Personal profile

Research interests

Varyl is a geomorphologist with research expertise in Late Quaternary palaeohydrology. In particular his research focuses on two themes: 1) The palaeohydrology of deglaciating ice sheets, and 2) Holocene palaeoflood records. Varyl's research uses field mapping and stratigraphy alongside GIS analysis of digital terrain data (including LiDAR) and hydraulic flood modelling.

Varyl's current research is focused on the Late Quaternary palaeogeography of central Patagonia, where he is working on a range of projects that include: a) landform records of palaeolake evolution; b) reconstructing catastrophic outburst flood events; c) varve records of ice sheet dynamics and palaeoclimate (with Palmer, RHUL); and d) early human occupation of Patagonia (with Delaunay and Mendez, CIEP, Chile).



Varyl is currently Teaching Exellence Lead for the Department of Geography and is co-leading a curriculum review one aims of which is to upscale teaching of the climate and ecological crises. Varyl is a Chartered Geographer (GIS) and teaches Geographic Information Systems across the following modules:

GG1015 Digital Geographies: Remote Sensing and GIS 

I teach the physical geography half of this 0.5 unit module. After introducing the use of remote sensing in physical geography students start to develop practical GIS skills using ArcGIS Pro. Students present a map as part of the course assessment giving them experience of cartography and map design in GIS.

GG2001 Geographical Techniques - Module C - GIS

In this second year GIS module we explore the use of GIS and remote sensing for change detection studies. Students gain practical experience of mapping glacier outlines from satellite imagery to quantify rates of glacier recession.

GG3028 GIS and the Planetary Crisis

The aim of this module is to examine firstly, how geospatial data and technologies have been used to monitor and quantify impacts of the Planetary Crisis (climate, biodiversity and pollution). Students will then explore some ways in which geospatial data and technologies can be used to develop solutions. The module is designed to give students extensive practical experience in using GIS.

MSc. Quaternary Science GG5237 Geospatial and Temporal Data Science

Varyl leads the first half of this module, focusing on how geospatial data and technologies are used in Quaternary Science. Students gain experience of using GIS through a range of applications such as remotely sensed landform mapping; analysis of palaeoclimate data sets; handling geochronology data tables; and cartography. 

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 15 - Life on Land


  • Geomorphology
  • Palaeohydrology
  • Flooding
  • Glaciofluvial
  • Late Quaternary

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or