The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Rachel Carr

Lecturer in Physical Geography


Research interests: Climate change and the cryosphere

  • Response of polar ice masses to climate change
    Outlet glacier dynamics
  • Himalayan ice loss and debris cover
    Glacial hazards
  • Extra-terrestrial ice
  • Application of remote sensing / GIS to glaciated environments

Sep 2014 - present: Lecturer in Physical Geography, Newcastle University

Oct 2013 – Aug 2014: Lecturer in Glaciology, Aberystwyth University, Climate Change Consortium of Wales.

Oct 2010 – Oct 2013: PhD, Department of Geography, Durham University. Thesis title: ‘Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic Seas’.

Aug 2008-Oct 2010: Environmental and GIS/remote sensing specialist at Environmental Research and Assessment (ERA), Cambridge.

Oct 2007 – Jul 2008:  M.Phil. in Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. Thesis title: ‘The role of atmospheric and oceanic forcing in Greenland outlet glacier behaviour.’

Jul 2005 – Aug 2005: Intern, World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zurich.

Oct 2004 – June 2007: Geography, BA (Hons), St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge.


My research focuses on the response of glaciated regions to climate change. In order to do this, I use a combination of remote sensing, GIS and numerical modelling. My study areas include Greenland, Svalbard, Russian High Arctic, New Zealand and the European Alps. Current projects include:

  • Assessing pan-Arctic outlet glacier retreat rates.
  • Analysing multi-decadal changes in Novaya Zemlya outlet glacier dynamics.
  • Investigating ice tongue loss and glacier acceleration in northern Greenland.
  • Reconstructing a glacial lake outburst flood in Mount Cook, New Zealand.


Undergraduate teaching:

Stage 1:

GEO1019: Physical Geography Field Course (module leader)

GEO1020: Introduction to Physical Geography

Stage 2:

GEO2052: Iceland Field Course

GEO2111: Doing Geographical Research

GEO2226: Glacial Environments (module leader)

Stage 3:

GEO3099: Dissertation

GEO3138: Glacial Environments

Postgraduate students:

PhD Students

Emily Hill (Newcastle University). Project title: The Greenland Ice Sheet in a warming world: Determining drivers of current and future change on northern Greenland outlet glaciers. Funded by NERC, via IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership.

Arminel Lovell (Newcastle University). Project title: Explaining the varying response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change. Funded by NERC, via IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership

Jonathan Ryan (Aberystwyth University) (

MPhil. Students

Charlie Bunce (Newcastle University). Project title: Dynamic response of marine-terminating outlet glaciers to climate forcing in south-east and north-west Greenland. Funded by School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Masters Fees Bursary.