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Dr Harold Lovell

Senior Lecturer

Harold Lovell


I am a glaciologist with research and teaching interests in GIS and remote sensing, climate and environmental change, and glaciers and glacial environments.

I studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Plymouth from 2005-2008 before completing an MSc (by research) at Durham University in 2010, during which I investigated former glacier dynamics in southernmost Patagonia. During my PhD research from 2010-2014 I was based at Queen Mary University of London and the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS, Norway). This work focused on the landscapes produced by active surging glaciers on the High-Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.

I joined the University of Portsmouth as a lecturer in GIS and Remote Sensing in February 2014. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in December 2015.

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach the following topics at all levels from first year undergradaute (Level 4) to masters (Level 7):

  • GIS and remote sensing
  • Earth observation
  • Environmental change
  • Glaciers and glacial environments
  • Glacier hazards
  • Applied geophysics
  • Surveying and cartography
  • Statistics
  • Research methods in Physical Geography and Earth Science
  • Fieldwork in Physical Geography and GIS
  • Academic study skills

I am currently the Level 4 (first year) Year Leader, which involves a strong pastoral care component related to helping our new students transition to university study. I sit on the Teaching and Learning Committee in the Department of Geography, which has a remit to review, revise, and deliver our curriculum. I represent the Department of Geography on the university-wide Senior Tutor Forum.

Research Interests

My research focuses on highly-dynamic glaciers and the geomorphological and sedimentological records they produce. This work is largely based on glaciers in the Arctic which exhibit surge-type behaviour, characterised by atypical periodic velocity increases and glacier advances. I am also interested in dynamic ice flow and deglaciation of the Quaternary ice sheets, and glacial lake outburst flood hazards in high mountain regions. I use a combination of satellite data and fieldwork in my research in the following key areas:

  1. Surging glaciers: dynamics, geomorphological records and climatic controls
  2. Structural glaciology
  3. Basal ice and subglacial sediment transport, deformation, and deposition
  4. The timings and dynamics of former ice masses in southernmost Patagonia
  5. Evidence for ice sheet stagnation revealed by glaciofluvial deposits
  6. Glacial lake outburst flood hazards and glacier change in high mountain regions

I supervise the following PhD students with Clare Boston:

  • Lauren Knight: Glaciation in the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland
  • Paul Weber: Response of Norwegian Plateau Icefields to climate change

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