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Research Experience

2014-2015: STFC Pathfinder project at Open University, five weeks industry-academia funding to investigate the potential for remote sensing to aid in assessing risk from climate change related phenomena.

2012-2015: Leverhulme Postdoc, Open University. Wet moist or dry? Using digital terrain models to determine the amount of water that has shaped the surfaces of Earth, the Moon & Mars. PI : Dr. Matt Balme.

2012-2015: Dawson College, Montreal – 3.5 months funding as postdoc for collaborative project with R. Soare on periglacial terrains in Utopia Planitia and Argyre Planitia, Mars.

2011: Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ – six week contract with M. Bourke to produce/process elevation data of dune in Namib Desert to investigate dune-fog interaction.

2010-2012: Postdoc, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université de Nantes, France. Crater-shape changes with latitude on Mars and the role of gullies. Supervisor: Dr. Nicolas Mangold. Funding: Pays de la Loire.

PhD (2010) Recent Water Flows on Mars: A Laboratory, Field and Image-based Approach. Supervisors: Dr John Murray, Dr. Matt Balme and Dr. Martin Towner.

My PhD was focussed on studying recent km-scale gullies on Mars. The overall aim was to look into the processes forming the gullies and hence find out about the stability and distribution of water on Mars today. I was awarded my PhD in March 2010 from the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at the Open University. The PhD was split into three sections:

1. Remote sensing - analysing images and topographic data from Mars
2. Comparitive Geomorphology - collecting GPS data on terrestrial analogue sites and analysing to compare to Mars.
3. Laboratory experiments using the Mars Simulation Chamber at PSSRI - looking at water-sediment interaction under Matian conditions.

By using quantitative geomorphology I showed that debris flow is an important component in forming gullies and through laboratory simulation that water does not have to be stable to engender significant erosion.

Masters Dissertation Project (2004), supervisors: Dr Niels Hovius & Dr Dimitri Lague
This involved manipulating digital elevation data using GIS software to study the effects of erosional processes on Martian and terrestrial impact craters. The project was awarded a 1st for the innovative idea of linking arctic permafrost processes on Earth with the morphologies seen in craters at the Marian north pole. The project was worth 40% of the final grade.

Geological Mapping Project (2003) - 3rd yr undergraduate, supervisor: Dr Nick Butterfield
I acted as Team Leader for the Canada 2002 mapping project in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. Five other students and I raised our own funds and I compiled the itinerary and organised the logistics. The geology was Carboniferous to Cretaceous sedimentary lithologies contained in thrust sheets, of which I mapped 12km2 over 5 weeks. The project report, containing a 1:10 000 scale geological map and subsurface cross-sections with interpretations.

Skills and Responsibilities

Editorial and Reviewing

  • 2019- Editorial board Géomorphologie : Relief, Processus, et Environnement
  • 2019- Associate Editor ESurf
  • Associate Editor of Elsevier book “Martian Enigmas” publication autumn 2020.
  • Co-Editor on Elsevier book “Dynamic Mars” published in 2018.
  • Lead editor for Geological Society of London special issue entitled Martian Gullies and their Earth Analogues. 17 papers, published January 2019.
  • Associate Editor of special issue “Frontiers in Geomorphometry” in ESurf open-access journal. Published Jan 2017, 16 papers.
  • Three-times NASA panel member 2014-
  • Two-times NASA panel group chief 2014-
  • Reviewer for NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program and Solar System Workings, UK Space Agency and UK STFC.
  • Reviewer for the journals: Nature Astronomy, Nature Communications, Scientifc reports, EPSL, ESPL, GRL, JGR, Icarus, PSS, Geomorphology, Natural Hazards, 2010-onwards.
  • External Examiner for Irish PhD thesis and examiner for one French PhD thesis in 2019, Rapporteur and Examiner for two French PhD theses in 2018 and External Examiner for UK MPhil Thesis 2018.

Space Missions

  • Guest Investigator on the European Space Agency ExoMars 2016 mission.
  • NASA High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) Co-I as of 2016.
  • ESA CaSSIS - Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System, associate team member as of 2016.

Organisation Conferences/Workshops

  • Convener of Late Mars Workshop held at the LPI, Houston, Texas 1-2 October 2018, 45 attendees.
  • Workshop organiser “Martian gullies and their Earth Analogues” held at the Geological Society of London 20-21 June 2016. I raised >£5000 in external sponsorship, and it was attended by 54 people with 29 science talks.
  • Co-organiser of the “Late Mars Workshop” held at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston Texas 1-2 October 2018.
  • Fieldtrip organiser and scientific orgnising commitee member for Sixth International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration 5–9 September 2016, at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik (participation ~100, with 35 on fieldtrip).
  • Convener for Planetary Geomorphology Session and co-Convener for Digital Landscapes Session at EGU in Vienna 2011-onwards.
  • Convener for the Planetary Geomorphology session at 9th International Conference on Geomorphology, 6-11 November 2017, New Delhi, India, ~600 total attendees.

