Dr Tristram Irvine-Fynn

PhD in Geography – Glaciology (University of Sheffield, UK, 2008) MSc in Geography – Glaciology (University of Calgary, Canada, 2004) BA in Geography (University of Cambridge, UK, 2001)

Dr Tristram Irvine-Fynn

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details


Tris initially joined DGES in Feb 2011 as a process glaciologist Research Fellow employed through the C3W initiative. With earlier experience on temperate alpine glaciers, Tris started researching High-Arctic glaciology on Svalbard in 2000. Supported by a Canadian Memorial Foundation Scholarship, he worked on utilising ground penetrating radar (GPR) to delineate hydrological connections and changes within Stagnation Glacier, Bylot Island, Canadian Arctic; this project yielded an MSc from University of Calgary which was awarded the Chancellors Medal. Subsequently, he returned to the University of Sheffield for his PhD research: a detailed hydrological study of Midtre Lov?nbreen, Svalbard. Tris was then employed at Sheffield - funded by The Leverhulme Trust as a PDRA and NERC as a Research Co-Investigator - focusing on projects exploring the "greening of retreating arctic glaciers" in collaboration with the University of Bristol. This area of research has continued in Tris' tenure of the C3W Fellowship, with focus on novel techniques to monitor supraglacial characteristics and processes and close collaboration with colleagues in IBERS. In particular, his interests include the hydraulics of near-surface ice, the seasonal development of ice surface roughness and albedo, and feedbacks linked to the important ecological niche that glacier surfaces represent. Throughout his research career Tris has contributed to teaching across a wide range of physical geography courses, including ones based at UNIS (Svalbard).



Group Affiliation

  • Centre for Glaciology (CfG)
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Environmental Microbiology (iCEM)
  • Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W)

Research Interests

Tris' research interests are focussed on process glaciology and hydrology, particularly in the High-Arctic:

  • Glacier thermal regime and hydrology
  • Supraglacial processes and ecology
  • Method development for process glaciology
  • Paraglacial dynamics in arctic catchments

