Two fully-funded PhD opportunities at Lancaster University

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Two fully-funded PhD opportunities at Lancaster University

McMillan, Mal

Dear Cryolist,


We are currently advertising two fully-funded PhD studentships at Lancaster University, with the opportunity to join the UK Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling (CPOM):


  1. Measuring Greenland’s ice loss from space with a new generation of altimetry satellites.

Measuring ice loss across the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet is crucial for understanding the ice sheet’s response to climate warming, and a new generation of high-resolution altimetry satellites is transforming our ability to do so. This PhD will develop new measurements of Greenland ice loss from the latest generation of altimetry satellites, including CryoSat-2, Sentinel-3 and ICESat-2. You will (1) develop new processing techniques for the retrieval of measurements around the rapidly-changing ice sheet margins, (2) investigate how performance may be improved through methodological innovation in regions of complex coastal terrain, and (3) use these new datasets to better understand ongoing glaciological change in these regions. The successful candidate will join the UK Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling and the Lancaster Centre of Excellence in Environmental Data Science, with the opportunity to explore connections between Polar Geodesy and Data Science.


  1. Monitoring Antarctic Ice Sheet melting from space.

This PhD project will develop new understanding of the spatial and temporal evolution of Antarctic melting, and the resulting surface hydrological network. Using optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite imagery, you will explore the current distribution of surface melt features in coastal regions of Antarctica, and quantify water storage and mechanisms of water transfer. You will investigate both seasonal and longer-term evolution of the hydrological system, though the synthesis of these satellite observations with Regional Climate Model simulations and high resolution Digital Elevation Models. Throughout the project you will have the opportunity to explore how Data Science techniques, such as Machine Learning and Bayesian Optimisation, can be used to gain new insight into the hydrological system. This project will contribute to a wider European Space Agency (ESA) study and there will be opportunities to collaborate with ESA and a consortium of European partners.


Further details of both projects, including how to apply, can be found at:


Please feel free to circulate widely and note the imminent deadlines of 12th and 14th July. Funding is available for UK and EU students only. Informal enquiries are very welcome – please contact myself ([hidden email]) or Amber Leeson ([hidden email]).


Many thanks,







Malcolm McMillan    |    Reader in Environmental Sensing

UK Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling    |    Centre of Excellence in Environmental Data Science

Lancaster Environment Centre

Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YQ

[hidden email]





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