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Andrew G. Williamson MA MPhil

Andrew G. Williamson MA MPhil

PhD candidate in Polar Studies (NERC-funded)

Andrew's research focuses on valley-glacier and ice-sheet hydrology, with a current emphasis on the Greenland Ice Sheet, using a combination of remote sensing, numerical modelling and field data.

Biography

Qualifications

  • 2014–present: PhD in Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Girton College), UK. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
  • 2013–2014: MPhil (with Distinction) in Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Girton College), UK. Thesis: 'The hydrological system of Storglaciären, Sweden: integrating modelling with observations.'
  • 2010–2013: MA (Hons) (First Class) in Geography, University of Cambridge (Girton College), UK. Thesis: 'The subglacial drainage system structure and morphology of Storglaciären, Sweden.'

Awards and grants

  • 2017: Cambridge Philosophical Society Travel Grant for the EGU General Assembly (£300)
  • 2017: Pillman Academic Fund for the EGU General Assembly (£150)
  • 2016: Cambridge Philosophical Society Travel Grant for the EGU General Assembly (£250)
  • 2016: Pillman Academic Fund for the EGU General Assembly (£150)
  • 2016: Philip Lake Fund for the EGU General Assembly (£150)
  • 2015: NERC Advanced Training Short Course on fieldwork in the polar regions (~£3,500)
  • 2015: Philip Lake Fund for the IGS Iceland symposium (£600)
  • 2015: IGS Young Scientist Travel Award for the IGS Iceland symposium (€400)
  • 2015: Pillman Academic Fund for the IGS Iceland symposium (£150)
  • 2014: NERC PhD Studentship awarded by the Cambridge ESS DTP (~£86,000)
  • 2014: Girton College Senior Graduate Scholarship in Physical Sciences
  • 2014: EGU Young Scientist's Travel Award for the EGU General Assembly (€245)
  • 2014: B.B. Roberts Fund for the EGU General Assembly (~£265)
  • 2014: Philip Lake Fund for the EGU General Assembly (£100)
  • 2013: Philip Lake Fund for the AGU Fall Meeting (£200)
  • 2013: B.B. Roberts Fund for the AGU Fall Meeting (~£400)
  • 2013: Pillman Academic Fund for the AGU Fall Meeting (£500)
  • 2013: Girton College Emily Davies Graduate Scholarship in Physical Sciences (£250)
  • 2013: Girton College Ethel Sargent Scholarship (£1000)
  • 2013: Girton College Stribling Award (£1000)
  • 2013: British Hydrological Society Student Award for undergraduate thesis (£200)
  • 2013: William Vaughan Lewis Prize for undergraduate thesis (£75)
  • 2013: John Bowyer Buckley Scholarship for undergraduate results (£100)
  • 2013: Margaret Anderson Prize for undergraduate results (£150)
  • 2013: Janet Chamberlain Prize for distinction in fieldwork (£100)
  • 2013: Judith Eccelshare Travel Award for a badminton tour (£350)
  • 2012: Dr Jean Grove Memorial Fund for fieldwork (~£200)
  • 2012: David Richards Travel Scholarship for fieldwork (£240)
  • 2012: K.J. Baker Travel Award for fieldwork (£500)
  • 2010: Girton College Emily Davies Bursary (~£11,500)

Research

With a geographical background and having a love of mountainous regions, Andrew specialised into glaciology during his undergraduate degree. Initially his research focused on hydrology at the valley-glacier scale, with two field seasons based on Storglaciären, Sweden, providing extensive field data that he combined with numerical glacier-hydrology modelling to re-evaluate the internal hydrological system of this extensively studied glacier. The second field season involved the use of novel DNA-based tracers to investigate the hydrological system's evolution. Andrew's interest in valley-glacier hydrology continues, although his focus has now primarily switched to the ice-sheet scale.

Andrew's NERC-funded PhD research examines the supraglacial hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet with remote sensing. It uses MODIS and Landsat-8 data to examine rapidly draining supraglacial lakes through the development of a new fully automated algorithm ("the FAST algorithm") that tracks changes to lake areas and volumes over a series of satellite images. Andrew's research aims to combine the knowledge acquired about the location and timing of rapid lake drainage with a suite of other data that might be influential in promoting hydrofracture beneath these supraglacial lakes. Andrew is involved in ongoing work using other satellite sensors, including Sentinel, to investigate Greenland Ice Sheet hydrology.

Publications

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Miles, K.E., Willis, I.C., Benedek, C.L., Williamson, A.G. and Tedesco, M., in review. Towards tracking surface and subsurface lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet using Sentinel-1 SAR and Landsat-8 OLI imagery. Frontiers in Earth Science.
  • Williamson, A.G., Arnold, N.S., Banwell, A.F. and Willis, I.C., 2017. A Fully Automated Supraglacial lake area and volume Tracking ("FAST") algorithm: Development and application using MODIS imagery of West Greenland. Remote Sensing of Environment, 196, 113–133, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2017.04.032.
  • Dahlke, H.E., Williamson, A.G., Georgakakos, C., Leung, S., Sharma, A.N., Lyon, S.W. and Walter, M.T., 2015. Using concurrent DNA tracer injections to infer glacial flow pathways. Hydrological Processes, 29(25), 5257–5274, doi:10.1002/hyp.10679.

