglacial landscape in Antarctica. We are trying to understand the geomorphology of the underlying Antarctic landscape. Often it is possible to use remote sensing to recognise a pre-existing fluvial landscape as well as the forms of glacial modification and to relate the latter to subglacial processes.

In recent years I have been working in the Weddell Sea embayment. The overall aim is to discover whether this sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet behaves in a similar or different manner to the Pacific-facing sector.

Some publications are:

2011 Marchant, D.R., Jamieson, S.S.R., Sugden, D.E., The geomorphic signature of massive subglacial floods in Victoria land, Antarctica. In Antarctic sub-glacial aquatic environments, Geophysical Monograph Series, 192, 111-127

2011 Young, D.A., Wright, A.P., Roberts, J.L., Warner, R.C., Young, N.W., Greenbaum, J.S., Schroeder,D.M., Holt, J.W., Sugden, D.E., Blankenship, D.D., van Ommen,T.D., Siegert, M.J. A dynamic early East Antarctic Ice Sheet suggested by ice-covered fjord landscapes. Nature, 474, 72-75 doi:10.1038/nature10114

2010 Jamieson, S.S.R., Sugden, D.E., Hulton, N.R.J., The evolution of the subglacial landscape of Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 293, 1-27.

2009 Bo, S., Siegert,M.J., Mudd, S.M., Sugden, D.E., Fujita, S., Xiangbin, C., Yunyun, J., Xueyuan, T., Yuansheng, L. The Gamburtsev mountains and the origin and early evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Nature, 459,690-693 (doi:10.1038/nature08024)

2009 Sugden,D.E., McCulloch, R.D., Bory, A., J.-M., Hein, A.S., Influence of Patagonian glaciers on Antarctic dust deposition during the last glacial period. Nature Geoscience, 2, (April), 281-285, (doi:10.1038/NGEO474).


Dr Tom Cowton PDRA at Edinburgh and Sheffield
Investigating controls on flow variability in Greenland's tidewater glaciers: the impact of runoff on fjord circulation and termini melt rates.
Email: tom.cowton at ed.ac.uk
Dr. Amaury Dehecq
Mountain glaciers dynamics from Earth Observation imagery.
Email: amaury.dehecq at ed.ac.uk
Dr Shasta Marrero
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Cosmogenic Nuclides in Antarctica.
Email: shasta.marrero at ed.ac.uk
Dr Kate Snow
Understanding ice-ocean interaction of West Antarctic ice sheets under a changing climate.
Email: ksnow at staffmail.ed.ac.uk

Postgraduate Students

Frazer Christie
Constraining ice, ocean and climate interaction in the Bellingshausen Sea sector of West Antarctica
Main supervisor: Dr Robert Bingham
Email: f.christie at ed.ac.uk
Damon Davies
The nature and dynamics of ice stream beds: assessing their role in ice-sheet stability
Main supervisor: Dr Robert Bingham
Email: d.davies at ed.ac.uk
Richard Delf
Characterisation of subglacial hydrology in Svalbard using ground-based radar
Main supervisor: Dr Nick Hulton
Email: s1562594 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Luca Foresta
CryoSat for the study of the cryosphere
Main supervisor: Dr Noel Gourmelen
Email: luca.foresta at ed.ac.uk
Penelope How
Investigating water pressure controls on glacier sliding rates on a calving glacier in Svalbard
Main supervisor: Dr Nick Hulton
Email: p.how at ed.ac.uk
Matthew MacDonald
Chinooks winds and hydrometeorology in western Canada
Main supervisor: Dr Richard Essery
Email: s1050149 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Monika Mendelova
Investigating the timing, extent and significance of Quaternary glaciations in Patagonia
Main supervisor: Dr Andrew Hein
Email: s0948425 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Alexis Moyer
Investigating tidewater glacier and iceberg submarine melt rates in Greenland's fjords
Main supervisor: Prof Pete Nienow
Email: a.moyer at ed.ac.uk
Michael Spencer
Reanalysis of Scottish mountain snow observations
Main supervisor: Dr Richard Essery
Email: m.spencer at ed.ac.uk
Personal website | Blog
Donald Slater
Investigating controls on flow variability in Greenland tidewater glaciers
Main supervisor: Prof Pete Nienow
Email: d.slater at ed.ac.uk
Personal website
Paul Tepes
Land ice change from high resolution elevation using swath altimetry
Main supervisor: Dr Noel Gourmelen
Email: paul.tepes at ed.ac.uk


  • Dr Sue Cook (University of Tasmania)
  • Dr Andrew Sole (University of Sheffield)

Recent Post-Docs

  • Dr Tim Reid
  • Dr Santiago de la Pena (now at Ohio State)
  • Dr Andrew Sole (now at Sheffield)
  • Dr Julian Scott

Recent Students

  • Dr Tom Cowton (PhD, 2009-2013)
  • Alex Ingle (MScR, 2011-2012)
  • Dr Ian Bartholomew (PhD, 2007-2011)
  • Dr Andrew Tedstone (PhD, 2011-2015)

Other Institutions

We have ongoing research links with...

  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Leeds
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • University of Cambridge
  • British Antarctic Survey
  • Durham University
  • Northumbria University
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of Exeter
  • University of York
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