Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper


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Personal profile

Personal profile

I have primarily been trained as a palaeoglaciologist. My current interests surround the broad-scale interactions between ice sheets and climate across a range of timescales, and the dynamic processes which regulate the timing, structure, style, and pace of ice retreat. 

Outside of direct PhD responsibilities, I am more widely interested in outreach and the representation of EDI issues in academia. This includes issues surrounding the broader participation of women in the geosciences, and how we can encourage a more diverse and thoughtful scientific community.

Research interests

At present, I am completing the final year of my PhD as part of the London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. My PhD reserach focuses on understanding climate-glacier dynamics in Patagonia during the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition, in a deglaciatated region located just north of the Northern Patagonian Icefield. 


My PhD is utilising multiple methodologies, including:

  • Cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure-age dating
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Micromorphology
  • Field geomorphology and sedimentology
  • UAVs and photogrammetry 


I have taught on and marked multiple courses at Royal Holloway.

These include:

  • 1st year, 3rd year, and MSc level GIS modules.
  • 1st year and 2nd year statitics.
  • 1st year geographical techniques: field surveying and laboratory analyses.
  • 1st year field course to Wales: sedimentology, water quality, and ecosystem surveys.

Educational background

PhD, Centre for Quaternary Research (2018-present)- Royal Holloway University of London.

Thesis: Extent and dynamics of the former Patagonian Ice Sheet (44 – 46°S)

MSc, Climate Change (2016-2017)- University College London.

Dissertation: Revisiting the 8.2 kyr event: abrupt deglacial climate change and ocean circulation in the northern North Atlantic.

BSc, Physical Geography (2013-2016)- Royal Holloway, University of London.

Dissertation (RHUL/BAS): Distinguishing Polar Diamictons: a quantitative marine core analysis, the Amundsen Sea Sector, West Antarctica.


Other work

Research Assistant, (Sept-Dec 2017)- University College London

Work on RAPID-17-5P. A marine core that was collected from the Iceland Basin (S-Iceland) as part of the RAPID Climate Change programme. Sample preparation for sortable silt analysis, planktic foraminifera counts/ benthic picking for stable isotopes.

Laboratory Assistant, (2017)- University College London

Plant macrofossil picking, sorting and identification from lake sediments.

Placement, (Aug, 2015)- British Antarctic Survey

Student placement with Dr James Smith (Palaeo-Ice Sheets Working Group). Data manipulation (core properties data), sediment description, (sub)sampling and x-radiograph interpretation.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

MSc Climate Change, Masters, University College London

Award Date: 1 Sep 2017

Physical Geography, Bachelors, Royal Holloway, University of London

Award Date: 15 Jul 2016


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