Andrew Williamson

Andrew WilliamsonTreasurer, 2016 – 2017 

PhD Candidate



Years of hiking experience in the UK and abroad led me to develop a keen interest in studies centred on the formation of the landscapes that I’ve become so fond of. My background is in geography, which I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge. I seem to have never managed to tear myself away from Cambridge since then, so I continued to an MPhil in Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute. This stemmed from a couple of field seasons that I set up and was involved with on the famous Storglaciären in Sweden. My Master’s thesis investigated the configuration of this glacier’s drainage hydrological system with both this field data and some modelling work. Although my interest in valley-glacier hydrology continues, my research focus, like most in glaciology it would seem, has switched to the ice-sheet scale.


My PhD research, which I’m now midway through, uses remote sensing with satellites to examine supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Specifically, I’ve developed an automatic lake area and volume tracking algorithm, and applied it to sectors of the ice sheet to examine the rapid drainage behavior of lakes and the factors that may be influential in initiating the process that causes lakes to drain. My research is funded by a studentship from the Natural Environment Research Council, awarded through the Cambridge Earth System Science Doctoral Training Partnership.


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