Dr Nicholas Barrand BSc, MSc, PhD


Lecturer in Geosciences

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Nick is a glaciologist, specialising in mass balance and dynamics of the Earth's glaciers and ice sheets. His research aims to understand how and why Earth's land ice cover is changing and the impact of these changes on global sea levels. This research involves application and analysis of airborne and satellite remote sensing tools, in situ measurements and numerical models.


2008 – PhD, Glaciological Remote Sensing, University of Wales Swansea
2002 – MSc, Geographical Information Systems, University of Leeds (Distinction)
2001 – BSc, Geography, Newcastle University (First Class Honours)


GGM203 Geomatics

GGM348 Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere (module lead)

ESCM401 Advanced Field Skills, Assynt residential field course

Postgraduate supervision

Excellent and eligible students are encouraged to contact me informally in the first instance, and then to apply for postgraduate research in glaciology and/or remote sensing at the University of Birmingham. Candidates will normally hold relevant masters and first class or equivalent honours degrees in numerate disciplines such as Geophysics, Earth Science, Physical Geography, Physics, Mathematics or Computer Science. Research postgraduate opportunities are advertised on the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES) PhD Project webpages, and those of the Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA). Prospective students are also encouraged to contact me to suggest or to develop their own ideas for postgraduate research projects. I am broadly interested in supervision of research projects in the following areas: glacier and ice sheet mass balance, remote sensing of ice flow dynamics, remote sensing of snow and ice melt, ice flow and melt modelling, regional-scale glacier area, volume and velocity change, response of glaciers to climate change, ice shelf processes, and environmental and hydrological applications of remote sensing tools, particularly in the polar regions.

Students from the UK and EU are eligible for competitively-funded studentship support from NERC via CENTA, although other options are available. Prospective international students are advised to contact me to discuss relevant funding opportunities.

Current Research Postgraduate Students:

  • Shereif Hassan Mahmoud (Ph.D. 2014-2018; with X. Tang, School of Engineering)
  • Clemens Schannwell (Ph.D. 2013-2017; with R.C.A. Hindmarsh, BAS)

Past Research Postgraduate Students:

  • Benjamin Man (M.Sci., 2014; with J. Wheeley, GEES)
  • Robert Way (M.Sc. 2013; T.J. Bell, MUN)

Other activities

Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), European Geosciences Union (EGU), International Glaciological Society (IGS) and Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc). EGU General Assembly session convener for 'Glaciers and ice caps under climate change’ and Cryospheric Sciences Division, Secretary for ice caps. 

Scientific reviewer for Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), National Science Federation (NSF), National Geographic Society, Instituto Antarctico Chileno (INACH), The Leverhulme Trust, Arctic, Annals of Glaciology, Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, The Cryosphere, Geomorphology, Geophysical Research Letters, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of Glaciology, Polar Record, Remote Sensing of Environment.

More than 35 weeks remote fieldwork during seven glaciological field seasons (Svalbard, 4; Canadian high- and sub-Arctic, 3), and shorter campaigns in the European Alps and Canadian Rockies. Specific field skills include: glacier mass balance, surface and bed topographic surveying (GPS and ice-penetrating radar), ground support for airborne campaigns (GPS, maintenance of corner reflectors), temperature sensors and automatic weather stations, shallow firn and ice coring, snow density measurements, near-surface snow radar.


Google Scholar - Publications

[ - ] Way, R.G., Bell, T.J., & Barrand, N.E. (in revision, 2015) 'Glacier change from the Little Ice Age to present in the Torngat Mountains, northern Labrador, Canada.’ Manuscript in revision, Geomorphology.

