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.

Google scholar: Click here.


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:

GEO2127: Doing Physical Geography Research: Theory and Practice

GEO2137: Key Methods for Physical Geographers

GEO2226: Glacial Environments (module leader)

GEO2227: Physical Geography Field course: New Zealand

Stage 3:

GEO3099: Dissertation

Current 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. Funding: NERC IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership

Jake-Collins May (Newcastle University), Sep 2017 – present (primary supervisor). Ice, water and Mars: Investigating glacio-fluvial activity and landforms on the Red Planet.  Funding: Newcastle University Research Excellence Academy. 

Charlie Bunce (Edinburgh University), Sep 2016 – present (additional supervisor). Greenland tidewater glacier dynamics. Funding: NERC

Joshua Leigh (Durham University), Sep 2017 – present (additional supervisor). Past, Present and Future Response of Norwegian Glaciers to climate forcing. Funding: NERC IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership.


Masters students

Amy Barrett (MPhil, Newcastle University), Sep 2017 – present (primary supervisor). Short-term supraglacial melt pond formation, development and coalescence in the Bhutan-China border region of the Himalayas.

James Linighan (MPhil, Newcastle University), Sep 2017 – present (primary supervisor). Examining the temporal and spatial patterns of melt pond evolution on Annapurna South Glacier, Nepal.

Jack Oxtoby (MPhil, Newcastle University), Sep 2017 – present (primary supervisor). Formation of ice cliffs and their impacts on melt rates on Annapurna South Glacier.

Alex McKee (MPhil, Newcastle University), Sep 2017 – present (second supervisor). Assessing the spatial pattern of rockfalls above glaciers in the Mont Blanc area and their coupling with glaciers/


Previous postgraduate students:

Jake-Collins May (MPhil, Newcastle University), Sep 2016 – Dec 2017 (primary supervisor). Origins of Glacial, Fluvial and Glaciofluvial Landforms in the Nereidum Montes, Mars. Funding: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Fees Bursary. 

Rebecca Dell (MPhil, Newcastle University), Sep 2016 – Sep 2017 (primary supervisor). Structural dynamics and calving behaviour at Fjallsjokull, south-east Iceland, between 1970 and 2017. Funding: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Fees Bursary.

Charlie Bunce (M.Phil. Newcastle University)Sep 2015 – Sep 2016. 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.

Johnathan Ryan (PhD, Aberystwyth University) 2012-present. Jonathan’s PhD investigates the short-term dynamics of marine-terminating glaciers in Greenland and the albedo of the Greenland Ice Sheet using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Funding: National Environmental Research Council.

Kay Barker (MSc in Glaciology, Aberystwyth University) 2013-2014. ‘The influence of frontal position, fjord width, glacier structure and sea ice on the velocities of five Northern Greenland marine-terminating outlet glaciers: 1999-2014’.