The Postgrad Committee

Here’s a bit of info about the postgrad committee members.

Morgan Gibson (Chair)


I am a 2nd year PhD student at Aberystwyth University, and am the token wales-based student in the forum! My research is  based on predicting the response of Himalayan glaciers to  climate change, particularly looking at what role rock debris on a  glacier surface plays in this relationship. As a physical geographer  and geologist, I have always been interested in mountains and  glaciers, and anything that combines the two, so this is pretty  much my dream project! My research also has the added  advantage of 10 weeks fieldwork in the Himalayas this year  which is incredibly exciting, even if I am planning to dig 200 holes  into a debris layer! Find me on twitter @morgan_gibson and  email me on

Danielle Alderson (Deputy-chair)

I am a 2nd year OhD student at the University of Manchester. My PhD involves the investigation of the chemical characteristics of organic matter that has been exported from eroding peatlands during flood events, and subsequently stored in floodplains. Floodplains are commonly regarded as zones of carbon storage but can also be active cyclers of C and thus may provide stratigraphic records of carbon cycling. The carbon processed on floodplains (storage or mineralisation) needs to be taken into account in carbon budgets. I am using techniques such as pyrolysis GC/MS to attempt to distinguish between peatland organic matter from in-situ soil growth between flood events. The floodplain under investigation (South Pennines, UK) is a potential hotspot for carbon processing as the peatlands upstream have experienced substantial degradation, thus representing an ideal study area for the exploration of these processes.

Rupert Bainbridge (University of Gloucestershire)


1st Year PhD student at Northumbria University studying the magnitude and frequency of rock-avalanches in high-mountain environments in New Zealand, as well as aiming to trace sedimentological signature of rock-avalanches through fluvial  systems. I’m interested in the processes driving, and quantification of, large-scale geomorphological change in fluvial and glacio-fluvial  environments. Primarily this includes flooding events (glacial/lake/dam outburst floods) and large landscape disturbances such as  landslides which can act upon fluvial systems over short and  extended timescales. My previous research has focused on the  geomorphic impact of jökulhlaups in bedrock systems and ice-dammed lake drainages on the margin of the Greenland ice-sheet.

Kate Winter (Northumbria University)


I am currently studying for a PhD at Northumbria University in Newcastle where I am investigating the englacial stratigraphy of Horseshoe Valley, West Antarctica. This largely involves towing ground penetrating radar (GPR) behind a skidoo for many hours, followed by lots of data processing and analysis of the GPR lines in both 2D and 3D. My research interests in glaciology, geomorphology and geology revolve around working in cold environments, where I have been lucky enough to spend numerous summer months in the Arctic, Antarctic and in high, mountainous areas such as the Alps. Feel free to get in touch with me via email at

Mark Allan (Northumbria University)


I’m a 1st year PhD candidate at Northumbria University looking at landslides that occur above thinning and retreating glaciers in the European Alps. I’m doing this by using contemporary geospatial monitoring techniques such as ground-based liDAR, photogrammetry and aerial imagery from UAVs, and then combining this with historical imagery and data to create highly-detailed three-dimensional models of change. My work will further our knowledge of the magnitude and frequency of landslides that occur in response to thinning and retreating glaciers, as well as their spatial distribution, from which we should be able to identify potential triggering mechanisms.

Francesca Falcini (University of York)

I’m  first year PhD student at the University of York. My project is focused on calculating surface roughness of palaeo ice stream beds. This will involve looking at lots of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of the UK to start with, and could potentially include fieldwork. Surface roughness is the change in elevation over a given horizontal distance, basically the wavelength of elevation along a transect. My work will increase our knowledge and understanding of surface roughness at the bed of ice streams, particularly its relationship with glacial landforms, and hopefully help to explain some of the behaviour seen in current ice streams on Antarctica and Greenland. For more icy insights find me on Twitter @FranFalcini.

Scott Watson (University of Leeds)

Owen King (University of Leeds)

I am a first year PhD student at the School of Geography, University of Leeds studying the response of Himalayan glaciers to climatic change. More specifically, I am looking at how glacier stagnation and their evolving geometry will influence the development of glacial lakes at their surface. Glacial lakes pose a threat to mountain communities living down-valley as they are occasionally prone to bursting open and releasing a huge amount of glacial meltwater- a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF). Most of my research will be conducted using remote sensing techniques, but a couple of trips to work on the glaciers around Everest base camp will help me validate my data, as well as to test some novel techniques in one of the harshest environments on the planet! Feel free to get in touch via email or on Twitter @Owen__King

Lauren Knight (University of Portsmouth)

 I am a first year PhD student at the University of Portsmouth and prior to this I completed my BSc (Physical Geography) and MSc (Glaciology) degrees at Aberystwyth University. My PhD research concentrates on establishing the patterns, dynamics and timings of Late Devensian glaciation in the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland. My research involves both remote sensing and fieldwork to systematically assess the geomorphological, sedimentological and geochronological evidence of former glaciation. My research interests include the palaeoglaciology of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet and the application of remote sensing to both glaciated and glacierised environments. Feel free to get in touch via email ( or on Twitter @Lauren__Knight

Rachel Hurley (University of Manchester)

Jamie Wood (University of Gloucestershire)

I am a second year PhD student at the University of Gloucestershire. My research project focuses on the use of luminescence dating to evaluate sedimentation rates within blocked-valley lakes in eastern South Africa. With the use of single-grain OSL, the ultimate aim of my project is to identify tropical storm deposits and chronicle storm events which have impacted this region over the past ~4000 years. Alongside my own research I assist with the commercial running of the geochronology lab here at the University of Gloucestershire, both collecting and processing samples for external clients. If you want to get in touch please drop me an email ( or find me on Twitter (@JamieCallumWood).

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