[20] Luckman, A., Elvidge, A., Jansen, D., Kulessa, B., Kuipers Munneke, P., King, J. & Barrand, N.E. (2014) 'Surface melt and ponding on Larsen C Ice Shelf and the impact of foehn winds.' Antarctic Science, 26 (6), 625-635, doi.org/10.1017/S0954102014000339. [http | .pdf]

[19] Way, R.G., Bell, T.J. & Barrand, N.E. (2014) 'An inventory and topographic analysis of the glaciers of the Torngat Mountains, northern Labrador, Canada.' Journal of Glaciology, 60 (223), doi:10.3189/2014JoG13J195. [http | .pdf]

[18 ] Davies, B.J., Golledge, N.R., Glasser, N.J., Carrivick, J.L., Ligtenberg, S.R.M., Barrand, N.E., van den Broeke, M.R., Hambrey, M.J. & Smellie, J.L. (2014) `Modelled glacier response to centennial temperature and precipitation trends on the Antarctic Peninsula.' Nature Climate Change, 4, 993-998, doi:10.1038/nclimate2369. [http | .pdf]

[17] Pfeffer, W.T., Arendt, A.A., Bliss, A., Bolch, T., Cogley, J.G., Gardner, A.S., Hagen, J.O., Hock, R., Kaser, G., Kienholz, C., Miles, E.S., Moholdt, G., Mölg, N., Paul, F., Radic ́, V., Rastner, P., Raup, B., Rich, J., Sharp, M.J. & the Randolph Consortium (including Barrand, N.E.) (2014) ‘The Randolph Glacier Inventory: a globally complete inventory of glaciers.’ Journal of Glaciology, 60 (221), 537-552, doi:10.3189/2014JoG13J176. [http | .pdf]

[16] Barrand, N.E., Machguth, H., & Hagen, J.O. (2013) `Observing changes in near-polar glaciers in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.' EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 94 (23), 208, doi:10.1002/2013EO230007. [http | .pdf]

[15] Barrand, N.E., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Arthern, R.J., Williams, C.R., Mouginot, J., Scheuchl, B., Rignot, E., Ligtenberg, S.R.M., van den Broeke, M.R., Edwards, T.L., Cook, A.J. & Simonsen, S.B. (2013) ‘Computing the volume response of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet to warming scenarios to 2200.’ Journal of Glaciology, 59 (215), 397-409, doi:10.3189/2013JoG12J139. [http | .pdf]

[14] Turner, J., Barrand, N.E., Bracegirdle, T.J., Convey, P., Hodgson, D.A., Jarvis, M., Jenkins, A., Marshall, G., Meredith, M.P., Roscoe, H., Shanklin, J., French, J., Goose, H., Guglielmin, M., Gutt, J., Jacobs, S., Kennicutt, M.C., Masson-Delmotte, V., Mayewski, P., Navarro, F., Robinson, S., Scambos, T., Sparrow, M., Summerhayes, C., Speer, K. & Klepikov, A. (2013) ‘Antarctic climate change and the environment - an update.’ Polar Record, 1-23, doi:10.1017/S0032247413000296. [http | .pdf]

[13] Barrand, N.E., Vaughan, D.G., Steiner, N., Tedesco, M., Kuipers Munneke, P., van den Broeke, M.R. & Hosking, S.J. (2013) ‘Trends in Antarctic Peninsula surface melting conditions from observations and regional climate modelling.’ Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 118, 1-16, doi:10.1029/2012JF002559. [http | .pdf]

[12] Fretwell, P., Pritchard, H.D., Vaughan, D.G., Bamber, J.L., Barrand, N.E., Bell, R., Bianchi, C., Bingham, R.G., Blankenship, D.D., Casassa, G., Catania, G., Callens, D., Conway, H., Cook, A.J., Corr, H.F.J., Damaske, D., Damm, V., Ferraccioli, F., Forsberg, R., Fujita, S., Furukawa, T., Gogineni, P., Griggs, J.A., Hamilton, G., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Holmlund, P., Holt, J.W., Jacobel, R.W., Jenkins, A., Jokat, W., Jordan, T., King, E.C., Krabill, W., Riger-Kusk, M., Tinto, K., Langley, K.A., Popov, S.V., Rignot, E., Rippin, D., Rivera, A., Ross, N., Siegert, M.J., Shibuya, K., Smith, A.M., Steinhage, D., Studinger, M., Sun, B., Thomas, R.H., Tabacco, I., Welch, B., Young, D.A., Xiangbin, C. & Zirizzotti, A. (2013) ‘Bedmap2: improved ice bed, surface and thickness datasets for Antarctica.’ The Cryosphere, 7, 375-393, doi:10.5194/tc-7-375-2013. [http | .pdf]

