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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I am a Principal Lecturer in Physical Geography within the School of Applied Sciences (SAS). My teaching and research interests are:

  • glacial and periglacial processes and geomorphology
  • palaeoglaciology and reconstructing Quaternary environments
  • glacial pollutants and contaminants
  • sedimentology and micromorphology
  • Arctic blue carbon
  • art-science collaboration

With a PhD (Queen Mary University of London) and Batchelor with Hons (University of Reading) in Physical Geography I am passionate about the environment and inspired by the outdoors – particularly mountainous and cold environments. My research has taken me to many exciting, and often breath-taking, locations in both the UK (e.g. Scotland, Wales, Dartmoor, Norfolk, The Lake District etc.) and abroad (e.g. Austria, Arctic Russia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Svalbard etc.) – experiences which help shape and inform my teaching, providing real-world examples both in the classroom and on student field trips.     

I am Course Leader for the BSc (Hons) Geography course, making sure the course continues to evolve and develop, and supporting students in their studies. In addition, I am the elected Coordinator of the University’s Past Human and Environment Dynamics (PHED) Research and Enterprise (R&E) Group (2017-present). As part of this role I am responsible for guiding the strategic development of the group, through research and enterprise action planning. I am also a member of (i) SAS Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee 2014-present (to increase collectively the SAS research profile); and (ii) SAS Equality, Inclusivity and Diversity Committee 2021-present (to address equality for all). In the past I have also been (i) a member of the School's Athena Swan Charter Group 2013-16 (to address gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine); (ii) representative for the School's Research Ethics and Governance Committee 2013-16 (to maintain high ethical standards in research); and (iii) a member of the School's Quality and Standards Committee 2017-19 (ensuring course quality and academic standards). 

Approach to teaching

As well as being Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Geography I am involved in teaching several modules for Geography, Earth & Environment courses from Foundation through to Masters level. I am also a supervisor to undergraduate dissertation and Masters students, and I have primary-supervised two University-funded PhD projects. Examples of modules I teach on:

Foundation Level

PB005 Foundation in Geography, Earth & Environment

Level 4

GY411 Fundamentals of Physical Geography

CE431 Engineering Geology & Soil Mechanics

Level 5

GY511 Earth Surface Processes

GY512 Ice Age Earth

Level 6

GY615 Dynamic Landscapes

GY633 The Frozen Planet

Masters Level

WEM01 Hydrology & Pollutant Transport

GYM06 Evaluating research in Environmental and Geoscience

With a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGcertHE) and as a Fellow of the HEA (Higher Education Academy) I value the importance of continually developing my teaching practice (including course design and curriculum development) for the benefit of all of my students. I enjoy getting, and encourage, student feedback; considering ways to support a variety of student learning approaches. Above all, it is my primary objective to engage with students, and I do this by using a variety of innovative, interactive, blended learning techniques in lectures and practical classes, such as virtual reality field trips, videos, Q&As, quizzes, pair/group work etc., as well as through personal tutorials.   

As well as publishing my own research in several high-impact, international journals, I place great value on providing undergraduate students with a chance to publish their research. That is why I am the pioneer and Editor-in-Chief of eGG - the e-journal of undergraduate research in Environment (e), Geography (G) and Geology (G). The aim of eGG is to motivate and facilitate undergraduate students to produce innovative, high quality research by disseminating their work through publication. Several students already have successfully published articles in eGG.

Finally, I am an active STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine) Sussex ambassador, fostering links with secondary schools, and taking part in outreach events - such as the Big Bang South East - to encourage 4-18 year old students (particularly girls, who remain under-represented in STEMM subjects) to follow a career in Geography, Earth and Environment subjects.

Research interests

My research forms three major strands: (i) iceberg-keel scouring processes; (ii) macro- and microscopic sediment deformation (glacial and periglacial); and (iii) reconstructing glacial processes/environments.  

