Dr Jeremy Ely

School of Geography and Planning

Senior Lecturer

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+44 114 222 7994

Full contact details

Dr Jeremy Ely
School of Geography and Planning (nee Geography)
222 7994
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

Jeremy Ely obtained his BSc in Geography from the University of Sheffield in 2011, where he stayed to undertake his PhD titled "Flow Signatures on the Bed and the Surface of Ice sheets" which was awarded in 2016.

Jeremy undertook a 4 year postdoc on the BRITICE-CHRONO project, as a research associate in ice sheet modelling and data interaction. He was then awarded a 5-year NERC Independent Research Fellowship, "A novel approach to constraining ice sheet models with glacial geomorphology."

Jeremy is now a Senior Lecturer, and leads the NERC highlight topic "Deplete and Retreat, the Future of Andean Water Towers."

Research interests

The aim of Jeremy's research is to make data on past ice mass fluctuations useful for understanding the behaviour of glaciers and ice sheets in our warming world. As such, Jeremy has combined multiple different techniques to make insights into the following areas.

Water Resource Change in the Andes

I am principle investigator of the Deplete and Retreat project, which focuses on water resources across South America. This work has taken me across South America, where we have been installing weather stations and glacier monitoring equipment to improve our knowledge of high altitude environments. The team will integrate high resolution climate, glacier and hydrology models, to make hindcasts and forecasts of future water resources.

Glacial Geomorphology

I am interested in the formation of subglacial bedforms, the landforms which are produced at the sole of a glacier or ice sheet. My research led to the confirmation of a long held (40 year!) hypothesis that subglacial bedforms belong to a morphological continuum. I have also dug holes into subglacial bedforms, and flown UAVs over them in order to work out how they form. I am also interested in the formation of meltwater related landforms.

Palaeo-ice sheets

The action of the ice sheets which existed during the last ice age can be deciphered from the landforms and sediments they left behind. I worked on BRITICE-CHRONO, where my job was to make numerical ice sheet models interact with data pertaining to the last ice sheet to cover Britain and Ireland. I also work alongside the PALGLAC team, helping to improve model-data interactions in palaeoglaciology. 

Ice Sheet Surfaces - Structures and Hydrology

I was part of the team which discovered the widespread occurrence of meltwater streams on the surface of Antarctica. This surprising discovery has large implications for the future of the ice sheets in Antarctica. Ongoing work is looking in more detail at the dynamic influence meltwater has on ice flow on the Antarctic Peninsula. Beyond water, I am interested in the formation of beautiful ice surface landscapes.


Journal articles

Book reviews

  • Ely JC (2016) Book Review. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 127(4), 532-532. RIS download Bibtex download

Software / Code




  • Principal Investigator: NERC Highlight Topic "Deplete and Retreat: The Future of Andean Water Towers." £2,464,875
  • Principal Investigator: NERC Independent Research Fellowship. "A novel approach to constraining ice sheet models with glacial geomorphology." £589,660.
  • Principal Investigator: European Space Agency Category-1 proposal, “The drainage of meltwater across Shackleton Glacier, Antarctica”. 2017.
  • Principal investigator: TanDEM-X Scientific Access to data grant. 2017.
  • Principal Investigator: SURE Scheme award, 2015: “The Pattern of Ice Sheet Dynamics and Retreat in Alaska.” Awarded Value: £1080.
  • Principal Investigator: INTERACT Transnational Access Award, 2014: “Flute Morphometry from Photogrammetry (FluMP).” Awarded Value: €8,700, plus 36 field person days.
  • Co-Investigator: NERC-GEF Loan, 2014: “Insights on the formation of glacial bedforms and ice-bed interaction using fluting field morphometrics, sedimentology and sediment thicknesses.” Estimated value: £2,800.
  • CliC travel support, 2014: £500.
Teaching activities

I am course lead for our MSc(Res) in Polar and Alpine Change

I have taught at all levels, and am currently involved in the following modules:

  • GEO6669 - Polar and Alpine Change Research Project
  • GEO356 - Dissertation for Geography and Environmental Science
  • GEO6613 - Polar and Alpine Change Field Course
  • GEO31011 - Our frozen planet: past and present
Professional activities and memberships


Dick Chorley Medal and Prize for Postgraduate Research, British Society for Geomorphology, 2016.

John Glen award for best student poster, International Glaciological Society British Branch meeting, 2012.

Lewis Penny Medal for Early Career Research, Quaternary Research Association, 2024.