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Antonio Abellan MSc, PhD Eng

Antonio Abellan MSc, PhD Eng

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Engineering Geologist interested in monitoring, modelling and predicting gravity-driven instabilities in rock and ice cliffs using high resolution 3D remote sensing techniques (LiDAR, UAV, time-lapse photogrammetry) and inverse modelling.

MSc in Engineering Geology at University of Alicante (1st class honours) and PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Barcelona (European Mention), with pre-doctoral research stays in the Geography Department at Durham University (United Kingdom) and the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). Antonio has contributed with 23 publications in peer-reviewed ISI journals, and 40 other publications (book chapters, extended abstracts and peer-reviewed articles in non-ISI journals). He is actively collaborating with leading research groups in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, Canada and Germany, including PhD and/or MSc supervision and has been part of the organizing and scientific committee of several national and international conferences. He has been presenting his research outputs in more than 30 conferences, workshops, symposiums and invited talks.



  • 2016-present | Marie Curie Research Fellow | University of Cambridge (UK)
  • 2015-present | Adjunct assistant professor | Queens University (Canada) | Non-stipend
  • 2014-2016 | Junior Lecturer | University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • 2014 | Guest professor | Eichstätt University (Germany)
  • 2009-2013 | Post-doc researcher | University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • 2004-2009 | PhD Student & undergraduate teaching assistant | University of Barcelona (Spain)


  • 2009 | PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Barcelona (Spain) - Magna cum Laude | European Mention
  • 2003 | BSc + MSc in Engineering Geology, University of Alicante (Spain) - First Class Honours

Research projects, awards and fellowships

  • 2016 | Marie Curie Research project: EU H2020 Program (main applicant)
  • 2015 | Scientific Expedition: Herbette Foundation (co-applicant)
  • 2012-2014 | Research project: Swiss National Science Foundation (co-applicant)
  • 2013 | Summer School Travel Award: Landslide Modelling & Early Warning Systems
  • 2011-2012 | Research project: Swiss National Science Foundation (co-applicant)
  • 2009 | Academic award: PhD Thesis European Mention
  • 2007 | PhD Mobility Fellowship: hosting institution: Univ. Lausanne
  • 2006 | PhD Mobility Fellowship: hosting institution: Host: Univ. Durham
  • 2004-2008 | PhD Fellowship: Spanish Ministry of Science & Education
  • 2004 | European Geosciences Union Travel Award
  • 2003 | Prize: Second-highest-ranking student at national level
  • 2003 | Mobility fellowship, University of Barcelona
  • 2003 | Academic award: First Class Honours during MSc + BSc studies
  • 2002 | Seneca Mobility Fellowship, undergraduate Spanish Ministry Science


During my Marie Curie research project at SPRI, I will explore analogies between glacier calving and rockfall processes. Ice failures on glacier termini show very similar fingerprints to Rock-slope failure (RSF) processes, nevertheless, progressive failures on glacier fronts occur at a much higher rate than that observed on mountain cliffs, which may lead to the latter being used as a proxy for investigating the occurrence of RSF in Alpine areas.


Selected publications


Teaching and mentoring experience related both with remote sensing techniques (LiDAR, photogrammetry, geo-computing, geomorphometry, digital terrain analysis and image treatment) and with earth surface processes (natural hazards, applied geology, geomorphology, fieldwork investigations, modelling)