Awards and positions of Trust

  • 2020: awarded CNRS Bronze medal for promising work by researchers who are leaders in their field.
  • 2018- Chair of the French Hub of Europlanets
  • 2017-2021 Vice-president of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG).
  • Chair of the IAG Planetary Geomorphology Working Group 2015-2017.


• Extensive experience with GIS (ESRI ArcGIS, qGIS), SocetSet, R, MS Word/Excel/Access, CorelDraw, LasTools; good knowledge of SPSS, Origin, ENVI, MATLAB.
• Programming at competent level, e.g., writing scripts for automating ArcGIS in python. Plus good working knowledge of Java, C#, VBA and database, design and analysis (SQL).
• OU Courses at 2nd & 3rd level in 2007-8: statistics, fluid mechanics and Java.
• Experienced with: field surveying with differential GPS and total station; collection and analysis of LiDAR and air photography data and in using photogrammetry software, such as SocetSet and LPS.
• Recent fieldwork: French Alps 7 days August 2014, Chile 12 days November 2013, Iceland (cumulatively 15weeks, 2007- 2016), Namibia 10 days in August 2011, Svalbard 2 weeks in July 2011.
• Languages: native English; fluent in French; basic level of Spanish and Italian.



  • 2019-2022 PI for Pays de la Loire Etoiles Montantes projet “METAFLOWS” to study gullies on Mars in preparation for an ERC proposal: 130kEUR
  • 2019-2023 PI for ANR PERMOLARDS “Tracking the degradation of mountain permafrost with molards” a collaborative project with six partners - M2C, GEOPS, IPGP, LMV, EDYTEM and Newcastle University. Total award: 484kEUR
  • Programme National de Planétologie 2019 & 2020: Grant to fund travel 4 and 3.5kEUR.
  • CNES 2015 onwards: 5-10KEUR per year to fund mission-related activities.

As Co-I:

  • 2018-2021: named Co-I on UK Space Agency Aurora grant PI J-P. Muller (MSSL, UCL) “Understanding the role of liquids in the formation of RSLs and slope streaks within Valles Marineris using 3D super-resolution restoration”
  • 2018-2019: named collaborator on Natural Environment Research Council Grant, PI Graham Ferrier (Hull University) “Development of an international research group in hyperspectral thermal remote sensing of volcanic processes and terrains”
  • 2017-2020 GeoPlaNet – named Co-I on 260 kEUR grant from local government supporting an international network centred on LPG Nantes to develop research and master’s level teaching in planetary science, cementing LPG’s reputation as a European and world leader in the field. PI: Olivier Bourgeois, LPG Nantes.
  • 2014-2017 Modelling Environmental & Local Thermal Shifts (MELTS) – Industry-academia funding through UK’s STFC and HEIF PI: Dr. M.R. Balme (Open University), Dr. A Graham, Geoger Ltd. to develop and apply a scientifically robust and working methodology for downscaling multi-temporal, remotely-sensed temperature datasets.
  • 2013-15 International Space Science Institute Team – PI: Dr. M.R. Balme (Open University) “Mapping the northern plains of Mars: origins, evolution and response to climate change” members from France, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Poland and the USA.


Europlanets Transnational Access - Mars Chamber, Open University
These grants cover use of the facility and all travel/subsistence costs. Each grant totals >~€15,000.
PI with Jan Raack (Munster) 20days facility time Jan-Feb 2019 comparing sediment transport by brine and water under martian conditions.
Co-I with Sabina Carpy (LPG Nantes) 5days facility-time programmed April 2018, investigating multiple episodes of grain saltation induced by metastable water.
PI with Marion Masse (LPG Nantes) 25days facility-time programmed Jan-July 2017, investigating grain saltation induced by metastable water.
Co-I with Matthew Sylvest (Arkansas) 25days facility-time programmed for Oct-Nov 2016, investigating slope and grainsize effects on mass-movements triggered by CO2 sublimation.
Co-I with Kelly Pasquon and Julien Gargarni (Orsay) 20days facility-time programmed for Oct-Nov 2016, investigating debris flows under on sand dunes under martian conditions.
Co-I with Clemence Herny (LPG Nantes, now at Bern) 20days facility-time June-July 2016, investigating sediment transport by high flow rate metastable water flows.
PI with Marine Gourronc (LPG Nantes) 20days facility-time December 2012, preliminary investigation into sediment transport by metastable brines on Mars.
Co-I with Gwenael Jouannic (Orsay) 20days facility-time November 2011, preliminary investigation into sediment transport over permafrost on Martian dunes.

