Ben Robson

PhD student

I am a researcher interested in geomorphological and glaciological processes in the high mountain environment. My background is a mix of geomorphology, ecology, engineering, construction, and mountain sports instruction, an unusual combination that is surprisingly useful in the field of high mountain research. I am particularly passionate about fieldwork and believe in the importance of collecting quality data. I completed my masters degree in Earth Surface Processes in Mountain Environments at UNIL in 2023 for which I won the faculty prize for my work on hangings glaciers at sites in Valais and French Alps. My current research is a 5 year PhD project focussing on the distribution of permafrost in intermediate slopes, between 40° and 60°. These have been poorly studied to date yet cover vast areas of our local alpine environment. In the current context of widespread degradation of permafrost in the face of climate change, it is essential to improve our knowledge of the distribution and structure of permafrost on this type of slope. The project is co-supervised by Christophe Lambiel, UNIL, and Florence Magnin at the EDYTEM laboratory, Université de Savoie Mont-Blanc, France. Our work aims to improve the modeling of permafrost distribution of steep mountain slopes. My research methods include UAV surveys, GNSS surveys, electrical resistivity tomography, ground-penetrating radar, and ground surface temperature analysis.