Open Thesis Projects

I often have MSc and BSc students working with me on their thesis research, and also sometimes as summer interns. I enjoy working with students and hope they also learn some useful things. I and colleagues also produce *way* more data than we can possibly look at so there is plenty of potential to develop fun little side projects that can turn into important science contributions. Below you’ll find a list of open projects that I think could be fun to work on. If any of these appeal to you please get in touch!

Ideally, I’m looking for students with some experience of coding (Python/R/Matlab/Julia – whatever shakes your tree) and some numerical insight, exerience with the linux terminal is also an advantage. But this is not completely necessary, depending on what you’re interested in.

I am currently developing some introductory materials for those without this background so if there is something you’d like to work with me on that is not on the list below but that you think would be in my field of rsearch then again – do get in touch!

Calving Processes and Melange at fjord terminating glaciers in Greenland – This project will examine the effects of ice melange ( a mix of iceberg, water and sea ice at the front of calving outlet galciers in Greenland) on stability of Greenalnd glaciers in fjords. The student will use a set-up of the PISM numerical ice sheet model to perform sensitivity tests and compare with data collected in the field in north-west Greenland.

Map of a fjord with glaciers running into it - red colours pick out faster moving areas of ice, blue colours slower.
The glacier velocities are from the NASA ITS_LIVE dataset

A hundred years of climate change in Greenland and/or Antarctica : This project is pretty open but will work with output from high resolution regional climate model HIRHAM5 and the ice sheet surface mass balance model. This project can look at many different things both on and off the ice sheet and can be either Arctic or Antarctic or both. We can also combine this analysis with output from other groups who we collaborate with.

100 years of climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic - illustrated with 2 maps of Greenalnd and 2 of Antarctica in different shades of red and with a reference to Boberg et al 2022.

Antarctic ice shelf stability in CMIP6 models: How well do global climate models represent present day climate over ANtarctic ice shelves? What is the prognosis for the future? This project will use the “Melt index” developed in a recent paper and apply it to global climate model and/or new high resolution regional climate models to assess the present and future stability of Antarctic ice shelves.

Fast downscaling of climate over Greenland and/or Antarctic ice sheets: In this project, the new CISSEMBEL model, developed at DMI will be used to produce ice sheet surface mass budget (the balance between snowfall and snow melt) directly from global climate models wihtout first usign an intermediate regional climate model. The output will then be compared with output from a regional climate model to see what are the likely biases in this approach and if we can improve them

Coupled climate and ice sheet modelling with a high resolution regional climate model: This is a very ambitious project probably most suited to a full time 9-12 month thesis and a candidate with soem experience of wokring on a hpc system. It will aim to couple the HARMONIE-Climate regional climate model with the PISM ice sheet model to assess the importance or otherwise of including topographic changes over the ice sheet.

Ultra-high resolution regional climate modelling in NW Greenland: Another ambitious project suited to an MSc student with experience in running complex code. This project will use the state-of-the-art regional climaet model HCLIM (Harmonie Climate) at km scale resolution to examine the effects of winds on the regional fjord scale climate of the Inglefield Bredning in NW Greenland. This project will analyse effects of winds on sea ice and if changes in ice sheet topography are likely to change local wind fields.

Animated gig showing a timelapse of satellite images from Sentinel 1 (a Synthetic aperture radar sensor) . The images are from the edge of the North Water polynya in NW Greenland and shows snow covered islands and sea ice forming and then breaking up and the edge retreating back into the fjord

Polynyas in the present and future Arctic: What is the effect of polynyas on local and regional climate in the Arctic? How do they form? Is there a new polynya forming in northern Greenland regularly and what has changed to allow this, if so? This project will examine output from the new CARRA reanalysis together with satellite imagery to characterise changes in sea ice around Greenland and how they affect the local and regional climate.

Other Possibilities:

ESA Climate Research Fellowships: I am a member of the climate research group in the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative for the Greenland Ice sheet and for the Sea Ice project. ESA now offers climate fellowships – funding for a 2 year postdoc with a contribution from the host institution. These have a deadline of January 2023, get in touch if you have a concrete idea you’d like to explore that you think would be relevant to collaborate on with me.

Carlsberg Research Foundation: It may also be possible to apply to one of the many science foundations in Denmark for funding.