NERC ARSF & European Facility For Airborne Research - EUFAR
2007-2015: Two successful direct applications (2007,2013) and four successful applications through European Facility for Airborne Research (2015x2, 2011,2012) to use NERC ARSF. Surveys include flying time, LiDAR and air photography, totalling ~£150k for six surveys, five in Iceland and one in Svalbard.

NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility
loan of dGPS for surveying in La Gomera 2008, supporting air survey in Iceland 2012, 2013(1), Chilean Leverhulme fieldwork 2013(2) and Alps fieldwork with Terrestrial Laser Scanner (2014). Grades 7-8 awarded. Approximte value ~£10k.

Small Awards (UK)
Geological Society £500 was awarded from the W G Fearnsides Fund to support the visit to Dr Armelle Decaulne at GeoLab in Clermont-Ferrand to strengthen this collaboration and to part-fund a field assistant for the fieldwork performed in Iceland in 2007.
Geological Remote Sensing Group £250 was awarded from the NPA Student Award to attend the Martian Gullies Workshop in Houston, February 2008.
British Society of Geomorphology £300 awarded in 2008 towards further fieldwork in the Iceland Westfjords characterising the morphology of Debris Flows and £100 awarded in 2009 for presenting two papers at EGU.
Dudley Stamp Memorial Fund >£300 awarded in 2008 towards further fieldwork in the Iceland Westfjords characterising the morphology of Debris Flows.
Earth and Space Awards£250 awarded in 2008 towards further fieldwork in the Iceland Westfjords characterising the morphology of Debris Flows.


Open University, UK – Collaboration with S. R. Lewis on climate modelling studies and M.R. Patel on experimental work. Co-supervision of 10 PhD students with M. Balme and D. Rothery. In total 30 publications including those from previous contracts at the OU.

Dawson College Montreal – Long-running collaboration with R. Soare on periglacial geomorphology on Mars including co-editing of two books and co-authoring 9 publications and 3 book chapters.

Universiteit Utrecht – laboratory investigation on sapping valleys on Mars using flumes at Hull University and remote-sensing investigations of gullies with M. Kleinhans, T. de Haas, W. Marra and E. Hauber (DLR, Germany). Nine publications, one joint proposal under consideration.

Université de Paris Sud, Orsay – Cold chamber simulations of martian dune-gullies with F. Costard, J. Gargani, K. Pasquon, and G. Jouannic. Eight publications, another in preparation.

University of Gothenburg, Sweden – collaboration with A. Johnsson on solifluction terrains on Mars 5 publications and one book chapter.

University of Bern – collaboration with N. Thomas, C. Herny, A. Pommerol on labwork and CaSSIS operations and analyses. 4 publications

Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris – collaboration on numerical investigation of mass movements with A. Mangeney and A. Lucas. One paper in preparation.


Iceland 2016 - 1 week - emplacement of iButton temperature sensors for one week at Isafjordur, NW Iceland. Inluding dGPS localisation.

Iceland 2015 - 5 weeks - GPS support for EuFAR funded NERC ARSF survey flights in western (Hekla), northern (Silglufjordur) and central Iceland (Holuhraun) and additional data collection for ground control purposes. SfM, GPR and GPS surveying in support of Costanza Morino's PhD project.

French Alps, Termignon, August 2014 - 7 days. Terrestrial laser scanning, SfM and GPS surveys of solifluction lobes for Leverhulme project. Participants, Matt Balme, Colman Gallagher, Richard Soare and Costanza Morino.

Chile, November 2013 - 12 days. GPS SfM and total station survey of slope forms along the Quebradas in northern Chile (Arica) for the Leverhulme project with Matt Balme.

Iceland, 2013 - 10 days. Collecting GPS and ground spectral data (with ASD fieldspec Pro) in support of NERC ARSF survey at Isafjordur. Field assistant Andrew Wilson.

Iceland, 2012 - 14 days. Collecting GPS data in support of EuFAR funded NERC ARSF survey at Tindastoll and Deildardalur (replaced Isafjordur). Field assistants Peter Fawdon, Alex Barrett and Jason Ramsdale.

