Professor Anna E. Hogg

Professor Anna E. Hogg


I am an Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, working in the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (ICAS), and am co-director of the NERC SENSE Earth Observation Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT). I was previously awarded a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Knowledge Exchange Independent Research Fellowship which was formally affiliated with the UK Satellite Applications Catapult, along with a European Space Agency (ESA) independent research fellowship at the University of Leeds which was co-sponsored by British Antarctic Survey (BAS). I conduct my research activities alongside my teaching responsibility at the University of Leeds. 

My primary field of expertise is Earth Observation of the Polar regions, where over the past decade I have gained a detailed technical understanding of how to process a range of satellite data types (e.g. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and radar altimetry), from a large number of Earth Observation satellites (e.g. ERS-1/2, ENVISAT, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel-1, CryoSat-2), using multiple processing techniques (e.g. interferometry (InSAR), feature tracking). I have used satellite Earth Observation data to write journal papers on ice speed, grounding line location, ice elevation change, and calving front migration. I have broader previous experience of working with multispectral optical and polarimetric SAR data for terrestrial applications, such as land surface type classification and vegetation health. I am deeply connected to the international Earth Observation community, and through my role on the UK Space Agencies (UKSA) Earth Observation Advisory Committee (EOAC), I enjoy working with academics and space industry experts to identify scientific and industrial strategic goals that shape the future direction of our national Earth Observation capability.

I have broad experience of collaborative research, having managed or led over 10 international projects funded by ESA, and through my role as a member of NERC CPOM which has involved liaising with the NERC Ice Sheet Stability Research (iSTAR) program and the NERC Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transport (Orchestra) program. I am passionate about the translation of fundamental environmental science to generate socio-economic benefits by exploring non-commercial applications for Earth Observation datasets; such as by developing the world’s first Near Real Time (NRT) ice velocity monitoring service, and supervising the development of the world’s first sea ice thickness mobile phone application.

Data Portals

I deliver NERC national capability by developing and running the worlds first Near Real Time (NRT) ice velocity monitoring service. Through this data portal, we distribute frequent maps of ice velocity for six key outlet glaciers of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets in near real time, including Pine Island, Thwaites, Brunt, Petermann, Jackobshavn Isbrae and 79 Fjorden Glaciers. The velocity maps are produced by tracking moving features in synthetic aperture radar data acquired by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellite.

I also developed a data portal for monitoring ice shelves in Antarctica. Check out this link to discover how the Brunt Ice Shelf is changing!

Scientific Research Projects

I have managed, led or worked on 17 international research projects funded by ESA, NERC, UKSA & NASA; collaborated with international project partners from 35 institutions in 11 countries including: USA, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Finland and the UK. As an independent scientist I have successfully won funding on 12 grant applications, returning over £4.9 mill to the University of Leeds.

Current Projects

Past Projects

Polar Fieldwork

I have participated in five major field campaigns on the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets, ranging in duration from 4 months to 2 weeks. This includes the first NERC Ice Sheet Stability (iSTAR) traverse of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, 3 ESA-NERC CryoVex/KAREN land ice campaigns on the EGIG line of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and an ESA-NERC CryoVex/KAREN land ice campaign in Western Palmer Land on the Antarctic Peninsula. I have designed and conducted experiments using a Ku-band radar (pRES), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), and ice coring.

Scientific Committees

  • UK Space Agency (UKSA) Earth Observation Advisory Committee (EOAC), 2017 – Present
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) Perlman Award Committee, 2018 – Present
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Geosciences Evaluation Group, 2018 – Present
  • SCAR Earth Observation Action Group chair, 2018 – Present
  • BAS NERC Polar Resource Allocation Meeting (NPRAM), 2019 - Present
  • NERC Advisory Network, 2019 – Present 

Media and Science Communication

As a member of the EO science community, I believe it is important to publicly communicate the benefits of satellite data through news and media outlets whenever the opportunity arises. I regularly provide comments for national and international:

  • Newspaper article lead author: The Guardian  
  • Newspaper article comments: The Guardian, The Independent, BBC News Online, The Mail Online, CNN, Business Insider, Fox News, Huffington Post, Time, International Business Times, Space Daily, etc.
  • Radio interviews: BBC Weekend Weather Show, National Public Radio (NPR), BBC Gloucestershire, CBC News, Today FM, News talk ZB, Radio Sputnik, BBC Wales, Somerset Live, Ulster Live, Jersey Live, Shropshire Live, Scotland Live, Foyle Live, Cornwall Live, Wales Live, Berkshire Live, Leicester Live, Wiltshire Live, Lincolnshire Live, Norfolk Live etc.
  • TV interviews: BBC Breakfast Live, BBC World News Live, CBC News.

