Habilitation Thesis

In the german-speaking world in order to progress in an academic career it is important at some point to complete something like a second PhD thesis in the form of a Habilitation thesis. This generally consists of a collection of your post-doctoral scientific research publications and an assessment of your teaching activities, with the purpose to demonstrate that you are a successful working research/teaching academic. Its an alien concept to me as a Brit, but I submitted by Habilitation in 2019 and was successfully awarded it in 2020.  I can now apparently call myself ‘Priv.-Doz. Dr. Assistant Professorin Lindsey Nicholson B.Sc., Ph.D.’.

Many thanks to the generous reviewers Tad Pfeffer, Andy Kääb, and Andrew Mackintosh, scientists and humans for whom I have the greatest respect, for taking the time to review it, and for providing me with very encouraging reviews of my work so far. It is much appreciated. My habilitation thesis can be accessed at the University of Innsbruck library here: https://diglib.uibk.ac.at/ulbtirolhs/content/titleinfo/5255142

The Habilitation thesis consists of 11 peer reviewed publications completed between 2012 and 2019 that all address aspects of understanding debris-covered glacier systems. These papers (i) lay out conceptual frameworks for understanding debris-covered glaciers systems, (ii) use detailed field observations to identify the significant controls on small to medium scale processes operating on debris covered glaciers, (iii) integrate debris covered glacier surfaces into coupled surface-atmospheric models, (iv) use satellite data to understand glacier scale processes affected by debris cover and (v) develop advanced numerical modelling tools for furthering our process-understanding of debris-covered glaciers.

“One aspect of Dr. Nicholson’s scientific career to date stands out with particular prominence, and this is the breadth of her expertise and interests.” Its so rewarding to see this attribute commended, as I sometimes feel like a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’, although I also realise my broad experience helps me collaborate well in interdisciplinary science.

“… to a large extent thanks to Dr. Nicholson’s work, effort and success, debris cover on glaciers is currently one of the main research topics within mountain glaciology worldwide.” I never saw my contribution this way, although I certainly love the topic and enjoy seeing the resurgence in interest in researching debris-covered glaciers.

About lindsey

Environmental scientist. I am glaciologist specialising in glacier-climate interactions to better understand the climate system. The point of this is to understand how glaciated envionments might change in the future - how the glaciers will respond and what the impact on associated water resources and hazard potential will be.
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