Namibia, August 2011 - 10 days. Installation of meteorological stations on dunes south of Walvis Bay to study interaction between dunes and sea-fog for comparison to martian dune systems in collaboration with Mary Bourke, PSI.

Svalbard, July 2011 - 2 weeks - GPS support for survey flight and additional data collection for ground control purposes. Field assistant Marlene Bamberg.

Iceland 2008 - 2 weeks - GPS and TPS surveying of new debris flow landforms and revisting sites identified in the 2007 reconnaissance to perform surveying. Field assistants Martin Towner and Sam Hammond.

La Gomera 2008 - 1 week - GPS surveying of 3 gullies in the arid parts of the island (joint fieltrip with Grupo de Geología - ESCET - Univ. Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain).

Iceland 2007 - 6 weeks - GPS survyeing of gullies formed by debris flows above the town of Ísafjorður in the Westfjords and reconnaissance of degratational landforms all aroung Iceland from Route 1. GPS base station and stand-by cover for NERC ARSF aerial survey with LiDAR and air photography. Matt Balme and John Murray.

Undergraduate field experience: Northern Spain (2001), Dorset and Cornwall (2002), Skye (2002), Greece (2002) and Southern Spain (2004).


2006-2010 PhD Research Degree Open University

2000-2004 Robinson College, Cambridge University
4th year: 2(1) In Geology - MSci.
3rd year: 2(1) In Geology - BA.
2nd year: 2(1) In Geology and Material Science and Metallurgy.
1st year: 2(1) In Physics, Maths, Geology, Materials and Mineral Sciences.

1998-2000 Our Lady's Chetwynde School, Barrow-in-Furness
A-Level: Grade A In Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Geography,
General Studies.

1993-1998 Loughborough High School, Leicestershire
GCSE: Grade A/A* In English Language, English Literature, Maths, Biology,
Chemistry, French, Geography and History.

Teaching Experience


University of Nantes 2016 onwards: 8-12hrs of Masters level teaching for courses in Planetary Geosciences.

Co-supervisor for ten PhD students at the Open University from 2012 onwards (seven graduated  2015-2019), external supervisor for one student at University of Arkansas.

Supervisor two French PhD students at LPG starting in 2018 and 2020.

Supporting PhD students from University of Arkansas (3 months, 2014), Université de Paris Sud (20days 2011) and Université de Nantes (20days 2012) in Mars Chamber laboratory work.

One-on-one supervision of Masters Students at the University of Nantes in 2011-12, 2016-19 and at the University of Cambridge from 2004-09 and 2014. Running introductory GIS courses for groups of staff and graduate students at Open University from 2006-2010 and 2012-2015.

Open University Topic Specialist for Remote Observation and Planetary Habitability topics in S288, a second year science course.

Full-time Senior Demonstrator at SXR260 introductory geology course at the Open University - week-long field school summer 2008-9. Included lecturing and small group teaching of map-work, outcrop, hand specimen and thin section geology.

Commercial Experience

Sept. 2004 - July 2006: Environmental Consultant for Arcadis GMI

My main role was working within the GIS department - thematic map generation, risk ranking analysis, generation of geological cross-sections from borehole data using HydroGeo Analyst software. Day to day my job involved general company GIS work with ongoing specific project work, as shown below.

• Data compilation and analysis for a major project on a former oil refinery. This involved creating queries for large datasets for analysis and presentation. This data was from field-collected borehole and hydrogeological data, laboratory analysis of soil and water samples collected on site. This project involved extensive use of MS Access, ArcView GIS and HydroGeo Analyst.
• Regional Risk-ranking analysis of high voltage pressurised-oil electricity cables. Involving conversion of the data and analysis based on GIS databases of environmental risk, including the location of SSSI, hertiage sites, aquifer vulnerability, surface water receptors, to name but a few examples.
• Pan-European risk ranking of petrol filling stations with GIS, considering geology, hydrogeology, hydrology and designated sites (nature reserves, source protection zones, etc)
• Compiled environmental monitoring reports for a disused landfill site.
• Site experience with drilling techniques (Shell and Auger, rotary and percussion), well installation, Health and Safety management and recording geological and environmental data.
• Software evaluation, selection and integration into company reports. Training staff to use aforementioned software. Software was needed to make the interpretation of field data and its presentation easy and manageable.