I have played a key role in the conception, design and delivery of several collaborative research projects and I have been awarded internal and external funding for research to the value of ~£300K. I have been Principal Investigator (PI) on projects investigating: (1) iceberg-keel scouring in Antarctica, Canada, Greenland, The North Sea and Sweden; (2) the glacial history of the Khibiny Mountains, Arctic Russia; and (3) mapping and quantifying sedimentary and geological structures using the Metripol microscopic method. As PI I am currently preparing projects in, for example: (1) the impact of ice keel scouring on Arctic blue carbon stocks; (2) the micromorphology of periglacial ramparted depressions (pingos, palsas, lithalsas) in Norfolk; and (3) glacial contaminants and their role in downstream meltwater quality in Bolivia. In addition, I am involved with other projects such as glacial reconstruction in Greenland, and I am currently exploring glacial-related art-science collaborations. I have been primary supervisor of two University-funded PhD projects: (1) Assessing the genesis of periglacial ramparted depressions through a macroscopic and microscopic analysis of their internal structures’ (2017), and (2) ‘The last Fennoscandian Ice Sheet: A palaeo-glaciological reconstruction on the Kola Peninsula and Russian Lapland’ (2022).  

As part of these projects I collaborate with some of the world’s most highly esteemed Quaternary, glacial and sedimentology scientists from institutions such as the British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey, Brock University (Canada), Brunel University, C-CORE Research & Development (Canada), Kola Science Centre (Russia), Manchester Metropolitan University, Maynooth University, National University of Singapore, Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Scott Polar Research Institute (University of Cambridge), University College Dublin, University College London and Universities of Aberdeen, Florida, Hertfordshire, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Stockholm. 

I have published papers in several high-impact, international, peer-reviewed journals in which I present, for the first time, a novel conceptual model illustrating the style and intensity of sediment deformation by iceberg-keel scouring in variable grain sizes. I have also published an article on ‘here’s why you should care about icebergs’ in The Conversation. In addition, I have presented my multidisciplinary research (and lead- and co-convened sessions) at many national and international conferences, workshops and research seminars such as the Arctic Science Meeting, European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Ice Scour and Arctic Marine Pipelines workshop, International Conference on Permafrost, International Glaciological Society British Branch Meeting, International Micromorphology Symposium and the INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) Congress. I continue to develop my international research profile through roles such as journal peer reviewer; Editor for INQUA’s Quaternary Perspectives (2013-16); as an Advisory Board Member of INQUA’s TERPRO (Terrestrial Processes, Deposits and History) Commission (2015-present); and as an Editorial Board Member for the international open access journal Open Quaternary (2018-present).

Supervisory Interests

I am particularly keen to supervise Masters and PhD students in the following areas: (1) Ice(berg)-keel scouring (e.g. scour mechanical processes; morphology; sediment deformation; offshore pipeline/cable protection; impacts on blue carbon and climate change); (2) Glacial/Periglacial geomorphology, sedimentology and micromorphology (e.g. landform morphology and formation; depositional and deformational processes; developing microscope techniques such as automation, machine learning); (3) Palaeoglaciology, reconstructing glaciers and ice sheets (e.g. landform mapping; ice extent and dynamics; ice flow histories and chronologies; machine learning); (4) Glaciology (e.g. contemporary ice dynamics; contemporary glacial forelands; ice structure crevasse patterns; ice retreat); (5) Drone aerial photography (e.g. glacial and periglacial landscapes; landform mapping); (6) Glacial pollutants and contaminants (e.g. microplastics; microbial; chemical) and impact on downstream meltwater quality; (7) Artistic engagement with glacial and periglacial landscapes (art-science; how science can be represented through art, and how art may inspire science). 

Education/Academic qualification

Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (HEA Fellow), The London School of Economics and Political Science

Award Date: 1 Sept 2012

PhD, Micromorphology of iceberg scours, Queen Mary University of London

Award Date: 1 Nov 2010

Bachelor, BSc. (Hons) Physical Geography , University of Reading

Award Date: 1 Jul 2004

External positions

External Examiner, University of Greenwich

1 Sept 202031 Aug 2024

Keywords

  • GB Physical geography
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • QE Geology

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