Andrew Shepherd


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Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere

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Personal profile


I am Head of the Department of Geography and Environment at Northumbria, Director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Principal Scientific Advisor to the European Space Agency's CryoSat satellite mission, co-leader of the ESA-NASA Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise, and a contributing author to IPCC assessment reports.

I use satellites to study Earth's climate, and my main contributions to science have involved developing remote observations of the cryosphere - especially using radar altimetry. I have led field campaigns in Europe, Africa, the Arctic, and in Antarctica to calibrate and validate satellite sensors.

I studied in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, and I have held academic posts at University College London, and the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Leeds.

Research interests

My research focusses on measuring changes of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, on understanding their interaction with the global climate system, and on establishing their contribution to global sea level rise. I also have a keen interest in the calibration and validation of satellite systems, and in the development of novel satellite sensors to tackle problems in geophysical research. To do this, I work closely with technical experts in space agencies and in the space industrial sector, with scientific collaborators in glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, and ice sheet modelling, and with government agencies.

Further Information

My work is often reported in the media, and you can see me in a range of TV programmes including:

Prizes and Awards

I have been awarded the following prizes:

  • 2008: Philip Leverhulme Prize
  • 2014: Royal Society Woldfson Research Merit Award
  • 2021: International Glaciology Society Richardson Medal (share of)

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

Education/Academic qualification

Physics, PhD

1 Jan 199831 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998


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