[11] Paul, F., Barrand, N.E., Berthier, E., Bolch, T., Casey, K., Frey, H., Joshi, S., Konovalov, V., Le Bris, R., Moelg, N., Nosenko, G., Nuth, C., Pope, A., Racoviteanu, A., Rastner, P., Raup, B., Scharrer, K. & Winsvold, S. (2013) ‘On the accuracy of glacier outlines derived from remote sensing data.’ Annals of Glaciology, 54 (63), 171-182, doi:10.3189/2013AoG63A296. [http | .pdf]

[10] Irvine-Fynn, T.D.L., Hanna, E., Barrand, N.E., Porter, P.R., & Hodson, A.J. (2012) ‘Examination of a physically-based, high-resolution, distributed Arctic temperature-index melt model, on Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard.’ Hydrological Processes, doi: 10.1002/hyp.9526. [http | .pdf]

[9] James, T.D., Murray, T., Barrand, N.E., Sykes, H.J., Fox, A.J., and King, M.A. (2012) ‘Observations of enhanced thinning in the upper reaches of Svalbard glaciers.’ The Cryosphere, 6, 1369–1381, doi:10.5194/tc-6-1369- 2012. [http | .pdf]

[8] Cook, A.J., Murray, T., Luckman, A., Vaughan, D.G. & Barrand, N.E. (2012) ‘A new 100-m Digital Elevation Model of the Antarctic Peninsula from ASTER Global DEM: methods and accuracy assessment.’ Earth System Science Data, 4, 129-142, doi: 10.5194/essd-4-129-2012. [http | .pdf]

[7] Irvine-Fynn, T.D.L., Barrand, N.E., Porter, P.R., Hodson, A.J. and Murray, T. (2011) ‘Recent High-Arctic glacial sediment redistribution: a process perspective using airborne lidar.’ Geomorphology, 125, 27–39, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.08.012. [http | .pdf]

[6] Barrand, N.E. and Sharp, M.J. (2010) ‘Sustained rapid shrinkage of Yukon glaciers since the 1957–58 International Geophysical Year.’ Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L07501, doi: 10.1029/2009GL042030. [http | .pdf]

[5] Barrand, N.E., James, T.D. and Murray, T. (2010) ‘Spatiotemporal variability in elevation changes of two high-Arctic valley glaciers.’ Journal of Glaciology, 56 (199), 771-780, doi: 10.3189/002214310794457362. [http | .pdf]

[4] Barrand, N.E., Murray, T., James, T.D., Barr, S.L. and Mills, J.P. (2009) ‘Optimising photogrammetric DEMs for glacier volume change assessment using laser-scanning derived ground control points.’ Journal of Glaciology, 55 (189), 106-116, doi: 10.3189/002214309788609001 [http | .pdf]

[3] Kohler, J., James, T.D., Murray, T., Nuth, C., Brandt, O., Barrand, N.E., Aas, H.F. and Luckman, A.J. (2007) ‘Acceleration in thinning rate on western Svalbard glaciers.’ Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L18502, doi:10.1029/2007GL030681. [http | .pdf]

[2] James, T.D., Murray, T., Barrand, N.E. and Barr, S.L. (2006) ‘Extracting photogrammetric ground control from lidar DEMs for change detection.’ Photogrammetric Record, 21 (116), 312-328, doi: 10.1111/j.1477-9730.2006. 00397.x. [http | .pdf]

[1] Barrand, N.E. and Murray, T. (2006) ‘Multivariate controls on the incidence of glacier surging in the Karakoram Himalaya.’ Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 38 (4), 489–498, doi: 10.1657/1523-0430(2006)38. [http | .pdf]

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