Scientific posts held

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher and Glaciology Group Leader | Center for Climate and Cryosphere, Innsbruck University
September 2009-Present

Current projects: Dynamics of debris-covered glaciers in the Khumbu Himal (PI Nicholson); Modelling of debris-covered glaciers (PI Nicholson); High resolution spaceborne studies of mass balance processes on glaciers of the Khumbu Himal, Nepal (GlHima-Sat) (PIs Nicholson & Sailer); Reconstructing and projecting the global behaviour of glaciers from 1850 – 2300 (Collaborator); Glaciers-to-Rivers Sediment Transfer in Alpine Basins (GLORI) (Collaborator)

Previous projects: High resolution cryospheric monitoring and modelling under climate change conditions (hiSNOW) (PI Sailer); Measuring penitente development using an XBox Kinect (PI Nicholson), Climate-glacier relationship on Mount Kenya (PI Kaser)

Investigator/Leader of Glacial Hydrology Group | Centro de Estudios Avazados en Zonas Aridas (CEAZA), Chile
September 2007 – December 2008

Leader of a research group monitoring mass and energy balance of glaciers. The group uses a network of  meteorological and runoff stations, combined with direct measurements and analysis of satellite imagery, to assess the glacial contribution to hydrological resources in Norte Chico, Chile.

Post-doctoral Researcher/Laboratory Manager | Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada
June 2005 – September 2007

Responsible for a major collaborative Arctic ice coring project involving Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Ottawa and the Geological Survey of Canada and manager of the glacier hydrochemistry laboratory where we produced major ion analyses of core samples and analysed time series of the isotopic, chemical and density stratigraphy.

Teaching Fellow | Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews, UK
September 2004 – June 2005

Coordinator and instructor for honours level courses in Quaternary environmental reconstruction.
Contributor to courses in glaciology and analytical methods.
Supervisor for undergraduate dissertation projects.

Research assistant | Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews, UK
January 2000 – January 2004

Assistant for a 4-year project on evolution of supraglacial lakes on debris-covered glaciers.
Collaborator in an international project studying the thermal regime of ice-contact lakes involving Universities of St Andrews, Dundee, Milan and the Italian Glaciological Committee.
Laboratory assistant for luminescence dating of sediments.

Teaching

2013 – present:   Lecturer | Juneau Icefield Research Program, USA
Lectures, project supervision within an 8 week educational program

2011 – present:   Lecturer | University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Norway
Graduate course in Glaciology AG-325

2015:                 Lecturer | University of Innsbruck International summer school, Austria
Surface-Atmosphere Exchange over Mountainous Terrain

2012:                 Lecturer | Micro-DICE summer school,Austria
Lectures on glacier-climate interaction within a course on microstructures of snow and ice

2010:                 Lecturer | University of Innsbruck International summer school, Austria
Monsoon variability, teleconnections, and impacts on mid to low latitude glaciers

2009:                 Lecturer | IACS/UNESCO training course,Nepal
Glacier mass balance measurements and analysis

2004 – 2005:     Lecturer | University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
Course coordinator BSc Honours course in Quaternary Environmental Reconstruction
Contributing lecturer in glaciology and analytical methods in geosciences
Supervisor for undergraduate dissertations

2000 – 2004:     Tutor | University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
Contributions to courses across the Geosciences

Higher education

Ph.D. Glaciology | University of St. Andrews, UK

Title: Modelling melt beneath supraglacial debris: implications for the climatic response of debris-covered glaciers

Summary: My research focused on improving existing numerical models of sub-debris ice ablation, and applying this melt model to explore the environmental controls on sub-debris ablation rate; the evolution of debris-covered glaciers to climate change; and the processes by which surface ablation topography develops on debris-covered glaciers (and how this (1) affects overall ablation (2) forms potentially dangerous ice contact lakes in some regions).

B.Sc. (Hons), Geography | University of Edinburgh, UK

Knowledge and skills acquired in core subjects of philosophy and methodology of geography and geographical research methods, and in elective courses covering glaciology, glacial geomorphology, macrogeomorphology, environmental sensitivity and change, meteorology, oceanography and geology.

Dissertation: The geomorphological impact of climate change on glaciers in the Ngozumpa valley, Khumbu Himal, Nepal.

Fieldwork experience

I have executed research programmes of up to 3 months duration in the Nepalese Himalaya (x6), Svalbard, Italian and Austrian Alps, Norway, Iceland, Chile (x25), Kenya (x3) and Tanzania (x2). Fieldwork expertise includes, in no particular order:

  • DGPS and theodolite surveying;
  • surface scanning using terrestrial laser scanning, Xbox Kinect;
  • glaciological studies on ablation, flow and stress fields;
  • glacier mass balance measurement using stake networks and snowpits; geomorphological mapping and sedimentology studies;
  • geophysical surveys using electromagnetics (EM) and ground penetrating radar (GPR);
  • ice cave mapping using standard speleological techniques;
  • ice, water and sediment stratigraphy sampling for stable isotope and chemical analysis, magnetic provenance, luminescence and cosmogenic dating;
  • deployment of automatic weather stations and eddy correlation systems;
  • use of remote camera systems and photogrammetry.

Grants awarded in recent years (as PI)

Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Stand-alone Project: P 28521 €202,930

Austrian Research Promotion (FFG) Agency Austrian Space Applications Program (ASAP): €225,000

Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Elise Richter Grant: V 309 €317,050

National Geographic Waitt Grant: USD 15,000

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