Samuel Cook

Research Statement

I work principally on numerical modelling of glaciers in several locations and with a range of techniques to investigate contemporary glacier dynamics. I have a particular interest in tidewater glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet, but also do research on mountain glaciers around the world. I have expertise in both FORTRAN and python, and in the Elmer/Ice modelling suite.

I also enjoy considering glacier dynamics in imaginary situations, so am probably by default the only person to have seriously thought about the degree of glaciation in Middle-earth.


I completed an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Cambridge, before spending two years working in the private sector as a business analyst. I then completed an MPhil and PhD in Polar Studies back at Cambridge under the supervision of Dr Poul Christoffersen, focusing on numerical modelling of Store Glacier, Greenland, a large tidewater outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet. This involved developing a fully coupled model of ice flow, calving, subglacial hydrology and meltwater plumes within the Elmer/Ice finite-element modelling suite. The PhD also included a month of fieldwork at Store Glacier, where I used a terrestrial radar interferometer to gather a record of calving activity at the glacier for the purposes of model validation.

My first postdoc position was at the Université Grenoble Alpes, in Grenoble, France, working on introducing a data assimilation framework, relying on the PDAF library developed at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, to Elmer/Ice under the supervision of Fabien Gillet-Chaulet.

Moving to the ICE team at UNIL represents my second postdoctoral position, where I will be working on using Guillaume’s Instructed Glacier Model to reconstruct the basal topography of glaciers around the world.


A full list of publications is available here.


University of Lausanne
Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics
Géopolis – Bureau 4630
1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

+41 21 692 36 29