Research Groups


Variations in near-surface debris temperature through the summer monsoon on Khumbu Glacier, Nepal HimalayaGibson, M. J., Irvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Wagnon, P., Rowan, A. V., Quincey, D. J., Homer, R. & Glasser, N. F. 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.71 p.
Dark zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet controlled by distributed biologically-active impuritiesRyan, J. C., Hubbard, A., Stibal, M., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Cook, J., Smith, L. C., Cameron, K. & Box, J. 2018 In : Nature Communications.9, 10 p., 1065
Assessing the applicability of terrestrial laser scanning for mapping englacial conduitsKamintzis, J. E., Jones, J. P. P., Irvine-Fynn, T., Holt, T., Bunting, P., Jennings, S. J. A., Porter, P. R. & Hubbard, B. 2018 In : Journal of Glaciology.64, 243, p. 3748 p.
Near-surface hydraulic conductivity of Northern Hemisphere glaciersStevens, I. T., Irvine-Fynn, T., Porter, P. R., Cook, J. M., Edwards, A., Smart, M., Moorman, B. J., Hodson, A. J. & Mitchell, A. 2018 In : Hydrological Processes.32, 850-865
Supraglacial ponds regulate runoff from Himalayan debris-covered glaciersIrvine-Fynn, T., Porter, P. R., Rowan, A. V., Quincey, D. J., Gibson, M., Bridge, J. W., Watson, C. S. & Glasser, N. 2017 In : Geophysical Research Letters.44, 23, p. 11894-1190410 p.
Biogeography of cryonconite forming cyanobacteria on polar and Asian glaciersSegawa, T., Yonezawa, T., Edwards, A., Akiyoshi, A., Tanaka, S., Uetake, J., Irvine-Fynn, T., Fukui, K., Li, Z. & Takeuchi, N. 2017 In : Journal of Biogeography.
Multiannual observations and modelling of seasonal thermal profiles through supraglacial debris in the Central HimalayaRowan, A. V., Nicholson, L., Collier, E., Quincey, D. J., Gibson, M., Wagnon, P., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Glasser, N. 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : Cryosphere Discussions.
Quantifying bioalbedo: a new physically based model and discussions of empirical methods for characterising biological influence on ice and snow albedoCook, J. M., Hodson, A. J., Gardner, A. S., Flanner, M., Tedstone, A., Williamson, C., Irvine-Fynn, T., Nilsson, J., Bryant, R. & Tranter, M. 2017 In : Cryosphere.11, 6, p. 2611-2632
Review article: The hydrology of debris-covered glaciers – state of the science and future research directionsMiles, K. E., Hubbard, B., Irvine-Fynn, T., Miles, E. S., Quincey, D. J. & Rowan, A. V. 2017 In : Cryosphere Discussions.p. 1-48
Temporal variations in supraglacial debris distribution on Baltoro Glacier, Karakoram between 2001 and 2012Gibson, M., Glasser, N., Quincey, D. J., Mayer, C., Rowan, A. V. & Irvine-Fynn, T. 2017 In : Geomorphology.295, p. 572-585
How robust are in-situ observations for validating satellite-derived albedo over the dark zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet?Ryan, J., Hubbard, A., Irvine-Fynn, T., Doyle, S., Cook, J. M., Stibal, M. & Box, J. E. 2017 In : Geophysical Research Letters.
Derivation of High Spatial Resolution Albedo from UAV Digital Imagery: Application over the Greenland Ice SheetRyan, J. C., Hubbard, A., Box, J. E., Brough, S., Cameron, K., Cook, J. M., Cooper, M., Doyle, S. H., Edwards, A., Holt, T., Irvine-Fynn, T., Jones, C., Pitcher, L. H., Rennermalm, Å. K., Smith, L. C., Stibal, M. & Snooke, N. 2017 In : Frontiers in Earth Science. 00040
Glacier hydrology and runoffIrvine-Fynn, T. & Hubbard, B. 2017 International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology.Wiley
Changes in glacier surface cover on Baltoro glacier, Karakoram, north Pakistan, 2001–2012Gibson, M., Glasser, N., Quincey, D. J., Rowan, A. V. & Irvine-Fynn, T. 2017 In : Journal of Maps.13, 2, p. 100-108
Cryoconite: The dark biological secret of the cryosphereCook, J., Edwards, A., Takeuchi, N. & Irvine-Fynn, T. 2016 In : Progress in Physical Geography.40, 1, p. 66-111
The structural, geometric and volumetric changes of a polythermal Arctic glacier during a surge cycle: Comfortlessbreen, SvalbardKing, O., Hambrey, M., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Holt, T. 2016 In : Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.41, 2, p. 162-17715 p.
Supraglacial weathering crust dynamics inferred from cryoconite hole hydrologyCook, J., Hodson, A. J. & Irvine-Fynn, T. 2016 In : Hydrological Processes.30, 3, p. 433-446
Debris-covered Himalayan glaciers under a changing climate: observations and modelling of Khumbu Glacier, NepalRowan, A. V., Quincey, D., Egholm, D. L., Gibson, M., Irvine-Fynn, T., Porter, P. & Glasser, N. 2016
Spatial and temporal variation in ice sheet surface reflectance characteristics at the MODIS-pixel scale in the ablation area of SW GreenlandTedstone, A. & Black & Bloom 2016
Near-surface permeability of Northern Hemisphere GlaciersStevens, I. T., Irvine-Fynn, T., Porter, P. R., Smart, M., Moorman, B. J., Hodson, A. J., Edwards, A. & Mitchell, A. 2016 p. C41D-0708
Flying high: the potential of photogrammetry and UAVs in glaciologyIrvine-Fynn, T., Moorman, B. J., Holt, T., Stevens, I. T. & Cully, A. 2016 In : SENSED.62, p. 19-22
