Scientific posts held
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher and Glaciology Group Leader | Center for Climate and Cryosphere, Innsbruck University
September 2009 – August 2019
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.
2017 – 2019: Lecturer | ACINN, University of Innsbruck, Austria
- 707711 Die Kryosphäre im Klimasystem
- 707820 Fortgeschrittene Themen aus Klima und Kryosphäre: Literaturseminar
2013 – present: Lecturer and more | Juneau Icefield Research Program, USA
- Lectures and project supervision within an 8 week educational program
- Academic Council Member since 2016
- Associate Director since 2019
2011 – 2016: 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
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.
I have executed research expeditions of up to 3 months duration in the Nepalese Himalaya (x8), Svalbard, Italian and Austrian Alps, Norway, Iceland, Chile (x25), Kenya (x3) and Tanzania (x2). Fieldwork expertise includes, in no particular order:
- glaciological studies on ablation, flow and stress fields;
- glacier mass balance measurement using stake networks and snowpits;
- deployment of automatic weather stations and eddy correlation systems;
- geomorphological mapping and sedimentology studies;
- DGPS and theodolite surveying;
- terrestrial laser scanning, Xbox Kinect programming and scanning;
- geophysical surveys using electromagnetics (EM) and ground penetrating radar (GPR);
- ice cave mapping using standard speleological techniques;
- ice, water and sediment sampling for stable isotope and chemical analysis, magnetic provenance, luminescence and cosmogenic dating;
- use of remote camera systems, photogrammetry and SfM-MVS processing
- earth system modelling, timeseries and gridded data analysis
- Matlab, Python, ArcGIS, Photoscan, Git …
Trained in science communication, maintain public professional blog and twitter feed.
Participant in Austrian Lange Nacht der Forschung; public talks; media interviews.
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