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Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41890


Ship-based investigations to reconstruct Greenland Ice Sheet history

I am a glacial geologist and Quaternary scientist, interested in glacial and glacially-influenced sedimentation and the reconstruction of ice sheets. I have a background in glacial sedimentology, initially from terrestrial glacigenic envronments but subsequently evolving into the use of marine geology and geophysics to reconstruct ice sheet behaviour and sedimentation. I have worked extensively in the polar regions, in both the Arctic (Greenland, Arctic Canada, Svalbard, Norwegian-Greenland Sea) and Antarctic. I also have a long-standing active research interest spanning several decades in the history of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet. The central theme of my research is ice-sheet reconstruction from geological, geomorphological and geophysical evidence. 

I have been awarded the Lewis Penny Medal by the Quaternary Research Association and the Lyell Fund by the Geological Society. I am currently an Editor for the journal Quaternary Science Reviews and previously have been an Editor for The Cryosphere. I am the Geology representative for the RRS Sir David Attenborough Science Commisioning Group.

Research Interests

  • Glacial sedimentology
  • Ice sheet reconstruction from marine and terrestrial records
  • Processes, patterns and deposits of glacimarine sedimentation on polar continental margins.
  • Late Quaternary history of the Greenland Ice Sheet
  • Quaternary ice sheet-ocean interaction from marine sedimentary archives
  • The history of the British-Irish Ice Sheet 
Glacial sedimentological investigations of drumlin sedimentology western Ireland

Past and current research grants:

  • 2024-2027 NERC (NE/V007289/1). ‘Assessing ocean-forced, marine-terminating glacier change in Greenland during climatic warm periods and its impact on marine productivity (Kang-Glac)’
  • 2022-2024 NERC (NE/W009986/1). ‘Inception, growth and decay of the British-Irish Ice Sheet’. NERC/IODP Site Survey. 
  • 2016-2020 NERC (NE/N011228/1). ‘Greenland in a warmer climate: What controls the advance & retreat of the NE Greenland Ice Stream?’
  • 2013-2017. EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network on ‘Glaciated North Atlantic Margins (GLANAM)’.
  • 2012-2017 NERC (NE/J007196/1). ‘BRITICE-CHRONO: Constraining rates and style of marine-influenced ice sheet decay’.
  • 2010-2012 NERC (NE/G015430/1) ‘Understanding marine ice stream retreat using numerical modelling and geophysical data'.
  • 2007-2010 NERC (NE/D001951/1). ‘Marine geophysical and geological investigation of past flow and stability of a major Greenland ice stream in the Late Quaternary’. 
  • 2004-2008 NERC (NE/B501171/1).’Investigating physical process at ice stream beds: integrating modern and palaeo-ice stream records’.

Postgraduate Student Supervision (all joint supervision)

  • 2021. Georgia Ware (MSc research, Durham). Sedimentary  signatures of ice stream advance and retreat on the northeast Greenland continental shelf.
  • 2020. Brendan O’Neill (MSc, Durham). The role of ocean forcing in early deglaciation of the British-Irish Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum.
  • 2018. Peter Codling (MSc, Durham). Late Quaternary ice sheet dynamics and palaeoceanography in the Baffin Bay region.
  • 2018. Jennifer Horrocks (PhD, Durham). Reconstruction of West Antarctic Ice Sheet history from marine sedimentary archives.
  • 2017. Kasper Weilbach PhD, Durham). Late Quaternary glaciation of the continental shelf offshore of NW Ireland.
  • 2017. Katharina Streuff (PhD, Durham Glacimarine sedimentary processes and products at fjord-terminating (tidewater) glacier margins.
  • 2017. Ed Pope (PhD, Durham). Frequency and triggering mechanisms of submarine mass movements and their geohazard implications.
  • 2017. Hannah Bickerdike (PhD, Durham). Reconstructing the maximum extent and timing of Loch Lomond stade glaciers in mainland Britain.
  • 2016. Sophie Norris (MSc, Durham). Palaeo-ice stream geomorphology and till stratigraphy, southern Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • 2013. Catriona Purcell (MSc, Durham). Late Quaternary glaciation of the continental shelf offshore of NW Ireland.
  • 2013. Ross Dunstone (MSc, research). Testing the groove-ploughing theory for Mega-Scale Glacial Lineation (MSGL) formation, using a large dataset of MSGL morphology.
  • 2012. Victoria Brown (PhD, Durham). Ice stream dynamics at the north-western margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.
  • 2013. Tim Lane (PhD, Durham). Glacial history of the Uummannaq fjord system, western Greenland.
  • 2009. Stephen Livingstone (PhD, Durham). Reconstructing ice dynamics in the central sector of the British-Irish ice Sheet during the Late Devensian.
  • 2009. Nat Young (MSc, Durham). Glacial geomorphology and sedimentology of southern Alberta, Canada.
  • 2008. Kate Staines (MSc, Durham). Sedimentology and geomorphology of palaeo-ice stream lateral margins, Cheviot Hills, NE England.
  • 2008. Bethan Davies (PhD, Durham). British and Fennoscandian Ice Sheet Interactions during the Quaternary.
  • 2007. Clare Boston (MSc, Durham). An examination of the geochemical properties of Late Devensian glacigenic sediments in Eastern England.
  • 2005. Anna Nelson (PhD, Cambridge). A sedimentological investigation of glacigenic deposits in Iceland.


External PhD Supervision

  • 2017. Kevin Schiele (PhD, University Ulster). Timing, forcing and onshore-offshore correlations on the western margin of the British-Irish Ice Sheet.
  • 2017. Riccardo Arosio (PhD, University of the Highlands and Islands). The Hebrides Ice Stream (HIS) and the deglaciation of the Hebrides shelf and Firth of Lorn, western Scotland, UK.
  • 2016. Jared Peters (PhD, Ulster University). The extent, palaeoenvironments and timing of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet offshore of west Ireland.
  • 2012. Fabio Sachetti (PhD, Ulster University). Late Quaternary sedimentation associated with the British-Irish Ice Sheet on the NW Irish continental slope: a marine geological and geophysical investigation.
  • 2013. Andrew Turner (PhD, Northumbria University). Geophysical investigations of Scottish Lochs


SE Greenland research cruise on the RRS James Clark Ross
Citation Information


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Edited book

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