School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Andrew Shepherd, Reader in Cryosphere Remote Sensing

Andrew Shepherd is Reader in Cryosphere Remote Sensing and Head of the Edinburgh Earth Observatory research group in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh. He is also co-ordinator of the European Space Agency Vectra InSAR consortium, Co-Investigator of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, a PI on the CryoSat-2 satellite mission, and a contributing author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Shepherd was educated at Leicester University, where he gained B.Sc. in Astrophysics and Ph.D. in Physics. In 1998 he moved to the Department of Space & Climate Physics at University College London, was appointed Lecturer at Cambridge in 2002, and moved to Edinburgh in 2006. Dr. Shepherd’s field of expertise is satellite remote sensing of the cryosphere for investigations of global climate change, in particular the quantitative techniques of radar interferometry and radar altimetry. He has also studied arid land degradation using satellite infrared radiometry and models of atmospheric radiative transfer, leading field validation campaigns in Zimbabwe and Spain. His currently funded research includes investigations of interferometric altimeter data retrievals from rugged terrain for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), satellite and ground-based studies of the stability of the Larsen ice shelf in Antarctica also for the NERC, and satellite observations of glaciers and ice caps for the European Space Agency. In 2007, Dr. Shepherd received a Philip Leverhulme Prize for his outstanding contribution to research into climate change.

Key Publications

Follow the links below for more information on some of the research I have participated in:


Fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007


Inland thinning of the Pine Island Glacier, Shepherd et al., Science, 2001


Larsen ice shelf has progressively thinned, Shepherd et al., Science, 2003

Nature lakes

Rapid discharge connects Antarctic subglacial lakes, Wingham et al., Nature, 2006

Science IPY

Recent sea level contribution of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, Shepherd et al., Science, 2007

Publications since 1997

1. Shepherd, A., Stewart, J.B., and Lupankwa, M.L., (1997). Angular Dependence of Radiometic Surface Temperature for Sparse Vegetation. Proceedings of the Third ERS Symposium: Space at the service of our Environment, 209-214.

2. Shepherd, A and Mohr, J.M., (2001). The VECTRA cooperation project: ERS SAR Interferometry-derived information on Antarctica and Greenland. Earth Observation Quarterly Record of Images, 68, 1-4.

3. Shepherd, A., D.J. Wingham, J.A.D. Mansley, and H.F.J. Corr, (2001). Inland thinning of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, Science, 291, 862-864.

4. Dowdeswell, J.A., Bassford, R. P., Gorman, M.R., Williams, M., Glazovsky, A.F., Macheret, Y.Y., Shepherd, A., Savatugin, L., Miller, H., Huberten, H., (2002). Form and flow of the Academy of Science Ice Cap, Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107, 10.1029 /2000/JB000129.

5. Shepherd, A., Wingham, D.J., and Mansley, J.A.D., (2002). Inland thinning of the Amundsen Sea sector, West Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 29, art-1364.

6. Shepherd, A., and Peacock, N.R., (2003). Ice shelf tidal motion derived from ERS altimetry. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 108, 3198.

7. Shepherd, A., Wingham, D.J., Payne, A.J., and Skvarca, P., (2003). Larsen Ice Shelf has progressively thinned, Science, 302, 856-859.

8. Shepherd, A., Wingham, D.J., and Rignot, E., (2004). Warm Ocean is eroding West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Geophysical Research Letters, 31, 10.1029/2004GL021106

9. Payne, A. J., Vieli, A., Shepherd, A., Wingham, D. J., and Rignot, E., (2004) Recent dramatic thinning of largest West-Antarctic ice stream triggered by oceans, Geophysical Research Letters, 31, 10.1029/2004GL021284.

10. Hawley, R.L., Morris, E.M., Cullen, R., Nixdorf, U., Shepherd, A.P., and Wingham, D.J., (2006), ASIRAS airborne radar resolves internal annual layers in the dry-snow zone of Greenland, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 33.

11. Shepherd, A. (2006). Antarctica Unravelled, Physics World, May, 21-26.

12. Wingham, D.J., Siegert, M.J., Shepherd, A., and Muir, A.S., (2006), Rapid discharge connects Antarctic subglacial lakes, Nature, v. 440, p. 1033-1036.

13. Vieli, A., Payne, A.J., Du, Z.J., and Shepherd, A., (2006), Numerical modelling and data assimilation of the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, v. 364, p. 1815-1839.

14. Wingham, D.J., Shepherd, A., Muir, A., and Marshall, G.J., (2006), Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, v. 364, p. 1627-1635.

15. Shepherd, A. and Wingham, D., 2007, Recent sea-level contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets: Science, v. 315, p. 1529-1532.

16. Meehl, G.A., Stocker, T.F., Collins, W.D., Friedlingstein, P., Gaye, A.T., Gregory, J.M., Kitoh, A., Knutti, R., Murphy, J.M., Nada, A., Raper, S.C.B., Watterson, I.G., Weaver, A.J., and Zhao, Z.-C., and 78 others (including A. Shepherd) 2007, Global Climate Projections. in Solomon, S., Qin, D., Manning, M., Chen, Z., Marquis, M., Averyt, K.B., Tignor, M., and Miller, H.L., eds., Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA., Cambridge University Press, p. 747-846.

17. Shepherd, A., Du, Z., Morris, E. M., and Benham, T. J., (2007). Mass balance of the Devon Ice Cap, northern Canada, Annals of Glaciology. v. 46, p. 249-254.

18. Payne, A. J., P. R. Holland, A. P. Shepherd, I. C. Rutt, A. Jenkins, and I. Joughin (2007), Numerical modeling of ocean-ice interactions under Pine Island Bay's ice shelf, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C10019, doi:10.1029/2006JC003733.

19. Vieli, A., Payne, A.J., Shepherd, A., and Du, Z., 2007, Causes of pre-collapse changes of the Larsen B ice shelf: Numerical modelling and assimilation of satellite observations: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 259, p. 297-306

20. McMillan, M., Nienow, P., Shepherd, A., Benham, T., and Sole, A., 2007, Seasonal evolution of supra-glacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 262, p. 484-492.