I am enthusiastic about making videos and animations to communicate how satellite data can be used to better understand the Polar regions. Examples of my animations which have been published on the ESA website, some of which have been viewed over 100,000 times, and are available to view and download from the links below:

Current Research Group

PhD students

  • Benjamin Wallis, PhD Student, (2020 – Present), University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Topic: Change in the ice speed and mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, from Earth Observation satellite data.
  • Trystan Surawy-Stepney, PhD Student, (2020 – Present), University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Topic: Ice speed & Artificial Intelligence (AI): Using satellite data and advanced computer techniques to detect ice sheet change.
  • Bryony Freer, PhD Student, (2020 – Present), British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Topic: Antarctic Grounding Line Migration from ICESat-2 Altimetry
  • Oana Dragomir, PhD Student, (2018 – Present), University of Southampton, Ocean and Earth Science department of the National Oceanography Department (NOC). Topic: Dynamics of the Polar Southern Ocean response to climate change.
  • Heather Selley, PhD Student, (2018 – Present), University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Topic: Antarctic/Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance from high resolution ‘swath mode’ CryoSat-2 altimetry data.
  • Ines Otosaka, PhD Student, (2016 – Present), University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Topic: Greenland/Antarctic ice sheet mass balance and regional variability in sea level rise. 

Past group members

  • Andrew Jolly, NERC Summer Placement, Sea Ice Thickness along Arctic shipping routes, 2018
  • Jake Davies, CPOM Summer Placement, Arctic sea ice and Antarctic calving front location, 2017.
  • Sam Spillard, CPOM Summer Placement, Sea Ice Mobile Phone App, 2016.
  • James Bucag, CPOM Summer Placement, Sea Ice, 2016.


I enjoy delivering outreach lectures to the public and schools to explain how satellite observations have been used to help us better understand the Polar regions. Through my role on the UKSA EOAC, I act as a scientific advisor for the UKSA funded outreach projects. I worked with paralympian Lauran Steadman and astronaut Tim Peake on the Triathlon Trust project, ‘The View from Space to Earth’, and I co-designed the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) outreach project, ‘MELT – Monitoring the Environment, Learning for Tomorrow’.

I have initiated an ongoing collaboration with European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) UK at the STEM centre in York, to motivate students to study Earth Observation by developing teaching materials that are directly linked to the national curriculum. At the University of Leeds, we have core EO strength in three thematic areas, glaciology, atmospheric science, and natural hazards (volcanoes and earthquakes), that compliments this task.


  • Co-director of the NERC SENSE CDT

Research interests

  • Earth Observation of the Cryosphere
  • Glaciology
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar and Interferometry
  • Altimetry
  • Ice sheet grounding lines
  • Dynamic evolution of Antarctic ice streams
<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, Earth Observation of the Cryosphere, 'Locating Ice Sheet Grounding Lines Using Satellite Radar
  • MSc, Space Studies, 2011, International Space University, Strasbourg.
  • BSc, Physical Geography (Class I), 2010, University of Edinburgh.

Professional memberships

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • International Glaciological Society (IGS)

Student education

I deliver undergraduate Earth Observation skills training through my teaching responsibility at the University of Leeds. I am a lecturer on the Ice and the Earth System (SOE3515) Year 3 undergraduate module, run jointly with the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Geography. The optional module which has now been successfully run for two years, was taught to 65 students in 2018, representing a 67% increase in student numbers on 2016.

I deliver masters and post-doctoral Earth Observation skills training through my teaching responsibility on international summer schools. In 2016 I designed the curriculum, then ran and lectured on the first ESA Earth Observation of the Cryosphere Advanced Training Course. The course was hosted at the University of Leeds, and was co-sponsored by the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM), the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult. During the 5-day course, 60 post graduate, PhD students, and post–doctoral research scientists from around the world, learned advanced satellite data processing techniques from an expert team of international lecturers.

I have thoroughly enjoyed giving invited lectures at a number of UK and international universities including the: University of Reading, University of Edinburgh, University of Swansea, and University of Zurich. I have also lectured on summer schools, Polar Prediction School on weather and climate in the polar regions at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, Sweden, and MOOC’s, ESA MOOC: The Frozen Frontier: Monitoring the Greenland Ice Sheet from Space.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science

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>