- Course: Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science (SENSE CDT)
- PhD title: Ice Sheet – ocean interactions: Using satellite data to understand ice dynamic change
- Nationality: British
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rossawslater
Ross Slater is a postgraduate researcher on the Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science (SENSE CDT). He is based in the Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS), where he uses satellite data to understand the dynamic change of ice sheets. Ross’ primary supervisor is Dr Anna Hogg from the School of Earth and Environment; he is co-supervised by Dr He Wang from the School of Computing.
Ross was inspired to study for a PhD at Leeds after learning about its environmental research outputs. He said:
“The university has an excellent reputation for environmental science, particularly in polar Earth observation. I was drawn to study here having seen research output from current staff members and students.”
Career development and training
Ross felt the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Earth observation was the perfect option to complement his research interests. He has also found the guidance, support and training opportunities provided by Leeds Doctoral College to be valuable.
Ross said: “The overlap of satellite data, environmental science, and data science, which the SENSE CDT focuses on, aligns perfectly with my own research interests and for me SENSE was the standout option when applying for PhD courses.
“It’s quite unique, with the multiple residential training programs allowing us to gain broad knowledge of Earth observation outside the focus of our research projects. I think being part of a cohort will also be a great benefit of the CDT structure and I’m looking forward to going through the PhD journey with the rest of the SENSE students.”
Being part of a cohort will also be a great benefit of the CDT structure and I’m looking forward to going through the PhD journey with the rest of the SENSE students.
Supportive research community
“My primary supervisor Dr Anna Hogg’s research was particularly of interest,” Ross explained. “Her group’s focus on applying advanced computational methods and machine learning to polar Earth observation data is something I find very exciting.”
He continued: “Through my previous job I had the opportunity to work with staff from the School of Earth and Environment which was an enjoyable experience and so I was confident it would be a great department to belong to.
“Although I’ve not quite started yet this has definitely been the case as everyone I’ve met has been extremely welcoming and always willing to help answer any of my questions.”
Applying advanced computational methods and machine learning to polar Earth observation data is something I find very exciting.
Pursuing research interests
While studying for his MPhys degree at the University of Edinburgh, Ross became interested in climate change, “particularly in the polar regions,” he explained.
Ross said: “I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in a short course on Arctic Science run by Umeå University in Sweden, which included a field visit to northern Sweden. There I learnt about multiple aspects of the cryosphere and found the effects of climate change on glaciers and ice sheets particularly interesting, and subsequently took a course on climate change in the cryosphere as part of my degree.”
He added: “My Master’s project wasn’t directly related to the topic of my PhD, I investigated future extreme heat events, but I found the process of research to be very rewarding, particularly due to the importance of climate change research. The combination of this interest and enjoyment is what cemented my decision to study for a PhD.”
For more details about studying for a research degree at Leeds, visit our research degrees pages.