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Samuel Cook MA (Cantab.) MPhil

Samuel Cook MA (Cantab.) MPhil

PhD Candidate, Polar Studies

My PhD project aims to develop a fully-coupled model of a tidewater glacier, using the open-source, 3D, Full-Stokes glacial flow model, Elmer/Ice, including calving, linked to a subglacial hydrology model (GlaDS).



  • 2013-2015. Graduate Business Analyst, EDF Energy.


  • 2016- PhD in Polar Studies. Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Selwyn College), UK. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council
  • 2015-2016. MPhil (Distinction) in Polar Studies. Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Selwyn College), UK. Thesis: Blink and You'll Miss It: An Investigation Into Glacier Surging on Flade Isblink. Partly funded by the Newton Trust.
  • 2010-2013. MA (Cantab.) (1st class) in Geography. University of Cambridge (Selwyn College), UK. Thesis on proglacial hydrology of Storglaciaren, Sweden.

Awards and grants

  • PhD Studentship (2016), Cambridge Earth System Science Doctoral Training Partnership, National Environmental Research Council, ~£86,000.
  • Newton College Master's Studentship (2015), Cambridge Trust, ~£12,000.
  • Lyttelton Scholarship (2011-2013), Selwyn College, £50.


My research focusses on modelling tidewater glaciers using the 3D, Full-Stokes Elmer/Ice suite of software. The initial step is to implement a subglacial hydrology model (GlaDS) within Elmer/Ice, before linking this to the existing calving code within Elmer/Ice. I will then use GlaDS to drive a plume model at the calving front to better model glacier flow and melt. Once this is achieved, the ultimate objective is to compare the distribution of calving events modelled with those recorded in radar interferometry data as a way of validating the combined model. The model will be initially applied to Store Glacier, a tidewater outlet glacier in Western Greenland.


Conference contributions

  • Cook, S.J., Christoffersen, P., Todd, J. and Palmer, S.J. (2017). Cold basal conditions during surges control flow of fringing Arctic ice caps in Greenland. Geophysical Research Abstracts (European Geosciences Union General Assembly), 19, abstract no. EGU2017-816.
  • Cook, S.J., Christoffersen, P. and Todd, J. (2018). Modelling subglacial hydrology and its effect on calving at a large Greenland outlet glacier. Geophysical Research Abstracts (European Geosciences Union General Assembly), 20, abstract no. EGU2018-442.


  • IA Cryosphere supervisor (2017- )
  • IB Glacial Processes supervisor (2017- )
  • IB Glacial Processes demonstrator (2018- )

External activities

  • Young Member then Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (2008-)
  • Various outreach activities at the Scott Polar Research Institute, including Twilight and Festival of Science (2015-)
  • Personal website at