Climate driven retreat of Mount Baker Glaciers and changing water resourcesIrvine-Fynn, T. 2016 In : Mountain Research and Development.36, 3, p. 398-3992 p.
Taxon interactions control the distributions of cryoconite bacteria colonizing a High Arctic ice capGokul, J., Hodson, A. J., Saetnan, E., Irvine-Fynn, T., Westall, P. J., Detheridge, A., Takeuchi, N., Bussell, J., Mur, L. & Edwards, A. 2016 In : Molecular Ecology.25, 15, p. 3752-376716 p.
Morphological dynamics of an englacial channelVatne, G. & Irvine-Fynn, T. 2016 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.20, 7, p. 2947-2964
Metabolome-mediated biocryomorphic evolution promotes carbon fixation in Greenlandic cryoconite holesCook, J. M., Edwards, A., Bulling, M., Mur, L. A. J., Cook, S., Gokul, J. K., Cameron, K. A., Sweet, M. & Irvine-Fynn, T. D. L. 2016 In : Environmental Microbiology.18, Thematic Issue, p. 4674-4686
Aerodynamic roughness of glacial ice surfaces derived from high-resolution topographic dataSmith, M. W., Quincey, D. J., Dixon, T., Bingham, R. G., Carrivick, J. L., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Rippin, D. M. 2016 In : Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface.121, 4, p. 748-766
Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice SheetStibal, M., Gözdereliler, E., Cameron, K., Box, J. E., Stevens, I., Gokul, J., Schostag, M., Zarsky, J., Edwards, A., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Jacobsen, C. 2015 In : Frontiers in Microbiology.6, 225
Is there life on glaciers?: Glacier ecosystems and their impactsIrvine-Fynn, T., Edwards, A. & Mitchell, A. 2015 In : Geography Review.28, 3, p. 38-41
Measuring glacier surface roughness using plot-scale, close-range digital photogrammetryIrvine-Fynn, T., Sanz-Ablanedo, E., Rutter, N., Smith, M. & Chandler, J. 2014 In : Journal of Glaciology.60, 223, p. 957-96913 p.
A germ theory for glacial systems?Edwards, A., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Mitchell, A. C. & Edwards Rassner, S. M. 2014 In : WIREs Water.1, 4, p. 331-34010 p.
Examination of a physically based, high-resolution, distributed Arctic temperature-index melt model, on Midtre Lovénbreen, SvalbardIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Hanna, E., Barrand, N. E., Porter, P. R., Kohler, J. & Hodson, A. J. 2014 In : Hydrological Processes.28, 1, p. 134-149
A frozen asset: The potential of flow cytometry in constraining the glacial biomeIrvine-Fynn, T. D. & Edwards, A. 2014 In : Cytometry Part A.85, 1, p. 3-75 p.
A spatial investigation of the environmental controls over cryoconite aggregation on Longyearbreen glacier, Svalbard.Langford, H. J., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Edwards, A., Banwart, S. A. & Hodson, A. J. 2014 In : Biogeosciences Discussions.11, p. 3423-34635 p.
A distinctive fungal community inhabiting cryoconite holes on glaciers in SvalbardEdwards, A., Douglas, B., Anesio, A. M., Rassner, S. M., Irvine-fynn, T. D., Sattler, B. & Griffith, G. W. 2013 In : Fungal Ecology.
Contrasts between the cryoconite and ice-marginal bacterial communities of Svalbard glaciers: Bacterial communities of Svalbard glaciersEdwards, A., Rassner, S. M., Anesio, A. M., Worgan, H. J., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Williams, H. W., Sattler, B. & Griffith, G. W. 2013 In : Polar Research.32, 19468
A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an Alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem: Alpine cryoconite metagenomeEdwards, A., Pachebat, J. A., Swain, M. T., Hegarty, M. J., Hodson, A. J., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Edwards Rassner, S. M. & Sattler, B. 2013 In : Environmental Research Letters.8, 3, 035003
Darogan cyfraniadau rhewlifoedd olaf Eryri i gylchredoedd carbon Cyfnod y Dryas Diweddaraf ar sail modelau amrwd o ecosystemau rhewlifol y cyfnod hwyr-rewlifolEdwards, A., Rassner, S. M., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Williams, H. W. & Griffith, G. W. 2012 In : Gwerddon.12, p. 53-79
Microbial cell budgets of an Arctic glacier surface quantified using flow cytometryIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Edwards, A., Newton, S., Langford, H., Rassner, S. M., Telling, J., Anesio, A. M. & Hodson, A. J. 2012 In : Environmental Microbiology.14, 11, p. 2998-3012
Controls on the autochthonous production and respiration of organic matter in cryoconite holes on high Arctic glaciersTelling, J., Anesio, A. M., Tranter, M., Stibal, M., Hawkings, J., Irvine-Fynn, T., Hodson, A., Butler, C., Yallop, M. & Wadham, J. 2012 In : Journal of Geophysical Research.117, G1, 10 p., G01017
Studying glacial melt processes using sub-centimeter DEM extraction and digital close-range photogrammetrySanz-Ablanedo, E., Chandler, J. & Irvine-Fynn, T. D. 2012 Internation Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences.Vol. XXXIX-B5, p. 435-440
Polythermal glacier hydrology: a reviewIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Hodson, A. J., Moorman, B. J., Vatne, G. & Hubbard, A. L. 2011 In : Reviews of Geophysics.49, 4, 37 p., RG4002
Hydrology and hydrochemistry of a deglaciating high-Arctic catchment, SvalbardRutter, N., Hodson, A., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Solås, M. K. 2011 In : Journal of Hydrology.410, 1-2, p. 39-5012 p.
