Dr Bethan Davies

Educational background

PhD in Quaternary Geology, Durham University, 2009.

MSc Quaternary Science. Royal Holloway, University of London, 2004.

BA (hons) Geography. Nottingham University, 2001

Personal profile

January 2018 to present: Senior Lecturer in Quaternary Science, Centre for Quaternary Science, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London.

September 2014 - January 2018: Lecturer in Physical Geography, Centre for Quaternary Science, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London.

April 2014 - August 2014: Post-doctoral research scientist, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading. NERC funded project: Modelling ice sheets, climate and sea level during the last glacial cycle.

March 2013 - August 2013: SCAR Fellow (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research). Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. Understanding Holocene glacier dynamics in the NE Antarctic Peninsula and projecting future glacier behaviour under a warming climate.

April 2010 - March 2014:  Post-doctoral research associate, Centre for Glaciology, Aberystwyth University. NERC funded project: The glacial history of the north-east Antarctic Peninsula over centennial to millennial timescales.

July 2009 - February 2010: Assistant Marine Geologist, British Antarctic Survey.


I am currently Director of the MSc in Quaternary Science (September 2017 - present).


MSc in Quaternary Science

  • Various core modules in Autumn term
  • Techniques in Quaternary Research II
  • Glaciers in the Climate System
  • Field Training Programme

Undergraduate teaching

  • Geographical Techniques (Statistics Module) (1st year)
  • Glacial Environments (3rd Year)
  • Tutorials

Research interests

I am a glacial geologist interested in the interaction between glaciers and climate over multiple timescales. I specialise in ice-sheet and glacier reconstruction in temperate and high latitudes. I use a combination of field studies, chronostratigraphical methods (especially cosmogenic nuclide dating), remotely sensed data sets and numerical modelling to quantify ice-sheet and ice-shelf history. I am particularly interested in glacial processes at the ice-bed interface, and use detailed sedimentological analyses and micromorphology to analyse processes of entrainment, deposition and deformation. 

My current research interests are orientated towards the Antarctic Peninsula, the Patagonian Ice Sheet and the last British-Irish Ice Sheet. Highlights from this research have included:

  • Revised reconstruction of Middle Pleistocene and Devensian British and Fennoscandian ice sheet interactions;
  • Analysis of past, present and future ice-shelf and glacier change in the northern Antarctic Peninsula and in Patagonia using field studies;
  • Satellite image analysis and numerical modelling;
  • Analysis of glacial processes on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula;
  • Reconstructions of Last Glacial Maximum ice stream dynamics on the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

I am an editor of the Royal Society Open Science and the Open Quaternary journals. I held a Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) Visiting Fellowship to visit Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand for six months in 2013.

Other work

I am interested in science communication, participating in public lectures and events such as the British Science Festival. I maintain the website AntarcticGlaciers.org, which aims to explain the science of Antarctic Glaciology to the broader public.


I am a member of the NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility steering committee (2018 - ), have served as a panel member assessing NERC grants, and am a reviewer of grants for NERC (UK), National Science Foundation (USA), Austrian Science Fund, Deutsche Forchungsgemainschaft, National Geographic, Swiss National Science Foundation.  I was Publicity Officer for the QRA (2014-2017).

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