Nicholas Barrand

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Nick is a glaciologist, specialising in mass balance and dynamics of 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 and downstream systems. This research involves application and analysis of airborne and satellite remote sensing tools, in situ measurements and numerical models.


Nick was educated at the Universities of Newcastle (BSc), Leeds (MSc) and Leeds / Swansea (PhD). His published MSc research concerned spaceborne observation of controls on glacier surging in the Karakoram Himalaya. His PhD research, supervised by Tavi Murray in collaboration with the Norsk Polarinstitutt, continued to employ earth observation and geodetic techniques (digital photogrammetry and airborne laser altimetry), this time in combination with extensive field validation, to investigate mass balance and climate linkages of glaciers in the Norwegian High Arctic (Svalbard). In 2008 he took up the position of Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta (Canada) working with Martin Sharp on the sea-level contribution of glaciers in the Yukon, and satellite remote sensing and field validation of glacier change in the Canadian Sub (Labrador) and High Arctic (Nunavut). In 2010 he moved to the NERC British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, to work with Richard Hindmarsh and David Vaughan on Antarctic Peninsula ice flow modelling, observation and modelling of Antarctic surface melt dynamics, and mass balance and dynamics of high-latitude glaciers and ice caps. He joined the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham in 2013, where he is currently Lecturer (equivalent to Assistant Professor) in Geosciences. Nick leads a research group specialising in cryospheric remote sensing, mass balance and dynamics of Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets, and impacts to global sea-levels and downstream systems. 


P.G.Cert. Academic Practice, University of Birmingham (Distinction)
Ph.D. Glaciological Remote Sensing, University of Wales Swansea
M.Sc. Geographical Information Science, University of Leeds (Distinction)
B.Sc. Physical Geography, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1st Class Hons.)

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Dr Barrand is 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.