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Atmospheric scientist to do glacier-focused research at German university

Thursday, 17 March 2016 1:27pm

Cullen-Mt-Cook-image
Dr Nicolas Cullen.

Geography’s Dr Nicolas Cullen has been awarded two grants to undertake a research project in Germany aimed at teasing out the key atmospheric processes controlling both glacier advance and retreat in the Southern Alps.

Dr Cullen has gained a Humboldt Research Fellowship and a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) research grant to undertake his research at the Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation supports highly qualified scholars not resident in Germany to spend extended periods of research there, while the DAAD is that country’s largest scholarship/funding-awarding organisation for academic exchange between Germany and all parts of the world.

Dr Cullen’s research host will be Professor Thomas Mölg, who is an expert in resolving the relative impacts of weather and climate on mountain glaciers on time scales ranging from years to millennia and over small to large scale areas.

"I hope our collaboration will help improve our understanding about the role different modes of climate play in controlling glacier behaviour in the Southern Hemisphere."

Over the last few years, Dr Cullen has worked closely together with colleagues and students to establish Brewster Glacier as a benchmark site for glaciological and meteorological research, providing a platform from which to assess glacier sensitivity to atmospheric forcing in the Southern Alps.

“Professor Mölg’s research expertise and my unique data sets and knowledge about the atmospheric controls on glacier behaviour in these mountains should prove a potent combination,” Dr Cullen says.

“I hope our collaboration will help improve our understanding about the role different modes of climate play in controlling glacier behaviour in the Southern Hemisphere,” he says.

Dr Cullen will travel to Germany at the end of April.