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Dr. James Smith - Profile

photo of Dr. James Smith

+44 (0)1223 221229

British Antarctic Survey
Madingley Road, High Cross
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0ET United Kingdom


I joined BAS in 2005 as marine geologist in the Quaternary West Antarctic Deglaciation project (2005-2009).  Since 2009 I have been a member of the Palaeo-Ice Sheets work package (within BAS’s Ice Sheets Programme led by Professor David Vaughan) with a focus on establishing improved histories of ice-sheet change in order to provide context and constraint for future projections. In September 2011, I was awarded the Laws Prize. Prior to joining BAS I completed a PhD (NERC-Case) on palaeo ice shelf reconstructions at Durham University/BAS supervised by Professors Mike Bentley and Dominic Hodgson.

I have participated in 9 Antarctic field seasons to areas of the Antarctic Peninsula, Amundsen-Bellinghausen seas, and Weddell Sea. My current research is focussed on understanding the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and specifically:

1) Establishing the maximum extent and retreat history of WAIS in the Amundsen and Weddell seas.

2) Reconstructing ice shelf history and investigating sub-ice shelf processes. I am currently analysing sub-ice shelf sediments collected from beneath George VI, Larsen C and Pine Island Glacier) to reconstruct ice shelf history and sedimentary processes beneath ice shelves.

3) Understanding the glacial and environmental history of South Orkney Islands. Together with Dr Ali Graham and Professor Julian Dowdeswell, I supervise a PhD student (William Dickens) who is reconstructing the glacial/environmental history of the South Orkney plateau.