Alison Cook

Doctor

  • Scottish Marine Institute

    PA37 1QA Oban

    United Kingdom

20052022

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Personal profile

Research expertise

I spent 15 years undertaking mapping and research on Antarctica, focusing on glaciology and ice/ocean interactions, primarily using remote sensing and mapping techniques. From 2000-2010 I worked at the British Antarctic Survey as a Geographic Data Analyst. Initially I worked in a partnership with the United States Geological Survey on a 3-year project to comprehensively map changes in the coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. In later years I had responsibility for producing many of the UK’s maps of the Antarctic Peninsula region, involving the acquisition of field data, photogrammetry and cartographic design. I increasingly became interested in working on the scientific applications of these datasets, and in 2005 led a paper published in Science reporting on the widespread retreat of glaciers along the Antarctic Peninsula coastline.

In 2010, I took the decision to do a Ph.D. to research the glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula and examine the controls on their frontal behaviour. Supported by the AXA Research Fund, I achieved my doctorate from Swansea University, graduating in January 2015. After a period of tutoring and demonstrating in the Geography Department at Swansea, I was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship at Durham University. I took up this three year post in September 2015 and my research focused on glacier changes in the Canadian Arctic. I applied similar methodologies to those I used in studying the Antarctic Peninsula, using remote sensing and GIS to determine regional glacier changes and their drivers.

During my time at Durham University I connected with Dr Luke Copland at the University of Ottawa and began collaborative fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago onboard CCGS Amundsen, doing aerial photography and GPS surveying. This led to a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Ottawa, where I worked from 2018-2020. My research was divided between glaciology and spatial analysis of ship track and sea ice data, and I became highly motivated to research the impact that increased shipping due to the reduction in sea ice has on local communities. I am now continuing this research at the Scottish Association for Marine Science as a PDRA in Polar Geospatial Data Analysis.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

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