School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Rob in Antarctica

Dr. Robert Bingham (click to contact)

Reader in Glaciology and Geophysics
Head of Edinburgh Global Change Research Institute

Awarded the Polar Medal by H.M. the Queen in 2013 for contributions to Arctic and Antarctic science, my principal research addresses the causes and pace of polar ice-sheet change, and the contributions of polar ice sheets to global sea levels. I also lead Edinburgh's Global Change Research Institute, comprising ~50 academic and research staff, and ~100 PhD students, whose research interests span climatology (atmosphere and oceans), the biosphere (ecological science), the cryosphere (snow and ice), interactions between environment and society, and land surface dynamics and geomorphology.

My group and I use a wide array of geophysical, remote sensing and modelling techniques to unravel contemporary glacial change and processes, and to link modern subglacial environments and landforms to the deglaciated landscapes left behind by the retreat of ice sheets across the Northern Hemisphere.

Much of my research focus is in West Antarctica, but I also work in the High Arctic.

Read more about my research here.

View all my publications, with free PDFs, here.

Opportunities for Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Research: If you have a strong curriculum vitae/resume, like what you see on these pages, and would like to undertake glaciological research in Edinburgh, I would be delighted to guide you towards funding schemes and help to develop applications. Anyone joining my group will be well integrated into the wider relevant research groups in Glaciology, Land Surface Dynamics, Global Change and Earth and Planetary Science. If you're interested, check out the following then contact me to discuss a relevant application:

  • Fellowships: Good opportunities to fund glaciological research are provided by NERC, EPSRC, EU (Marie Curie), Leverhulme, Royal Society, Royal Society of Edinburgh. Each have different eligibility criteria, deadlines etc. I am happy to develop projects/applications with you.
  • Ph.D. opportunities: A Ph.D. in Edinburgh typically takes between 3 and 4 years (full-time), and here in Edinburgh you will join one of the largest groups of glaciology students around. U.K. students will typically be funded through Edinburgh's NERC-funded "Edinburgh E3" Doctoral Training Programme, for which I typically advertise two projects in the November-January window each year. You may also be eligible for funding from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. Non-U.K. students should check out the Edinburgh University support schemes, but also contact me to help source further funding.
  • M.Sc. opportunities: An M.Sc. in Edinburgh typically takes 1 year (full-time) and there are many exciting opportunities to integrate yourself and your research with the wider Edinburgh Glaciology group. You can do an M.Sc. by Research, which means dedicating a full year to your research project (with no taught components). An alternative route is to undertake the Taught M.Sc. programmes in Geographical Information Science or Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management, or the M.Earth.Sci, wherein I would be delighted to supervise the 6-month dissertation component in your choice of glaciology.


Richard in Svalbard Richard Delf, Ph.D. candidate from Sep. 2015.
Funding: NERC Scholarship, part of Edinburgh E3 NERC Doctoral Training Programme.
Project title: Characterisation of subglacial hydrology in Svalbard using ground-based radar.
Additional supervisors: Antonis Giannopoulos, Andrew Curtis (Edinburgh)
Rosie in Iceland Rosie Bisset, Ph.D. candidate from Sep. 2017.
Funding: NERC Scholarship, part of Edinburgh E3 NERC Doctoral Training Programme.
Project title: Monitoring and modelling changes to polar ice sheets and ice caps over the last 50 years.
Additional supervisors: Noel Gourmelen, Dan Goldberg (Edinburgh)
Rachel Rachel Oien, Ph.D. candidate at University of Aberdeen from Oct. 2017.
Funding: SAGES Graduate School.
Project title: Climate at the onset of the Antarctic ice ice-sheet growth: a detailed analysis of ice-buried glacial cirques.
Lead supervisor: Matteo Spagnolo (Aberdeen); Additional supervisors: Iestyn Barr (MMU), Brice Rea (Aberdeen)
Julien in Svalbard Julien Bodart, Ph.D. candidate from Sep. 2018.
Funding: NERC Scholarship, part of Edinburgh E3 NERC Doctoral Training Programme.
Project title: Reconstructing the glacial history of marine basins in West Antarctica.
Additional supervisor: Andy Hein (Edinburgh)
Tancrede Tancrede Leger, Ph.D. candidate from Sep. 2018.
Funding: NERC Scholarship, part of Edinburgh E3 NERC Doctoral Training Programme.
Project title: Geochronological reconstruction of the North Patagonian Ice Sheet.
Lead supervisor: Andy Hein (Edinburgh)

Frazer Christie, Ph.D., 2018.
Thesis: Constraining ice, ocean and climate interaction around West Antarctica.
Additional supervisors: Noel Gourmelen, Simon Tett (Edinburgh), Hamish Pritchard (British Antarctic Survey)
Frazer is continuing in Antarctic science, now as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.

Damon Davies, Ph.D., 2018.
Thesis: The nature and dynamics of ice stream beds: assessing their role in ice-sheet stability.
Additional supervisors: Matteo Spagnolo (Aberdeen), Alastair Graham (Exeter), David Vaughan (British Antarctic Survey)
Damon is now working as a policy researcher at the Scottish Parliament.

Kyrah McKenzie, M.Sc. by Research, 2017.
Thesis: Evaluating grounding-line change of Larsen A, B and C Ice Shelves, Antarctic Peninsula, from 1986-2016.
Additional supervisor: Noel Gourmelen (Edinburgh)
Kyrah is now working as a consultant in the energy sector.

David Ashmore, Ph.D., 2014.
Thesis: The basal environment of Antarctic ice streams from airborne ice-penetrating radar.
Additional supervisor: Richard Hindmarsh (British Antarctic Survey)
David has continued to pursue Antarctic research, from 2014-16 in the Centre for Glaciology, Aberystwyth University, undertaking Antarctic field seasons in 2014 and 2015, and from 2017 as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Liverpool.

Philip Prescott, Ph.D., 2013, Durham University.
Thesis: Assessing the control of subglacial bed roughness on rates of basal ice flow.
Lead supervisor: Chris Stokes (Durham)
Philip now works in industry.

Nanna Karlsson, Ph.D., 2011, University of Hull.
Thesis: Radio-echo sounding of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica.
Lead supervisor: David Rippin (now at University of York)
Nanna continues in polar research, now as Senior Scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). Between her PhD and GEUS she undertook postdoctoral research in Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, and Alfred-Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, taking her to Greenland and Antarctica.

Oliver Marsh, Research Assistant, 2008, British Antarctic Survey.
Oli worked for me in BAS over summer 2008 on radar data collected from West Antarctica.
Oli continues in polar research, from 2018 as a scientist at the British Antarctic Survey. Oli spent much of the intervening decade at Gateway Antarctica, New Zealand, where he did his PhD and postdoctoral research and participated in several Antarctic field seasons, and he also undertook a period of postdoctoral research at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, California.

External Responsibilities

External Activities

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • International Glaciological Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geosciences Union
  • British Geophysical Association (arm of the Royal Astronomical Society)
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences