Professor Andrew Shepherd

Professor Andrew Shepherd


I am Professor of Earth Observation at the University of Leeds, Director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Principal Scientific Advisor to the European Space Agency CryoSat satellite mission, and co-leader of the ESA-NASA Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise. I use satellites to study the physical processes of Earth's climate, and my main contributions to science have involved developing remote observations of the cryosphere, with particular emphasis on the quantitative techniques of radar interferometry and radar altimetry. I have also worked on studies of arid land degradation using satellite infrared radiometry and models of atmospheric radiative transfer, and I have led satellite validation campaigns in Europe, Africa, and Antarctica. I was educated in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, and I have held academic posts at University College London, at the University of Cambridge, and at the University of Edinburgh.

  • 2008: Philip Leverhulme Prize
  • 2014: Royal Society Woldfson Research Merit Award
  • American Geophysical Union
  • International Glaciology Society


  • Director, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling

Research interests

My research focuses on measuring changes of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, on understanding their interaction with the global climate system, and on establishing their contribution to global sea level rise. I also have a keen interest in the calibration and validation of satellite systems, and in the development of novel satellite sensors to tackle problems in geophysical research. To tackle these problems, I work closely with technical experts in space agencies and in the space industrial sector, with scientific collaborators in glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, and ice sheet modelling, and with government agencies.

I teach Earth Observation from Space (3rd Year).

Please contact me if you are interested in studying for a PhD in a subject related to my work, such as glaciology or remote sensing.

  • Funded PhD projects are advertised on the Institute PhD page.
  • ESA Ice Sheets Climate Change Initiative, Co-I, 2011-2014
  • NERC Ice Sheet Stability Research Programme (iSTAR-C), Co-I, 2012-2016
  • NERC Ice Sheet Stability Research Programme (iSTAR-D), PI, 2012-2016
  • ESA Scientific and Technical Support to the CryoSat-2 Mission, PI, 2012-2014
  • ESA CryoSat+ Grounding Line Ice Thickness and Topography (GLITTER), PI, 2013-2015
  • ESA CryoSat+ CryoTop, PI, 2013-2015
  • ESA STSE-Mass Balance, PI, 2013-2016
  • ESA CryoSat Calibration and Validation for Land Ice, Co-I, 2013-2014
  • NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, PI, 2014-2019
  • ESA Glaciers Climate Change Initiative, Co-I, 2014-2017
  • ESA/Eumetsat Sentinel-3 Mission Performance Centre, Co-I, 2014-2017
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Physics, University of Leicester
  • BSc, Physics withAstrophysics, University of Leicester

Professional memberships

  • International Glaciology Society
  • American Geophysical Union

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Climate Science and Impacts

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>