Conference contributions​

  • Williamson, A., Arnold, N., Banwell, A. and Willis, I., 2017. A Fully Automated Supraglacial lake area and volume Tracking ("FAST") algorithm: development and application using MODIS imagery of West Greenland [poster]. Geophysical Research Abstracts (European Geosciences Union General Assembly), 19.
  • Miles, K., Willis, I., Benedek, C., Williamson, A. and Tedesco, M., 2017. Tracking surface and subsurface lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet using Sentinel-1 SAR and Landsat-8 OLI imagery [oral]. Geophysical Research Abstracts (European Geosciences Union General Assembly), 19.
  • Williamson, A.G., Arnold, N.S., Willis, I.C. and Banwell, A.F., 2016. A fully automated supraglacial lake area and volume tracking algorithm for MODIS imagery of Greenland [poster]. ESA Advanced Training Course on Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere. School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
  • Williamson, A., Banwell, A., Arnold, N. and Willis, I., 2016. Local and synoptic controls on rapid supraglacial lake drainage in West Greenland [poster]. Geophysical Research Abstracts (European Geosciences Union General Assembly), 18, abstract no. EGU2016-440.
  • Williamson, A.G., Arnold, N.S., Willis, I.C. and Banwell, A.F., 2015. The supraglacial hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet [poster]. NERC ESS-DTP Research in Progress conference. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  • Williamson, A.G., Banwell, A.F., Arnold, N.S. and Willis, I.C., 2015. Controls on the initiation of hydrofracture beneath supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet [poster]. Proceedings 67, International Glaciological Society Symposium on the Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets, Höfn, Iceland.
  • Williamson, A.G., Arnold, N.S., Dahlke, H.E. and Walter, M.T., 2014. Application of novel DNA-based tracers to determine the subglacial drainage system structure and morphology of Storglaciären, Sweden [poster]. Geophysical Research Abstracts (European Geosciences Union General Assembly), 16, abstract no. EGU2014-238.
  • Williamson, A.G., Dahlke. H.E. and Willis, I.C., 2013. The subglacial drainage system structure and morphology of Storglaciären, Sweden [poster]. Geophysical Research Abstracts (American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting), abstract no. C53B-0558.
  • Dahlke, H.E., Leung, S., Lyon, S.W., Sharma, A.N., Walter, M.T. and Williamson, A., 2013. Test of simultaneous synthetic DNA tracer injections for the estimation of the englacial and subglacial drainage system of Storglaciären, northern Sweden [oral]. Geophysical Research Abstracts (American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting), abstract no. C42B-04.
  • Dahlke, H.E., Rosqvist, G., Lyon, S.W., Jansson, P. and Williamson, A., 2012. A reassessment of the englacial and subglacial drainage system of Storglaciären in northern Sweden – how much did climate warming change the drainage system? [oral] Geophysical Research Abstracts (American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting), abstract no. C42B-08.

Teaching

  • Supervisor, Geographical Tripos Part II dissertations, 2015–present
  • Supervisor, Geographical Tripos Part IB Glacial Processes, 2015–present
  • Demonstrator, Geographical Tripos Part IA Geographical Skills and Methods (Cartography & GIS), 2014–present
  • Demonstrator, Geographical Tripos Part IB Geographical Skills (GIS and spatial data analysis), 2015–present
  • Demonstrator, Geographical Tripos Part IB Glacial Processes (numerical glacier modelling), 2017–present
  • Demonstrator, Geographical Tripos Part IB Remote Sensing and the Climate System, 2014–2015

External activities

Committee roles

  • UK Polar Network (Treasurer, 2016–present)
  • Cambridge NERC ESS DTP student representative (2014–present)
  • Geography Department graduate student representative (2014–present)
  • Hummersknott Badminton Club CIC (Director, 2014–present; Treasurer, 2010–present)
  • Cambridge University Hillwalking Club (Website Editor, 2014–present; President, 2012–2013; Safety Officer, 2011–2012)
  • Cambridge University Law Society Ball (Treasurer, 2016)
  • Girton Spring Ball (Treasurer, 2014–2016)
  • Girton College MCR (Accommodation and Facilities Officer, 2014–2015)
  • Girton College Badminton Club (Team Captain, 2013–2014)
  • Girton College Geographical Society (President, 2011–2012)

Other affiliations

  • International Glaciological Society
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geosciences Union
  • Cambridge University Geographical Society
  • Cambridge University Law Society
  • Girton College Law Society
  • Cambridge University Scientific Society
  • Cambride Union Society
  • Cambridge Philosophical Society (Fellow)