I am a first year Geography PhD student, funded by NERC Panorama DTP. Throughout my undergraduate and masters, I have specialised in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and remote sensing of the cryosphere, although I enjoy applying geospatial techniques to any ecosystem! My PhD is aimed around monitoring the collapse of mountain glaciers (see below) and I have researched similar phenomena in my undergraduate, both through my dissertation and a summer Research Experience Placement (REP) at Leeds with Dr Liam Taylor and Professor Duncan Quincey.

I spent my masters researching a different part of the cryosphere: thermokarst lakes, and understanding how their behaviour and subsequent methane flux is influenced by climate change. I undertook my masters whilst on a year-long research placement with the Nature Based Solutions (NBS) branch of Shell’s BioTechnology Department, in Houston, Texas. During this time, I expanded my remote sensing and GIS skills into NBS ecosystems such as mangroves, experienced research in a commercial setting through providing geotechnical business support, and worked with a range of start-ups, local stakeholders and local academic institutions.

I am excited to be back at Leeds and working with Liam, and I hope to use my experience in both academia and industry to incorporate interdisciplinary and multi-institutional partnerships into my PhD to improve science communication of glacier collapse and move this research out beyond the academic sphere to the people it directly impacts.

Research interests

My PhD focuses on Glacier detachment events (GDEs), which refer to the sudden separation of large volumes of mass from glaciers, forming fast-flowing, far-reaching avalanches of ice, rock and debris. These glacial hazards have been responsible for over 15,000 deaths since 1940 and are becoming more frequent with climate change (Evans and Delaney, 2015; Kääb et al., 2021). Notable examples include the 2021 GDE in Uttarakhand, India that killed over 200 people and the 2022 GDE of the Marmolada glacier, Italy which killed 11 people.

The mechanisms that cause GDEs are poorly understood, but it is thought that climate-induced changes in temperature and precipitation are making this hazard more prominent. Warmer temperatures promotes melting and the movement of water to a glacier’s bed, enabling it to slide. Glaciers store ~75% of global freshwater reserves, supplying drinking water and irrigation to 869 million people in the Himalaya alone (Nie et al., 2021; USGS, 2019). Sudden collapse therefore not only poses a risk to life, but also depletes these resources producing geopolitical tension.

The overall aim of this project is identify and monitor, at a global scale, signals of collapse. Remote sensing, including global satellite archives and bespoke on-the-ground low-cost sensors, will be used to identify and scale key surface detectors of collapse. Through partnership with regional policymakers and stakeholders, fieldwork will be informed by local risk mitigation requirements. The final output combines these multiple data types to produce a holistic global risk map of glacier vulnerability to collapse in a format accessible to those outside academia. My primary supervisor is Dr Liam Taylor, who specialises in identifying new, low-cost techniques for monitoring mountain glaciers.


  • BSc Geography with Applied GIS | University of Exeter

Research groups and institutes

  • River Basin Processes and Management