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Dr Matt Westoby

Senior Lecturer

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

I am a geomorphologist who speciailises in quantifying landscape evolution in glacial and ice-marginal systems over a range of timescales. My research interests include the reconstruction of extreme glacial lake outburst floods (or 'GLOFs') using dam-breach and hydrodynamic models and informed through geomorphological analysis, as well as the geomorphological dynamics of debris-covered glaciers. Much of my work to date has employed high-resolution topographic surveying tools and methods (e.g. 'structure from motion' photogrammetry, unpiloted aerial vehicles, terrestrial laser scanning, change detection, etc). I have undertaken fieldwork primarily in the European Alps (Norway, Switzerland, Italy) and the Himalaya (Nepal, Tibet).

I joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences as a PDRA on NERC-funded research in 2014, and thereafter held positions as a Lecturer (Fixed Term) and, most recently, Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow in Extreme Environments. I was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography in September 2020. I teach on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules, and am currently the Programme Lead for the Department's BSc Geography and BSc Physical Geography degree pathways.

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Cold and Palaeo-Environment Research Group (CAPE)

Matt Westoby

Campus Address

Room A217a
Ellison Building
City Campus

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Using climate reanalysis data in conjunction with multi-temporal satellite thermal imagery to derive supraglacial debris thickness changes from energy balance modelling, Stewart, R., Westoby, M., Pellicciotti, F., Rowan, A., Swift, D., Brock, B., Woodward, J. 1 Apr 2021, In: Journal of Glaciology
  • Reconstructing the Chongbaxia Tsho glacial lake outburst flood in the Eastern Himalaya: Evolution, process and impacts, Nie, Y., Liu, W., Liu, Q., Hu, X., Westoby, M. 1 Dec 2020, In: Geomorphology
  • Geomorphological evolution of a debris‐covered glacier surface, Westoby, M., Rounce, D., Shaw, T., Fyffe, C., Moore, P., Stewart, R., Brock, B. 1 Nov 2020, In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
  • Processes at the margins of supraglacial debris cover: quantifying dirty ice ablation and debris redistribution, Fyffe, C., Woodget, A., Kirkbride, M., Deline, P., Westoby, M., Brock, B. 1 Aug 2020, In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

PGR Supervision

  • James Linighan How are large permafrost rock faces responding to climate change? Monitoring rock fall activity with an in-situ, high resolution, low-cost gigapixel and thermal imaging sensor network. Start Date: 12/11/2019
  • Rebecca Stewart Quantifying debris supply and debris flux in deglaciating mountain glacier catchments Start Date: 01/10/2018


  • PhD June 30 2013
  • MSc September 30 2009
  • BSc (Hons) July 01 2007
  • Full Member British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) 2014
  • Full Member European Geoscience Union (EGU) 2014

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