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Joe Todd B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Phil

Joe Todd B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Phil

PhD Student

Joe's research involves the numerical modelling of the dynamics of Greenland Outlet Glaciers, with a particular focus on iceberg calving.



  • Ph.D. (Candidate) Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Jesus College), UK, (2012-present)
  • M.Phil. Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Jesus College), UK, (2011-2012)
  • B.Sc. Geography, University of St Andrews, UK, (2007-2011)


My current research involves dynamic modelling of Store Glacier and Rink Isbræ, two outlet glaciers in the Uummannaq region of West Greenland. My focus is on the marine termini of these glaciers, and on the accurate prediction of iceberg calving.

The terminus position and dynamics of West Greenland outlet glaciers vary both seasonally and interannually, modulated by the rate of calving. In order to predict the future stability of these glaciers, I aim to incorporate a realistic and physically based calving criterion into models of ice dynamics.

My modelling work forms part of the Elmer/Ice collaboration, based around the open-source finite element package "Elmer". Elmer is an extremely capable, modular modelling package, which facilitates the development of user-defined modules to address specific problems. I am currently developing a suite of modules to simulate the 'breaking off' of icebergs in 2D and 3D models. Some preliminary modelling results can now be viewed.

Research Grants

Dynamical Model of Ice Transport and Evolution (DynaMITE)

PI and Co-Is: Poul Christoffersen, Joe Todd, Tun Jan Young, Nick Toberg

Funding: Partnership for Advance Computing in Europe (PRACE) DECI-12 Tier-1 Access, 600,000 CPU hours, 2014-2015


  • Ryan, J. C., Hubbard, A. L., Box, J. E., Todd, J., Christoffersen, P., Carr, J. R., Holt, T.O., Snooke, N., UAV photogrammetry and structure from motion to assess calving dynamics at Store Glacier, a large outlet draining the Greenland ice sheet. Cryosphere, 9(1), 1–11. doi:10.5194/tc-9-1-2015, 2015 (Open Access)
  • Todd, J., P. Christoffersen, Are seasonal calving dynamics forced by buttressing from ice mélange or undercutting by melting? Outcomes from Full Stokes simulations of Store Gletscher, West Greenland, Cryosphere, 8, 2353–2365, doi:10.5194/tc-8-2353-2014, 2014 (Open Access)
  • Todd, J. A., Austin, W.E.N., Abbott, P.M. Quantifying bioturbation of a simulated ash fall event. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 398: SP398-9, 2014


  • Supervisor, University of Cambridge – Geography Tripos Part 1B: Glacial Processes
  • Demonstrator, University of Cambridge – Geography Tripos Part 1A: Geographical Skills and Methods, Statistics