Dr Roger J. Braithwaite

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1957-1964. Educated at King Edward VI School, Retford, England.

1964-1967. Studied Physics with Mathematics at University of Reading, UK. B.Sc. awarded July 1967.

1966 & 1967. Summer expeditions to Svartisen ice cap, northern Norway, with University of Reading.

1967-1968. Studied Meteorology at University of Reading, UK. M.Sc. awarded December 1968.

1968-1971. Postgraduate Research at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, with field trips to Arctic Canada. Ph. D. awarded July 1978.

1971-1979. Research Assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich with field research in northern Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and the Arctic.

1979-1994. Glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Greenland (GGU), Copenhagen with many fieldtrips to Greenland, mainly to southern and western Greenland but with two expeditions to North Greenland.

1988-1997. Scientific Editor at the Journal of Glaciology.

1994-1997. Lecturer in Geography, the University of Manchester.

1997-2010. Reader in Geography, the University of Manchester.

2006-2007. Guest Professor in Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China.

2010- Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Geography, University of Manchester.

2011. Study tour Xinjiang, China, at invitation of UNESCO (China).

2012. Guest lecturer at glaciology summer school, MacCarthy, Alaska (sponsored by University of Alaska, Fairbanks).

2015. Sailed through north-west passage on MS Akademi Ioffe.

2018. Sailed around Spitzbergen on MS Sergei Vavilov.

Social responsibility

Some of my early research in Greenland was directed to the planning of hydro-electric power stations in Greenland. In the late 1980s there was groing concern about possible incresed melting of the Greeenland ice sheet under Global Warming, and I refocussed my research onto possible sea-level changes caused by melting ice. In this connection, I contributed to the First and Second Assessment Reports of the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1991 and 1996. I also lead three research projects in the area funded by the European Community (1990-1992, 1992-1994 and 1997-2000). From all of this, I claim experience in policy-relevant research, or even socially-relevant research.

During my time at the Geological Survey of Greenland, Copenhagen, policy-relevant research was looked down on, and project reports were often regarded as "quick and dirty", and were filed away unread. My personal policy was to speedily distribute the project reports and then try to publish the underlying science in refereed international journals. This is now normal practice but was the subject of acrimonious debate in Denmark in the 1980s.

I have recently given public lectures on the geography of glaciers, Greenland, global Warming, melting ice and climate change, and related topics. I once gave a lecture "The Greenland ice sheet - from top to bottom" on a tourist ship in the middle of Baffin Bay (August 2015). I am happy to continue this sort of social engagement by giving lectures on request.


BSc. (Reading), MSc. (Reading), PhD (McGill)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).

I have been a member of the International Glaciological Society (IGS) for 51 years, 1966-2017, and have frequently participated in their international conferences and branch meetings.

I am a frequent attendee at the Alpine Glaciology Meeting that is held every winter in rotation between Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany.

Further information

The University of Manchester appointed me Honorary Senior Research Fellow for the three years 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2013, with renewal every year since. In this capacity I continue and further develope my current research. I have taken occasional courses in ArcGis and R to upgrade my spatial and statistical skills.

Areas of expertise

  • GB Physical geography - Glaciers, climate change, Global warming, Greenland, The arctic, North-West Passage, statistical methods


  • glaciers, global warming, climate change, arctic, north-west passage

Related information


Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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Student Theses

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Science

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