In situ quantification of supraglacial cryoconite morphodynamics using time-lapse imaging: an example from SvalbardIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Bridge, J. W. & Hodson, A. J. 2011 In : Journal of Glaciology.57, 204, p. 651-6577 p.
Nitrogen fixation on Arctic glaciers, SvalbardTelling, J., Anesio, A. M., Tranter, M., Irvine-fynn, T., Hodson, A., Butler, C. & Wadham, J. 2011 In : Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.116, G3, 8 p., G03039
Recent High-Arctic glacial sediment redistribution: A process perspective using airborne lidarIrvine-Fynn, T. 2011 In : Geomorphology.125, 1, p. 27-3913 p.
Ice-marginal sediment delivery to the surface of a High-Arctic glacier: Austre Brøggerbreen, SvalbardPorter, P. R., Vatne, G., Ng, F. & Irvine-Fynn, T. D. L. 2010 In : Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography.92, 4, p. 437-449
Biogeochemistry and dissolved oxygen dynamics at a subglacial upwelling, Midtre Lovénbreen, SvalbardIrvine-Fynn, T. D. & Hodson, A. J. 2010 In : Annals of Glaciology.51, 56, p. 41-466 p.
The mass–area relationship within cryoconite holes and its implications for primary productionCook, J., Hodson, A., Telling, J., Anesio, A. M., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Bellas, C. 2010 In : Annals of Glaciology.51, 56, p. 106-1105 p.
Measuring rates of gross photosynthesis and net community production in cryoconite holes: a comparison of field methodsTelling, J., Anesio, A. M., Hawkings, J., Tranter, M., Wadham, J., Hodson, A., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Yallop, M. 2010 In : Annals of Glaciology.51, 56, p. 153-162
Rapid quantification of cryoconite: granule geometry and in situ supraglacial extents, using examples from Svalbard and GreenlandIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Bridge, J. W. & Hodson, A. J. 2010 In : Journal of Glaciology.56, 196, p. 297-30812 p.
The structure, biological activity and biogeochemistry of cryoconite aggregates upon an Arctic valley glacier: Longyearbreen, SvalbardHodson, A., Cameron, K., Bøggild, C., Irvine-fynn, T., Langford, H., Pearce, D. & Banwart, S. 2010 In : Journal of Glaciology.56, 196, p. 349-362
High-Arctic glacial-periglacial interactions and the development of terrain morphology on Brøggerhalvøya, SvalbardIrvine-Fynn, T. D., Porter, P. R., Barrand, N. E., Benn, D. I., Temminghoff, M. & Lukas, S. 2010 Proceedings of Geo2010: 63rd Canadian Geotechnical and 6th Canadian Permafrost Conferences.8 p.
Quantitative particle size, microtextural and outline shape analyses of glacigenic sediment reworked by paraglacial debris flowsCurry, A. M., Porter, P. R., Irvine-fynn, T. D. L., Rees, G., Sands, T. B. & Puttick, J. 2009 In : Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.34, 1, p. 48-62
Increased Runoff from Melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet: A Response to Global WarmingHanna, E., Huybrechts, P., Steffen, K., Cappelen, J., Huff, R., Shuman, C., Irvine-fynn, T., Wise, S. & Griffiths, M. 2008 In : Journal of Climate.21, 2, p. 331-341
Arctic glaciers and ground-penetrating radar case study: Stagnation Glacier, Bylot Island, CanadaIrvine-Fynn, T. D. & Moorman, B. J. 2008 Applied Geophysics in Periglacial Environments. Hauck, C. & Kneisel, C. (eds.). 1 ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 179-190
The accuracy of gridded elevation models interpolated to higher resolutionsWise, S., Hanna, E. & Irvine-Fynn, T. 2008 p. 150-1556 p.
A glacier respires: Quantifying the distribution and respiration Co2 flux of cryoconite across an entire Arctic supraglacial ecosystemHodson, A., Anesio, A. M., Ng, F., Watson, R., Quirk, J., Irvine-fynn, T., Dye, A., Clark, C., McCloy, P., Kohler, J. & Sattler, B. 2007 In : Journal of Geophysical Research.112, G4, 9 p., G04S36
Seasonal changes in ground-penetrating radar signature observed at a polythermal glacier, Bylot Island, CanadaIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Moorman, B. J., Williams, J. L. M. & Walter, F. S. A. 2006 In : Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.31, 7, p. 892-909
Dye tracing experiments at Midtre Lovénbreen Svalbard: preliminary results and interpretationsIrvine-Fynn, T. D., Hodson, A. J., Kohler, J., Porter, P. R. & Vatne, G. 2005 Glacier Caves and Glacial Karst in High Mountains and Polar Regions: Proceedings 7th GLACKIPR Conference. Mavlyudov , B. R. (ed.). Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences, p. 36-43
Geocryological processes linked to High Arctic proglacial stream suspended sediment dynamics: examples from Bylot Island, Nunavut, and Spitsbergen, SvalbardIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Moorman, B. J., Willis, I. C., Sjogren, D. B., Hodson, A. J., Mumford, P. N., Walter, F. S. A. & Williams, J. L. M. 2005 In : Hydrological Processes.19, 1, p. 115-135
Cryological processes implied in Arctic proglacial stream sediment dynamics using principal components analysis and regressionIrvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Moorman, B. J., Sjogren, D. B., Walter, F. S. A., Willis, I. C., Hodson, A. J., Williams, J. L. M. & Mumford, P. N. 2005 In : Geological Society Special Publications.242, 1, p. 83-98