Celebrating staff: Dr Jeremy Ely – NERC Independent Research Fellow

January 2019

'Celebrating staff’ is a monthly initiative which aims to celebrate the diversity of staff we have, how all staff contribute in different but vital ways to the department, and to highlight what staff have found rewarding in their work in the last few years. This month the department is celebrating Dr Jeremy Ely.

Jeremy ElyWhat do you do?

“I research ice sheets. Both ice sheets that existed in the past and ice sheets that exist today. I look at what’s on top of ice sheets, what’s beneath ice sheets and think about how the ice they contain behaves. To do this I use a combination of field-based and satellite-based observations, as well as numerical models of ice flow.“

What have you done recently in your job that you found rewarding?

“I think I have had two big achievements recently. First, after years of collecting and processing samples that tell you the age of a sediment, Chris Clark and I sat down and reconstructed the position of the last ice sheet to cover Britain and Ireland, around 30,000 to 12,000 years ago. My numerical model now replicates this behaviour well. This means we can use the model to work out how ice flowed over Britain and Ireland, the contribution of the ice sheet to past sea level rise, provide estimates of how the Earth is still rebounding to being under the pressure of an ice sheet, and gain insight into how the ice sheet sculpted our landscape. Second, I have just submitted a paper working with a masters student and colleagues in the department on meltwater on the surface of Antarctic glaciers. Fingers crossed!”

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

“I love research and working with others. Finding new stuff out and solving problems motivates me. Scientists’ brains are all wired differently; everyone has different approaches to the problem. Its great to see how different people’s minds work and bring approaches together to find out how the world works.”