Invited talks

• Seminar “Glaciers and gullies on Mars, what is the role of water and CO2-ice sublimation?” Sheffield 10 December 2019.
 • Seminar “The role of liquid water and ices in gullies on Mars” MSSL UCL 13 December 2019.
• Invited Keynote “What is eroding gullies on Mars?” at 8th International Symposium on Gully Erosion, 21-27 July 2019 Townsville, Australia.
• Invited Keynote “Sub-glacial moistness on Mars” at 8th Astrobiology of Britain conference, April 25-26th, 2019 Newcastle University, UK.
• Invited keynote “Planetary Geomorphology” at the 8th Italian Young Geomorphologists’ Days 26-28th June 2019 Milan and Veny Valley, Italy.

• Seminar “Sediment transport on Mars: experiments and remote sensing” ISTerre, Grenoble, 20 June 2018.
• Seminar“Gullies on Mars the roles of dry ice and water in their formation insights from remote sensing, laboratory simulation and climate modelling” University of Chicago, 15 September 2017
• Seminar “Gullies on Mars the roles of dry ice and water in their formation insights from remote sensing, laboratory simulation and climate modelling” ESTEC, 8 September 2017
• Seminar“Martian Geomorphology: insights from experiments, terrestrial analogues and topography” IPGP, Paris 1 June 2017.
• Invited Keynote “Sediment transport on Mars and beyond - does terrestrial geomorphology help or hinder our understanding?” Invited speaker at the Steepest Decent Meeting 29 April 2017 Vienna Austria.
• Seminar “Sediment transport on Mars and beyond - remote sensing and laboratory work”, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, 16 March 2017.
• Seminar “Simulating gullies on Mars – laboratory and topographic studies”, Southampton University, 6 December 2016.
• Seminar “Martian geomorphology: insights from topographic and laboratory simulation studies”, Space Research & Planetary Sciences, University of Bern, 2 November 2016.
• Invited Keynote “Coulées de débris sur Terre et Mars”, keynote presentation during the national meeting of the CNRS research group “GdR Transnat” transport of natural materials at Roscoff, France, 8-10 November 2016.
• Seminar “The role of meta-stable fluids in present-day surface processes on Mars: a laboratory investigation”, Sedgwick Club, University of Cambridge, 23 November 2015.
• Seminar “Melting Mars: Gullies, Ground Ice and Glaciers”, Division of Geography, Trinity College, Dublin, 31 October 2014.
• Seminar “Permafrost and thaw on Mars” Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, 14 October 2014.
• Seminar “The martian cryosphere: there’s more ice than we thought!” Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, 8 May 2014.
• Seminar “Recent water flows on Mars: insights from topography and lab experiments” Landscape Dynamics Cluster, University of Oxford, 28 March 2014.
• Seminar "Exploring recent water flowing on Mars: laboratory simulation & analysis of high resolution topography”, Environmental Monitoring & Modelling Research Group, Kings College London, 10 May 2013.


• Completed the following OU Courses: Mathematical methods and fluid mechanics (MST322); Object-oriented programming with Java (M255); Putting Java to work (M257); Practical modern statistics (M249)
• NERC Communicating Science to the Public - 2 days Swindon, Nov 2008
• Statistics for Environmental Evaluation Workshop - 1 week Glasgow 2008
• UKGrad Windermere 4 days Nov 2008

Interests and Activities


• 22 mai 2019 Pint of Science « La planète Mars reprend vie? » 30pers

• 6 mai 2019 « Lunar exploration: past and future missions » Speech Contest 141 lycéens en classe de 1ere S

• "Ça bouillonne sur les pentes martiennes" Public lecture for the local astronomy club, Société d'Astronomie de Nantes (SAN) 15 January 2018 - full house (~100pers)

I participate in the hospital visits of the association "p'tits cueilleurs d'étoiles". I helped to demonstrate at the VR2Planets 3D visualisation stand at: Salon du Bourget, Paris Airshow in 2017, Local Science Festival in 2016 and EPSC2015 public exhibition at the Cité de Congres in Nantes. I was a Science Ambassador in the UK and coordinated outreach activities at the Open University, usually in the form of school visits from 2006-2010. In 2007 I was coordinator for the Open University Earth Science Department’s contribution to the Milton Keynes Science Festival. 2003/04 I was coordinator for the Time Truck - a school’s outreach program that tours schools in Cambridge Science Festival and hosts an open day at the end of the week - see for more information. I designed the website, raised funds and arranged the logistics. I also participated in making the exhibits and teaching along with all the other volunteers.

SPORT: I play touch rugby for Arrows Touch Nantes local club and was selected to play for the French National Team in the World Cup 2011. I have BCU 3 star award in kayaking and continue to enjoy sea and white water kayaking in France. I enjoy hill walking and skiing, when the opportunity arises.