Michael Hambrey

Prof, BSc in Geography & Geology and PhD in Glaciology from the University of Manchester. Fellow of the Geological Society of London & Chartered Geologist (C.Geol.). Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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1996 …2022

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Research interests


Current PhD Students

  • Stephen Jennings (Year 3)


Michael Hambrey graduated with BSc in Geography & Geology and PhD in Glaciology at the University of Manchester. He spent 3 years as a post-doctoral research assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and 14 years as a Research Associate at Cambridge University and Fellow of St. Edmund's College, before moving to Liverpool John Moores University as Head of Earth Sciences and Professor of Quaternary Geology in 1991. After 6 years in that post he moved to Aberystwyth in 1996 and became Director for the Centre for Glaciology and Professor of Glaciology in 1998. He served in this capacity until March 2009, when he stepped down to lead the development of the Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W), a partnership of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea universities. This 6-year project was awarded funding of ?4m by the Welsh Assembly Government in November 2009, and Mike served as its Founding Director until September 2010. He was then Aberystwyth's Institutional Consortium Director for C3W until January 2013. He retired from full-time teaching at the end of January 2012, but continues to teach on the MSc Glaciology programme and supervise PhD students.

Mike has held visiting research fellowships at the Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany. He was also a Visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2006. He was awarded the Polar Medal by HM The Queen in 1989 and again in 2012, and was recognised in the naming of "Hambrey Cliffs" on James Ross Island in Antarctica in 2006.

Mike's research interests are strongly field-focussed, and include structural glaciology, Cenozoic glacial history of Antarctica, Quaternary glacial history of Britain and Proterozoic glaciations of the High Arctic.

Additional information

Mike has served on a number of national and international committees, including the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Glaciological Society, the Geological Society of London, and the Royal Society's UK National Committee on Antarctic Research. He has served as Editor for several journals, including the Journal of the Geological Society and the Journal of Glaciology, and edited a number of research volumes for the Geological Society, the International Association of Sedimentologists and Antarctic drilling programmes.

Recent News

The richly illustrated book on glaciers by J?rg Alean and Michael Hambrey, "Gletscher der Welt" is now available in French under the title "Le Tour du Monde des Glaciers".

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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