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

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

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).


Module Coordinator


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


Irvine-Fynn, T, Edwards, A, Stevens, IT, Mitchell, A, Bunting, P, Box, J, Cameron, K, Cook, J, Naegeli, K, Rassner, SME, Ryan, J, Stibal, M, Williamson, C & Hubbard, A 2021, 'Storage and export of microbial biomass across the western Greenland Ice Sheet', Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 3960. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24040-9
Tedstone, A, Cook, J, Williamson, C, Hofer, S, McCutcheon, J, Irvine-Fynn, T, Gribbin, T & Tranter, M 2020, 'Algal growth and weathering crust structure drive variability in Greenland Ice Sheet ice albedo', Cryosphere, vol. 14, pp. 521-538. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-521-2020
Williamson, CJ, Cook, J, Tedstone, A, Yallop, M, McCutcheon, J, Poniecka, E, Campbell, D, Irvine-Fynn, T, Mcquaid, JB, Tranter, M, Perkins, R & Anesio, AM 2020, 'Algal photophysiology drives darkening and melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 11, 1918412117, pp. 5694–5705. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1918412117
Cook, J, Tedstone, A, Williamson, C, McCutcheon, J, Hodson, AJ, Dayal, A, Skiles, M, Hofer, S, Bryant, R, McAree, O, McGonigle, A, Ryan, JC, Anesio, AM, Irvine-Fynn, T, Hubbard, A, Hanna, E, Flanner, M, Mayanna, S, Benning, LG, Van As, D, Yallop, M, McQuaid, J, Gribbin, T & Tranter, M 2020, 'Glacier algae accelerate melt rates on the south-western Greenland Ice Sheet', Cryosphere, vol. 14, pp. 309-330. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-309-2020
Miles, KE, Hubbard, B, Irvine-fynn, TDL, Miles, ES, Quincey, DJ & Rowan, AV 2020, 'Hydrology of debris-covered glaciers in High Mountain Asia', Earth-Science Reviews, vol. 207, 103212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103212
More publications on the Research Portal