Dr. Philip Porter BSc PhD


Phil Porter is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at the University of Hertfordshire, and has been active in glaciological research since 1993. After completing a PhD (Leeds) in borehole instrumentation of fast flowing glaciers, Phil took up lectureships at Manchester and Leeds and joined the University of Hertfordshire in 2003, since when he has pursued and developed research interests in glacial ecosystems, the analysis of proglacial suspended sediments using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the morphology and flow characteristics of englacial and subglacial hydrological systems. Recent fieldwork has been undertaken in Svalbard and Iceland, supported by grant funding from the EU and the Nuffield Foundation.

Phil is a member of the International Glaciological Society, the British Geomorphological Research Group and the American Geophysical Union.

Current research is focused upon two key areas:

  • Examining the nature and functioning of supraglacial (surface) and proglacial ecosystems and in particular, the role that vegetation plays in those ecosystems and how that role may develop and change in a warming world.
  • Assessing the rate and extent of proglacial/paraglacial geomorphological changes in the high-arctic and European Alps in the light of accelerating rates of glacier ablation.

Selected projects

  • Biogeography of glacial environments.
  • SEM analysis of fluvio-glacial composite suspended sediment particles.
  • Sedimentological and geotechnical properties of paraglacial deposits.
  • Drainage dynamics of hazardous moraine-dammed proglacial lakes.

Recent publications

  • Irvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Barrand, N. D., Porter, P. R., Hodson, A. J., and Murray, T. (2011). Recent High-Arctic glacial sediment redistribution: A process perspective using airborne lidar. Geomorphology, 125(1), 27-39.
  • Porter, P. R., Vatne, G., Ng, Felix and Irvine-Fynn, T. D. L. (2010). Ice-marginal sediment delivery to the surface of a High-Arctic glacier: Austre Brøggerbreen, Svalbard. Geografiska Annaler, 92(A): 439-451.
  • Curry, A. M., Sands, T. B., and Porter, P. R. (2009). Geotechnical controls on a steep lateral moraine undergoing paraglacial slope adjustment. Geological Society Special Publication, 320, 181-197.
  • Curry, A. M., Porter, P. R., Irvine-Fynn, T. D. L., Rees, G., Sands, T. B., Puttick, J. (2009). Quantitative particle size, microtextural and outline shape analyses of glacigenic sediment reworked by paraglacial debris flows. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34, 1, 48-62.
  • Porter, P. R., Evans, A. J., Hodson, A. J., Lowe, A. T., and Crabtree, M. (2008). Sediment-moss interactions on a temperate glacier; Falljökull, Iceland. Annals of Glaciology, 48: 25-31.

Dr. Porter's extended publications list, with further details on his Departmental web-page.

Link to UH profile page

University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2023.