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Dr Gareth Rees M.A., Ph.D.

Dr Gareth Rees M.A., Ph.D.

University Senior Lecturer with duties at the Scott Polar Research Institute and Fellow of Christ's College

Physicist with research interests predominantly in the development and application of spaceborne remote sensing techniques to monitoring the dynamics of Arctic glaciated and vegetated terrain.



  • 1983-1985: Postdoctoral research at Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, University of Cambridge. Research Fellow, Christ's College, Cambridge
  • 1985-1991: Senior Assistant in Research, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.
  • 1991-2001: Assistant Director of Research, Scott Polar Research Institute.
  • 2001-2001: University Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (with duties at the Scott Polar Research Institute)
  • 2001-present: University Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (with duties at the Scott Polar Research Institute)


  • BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 1980.
  • MA, University of Cambridge, 1984.
  • PhD in Radio Astronomy, University of Cambridge, 1985.
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics, 1996.


Major research interests

Dynamics of high-latitude vegetation and interaction with climate

Long-term collaborative programme, with the Geography Faculty of Moscow State University, British Antarctic Survey, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, and the Arctic University of Norway, to develop and apply spaceborne monitoring techniques to tundra and forest change in the Russian Arctic and elsewhere as a consequence of climate change, airborne industrial pollutants and anthropogenic factors including reindeer husbandry.

Cryospheric remote sensing

Development of new spaceborne and airborne techniques for mapping surface properties of glaciers and monitoring snow cover.

Remote sensing of high-latitude fauna

This is a long-running research area which began with the study of reindeer in northern Russia. Collaboration with British Antarctic Survey has developed new methods for studying penguins and whales and is currently focussed on seals.

Current PhD students

  • Praveen Teleti
  • Prem Gill (jointly with BAS)


[Publications will be loaded automatically from the University's publications database...]

External activities

  • Member of the Advisory Group for the International Science Initiative for the Russian Arctic (ISIRA), from 1998.
  • Member of IASC steering committee for the Taiga-Tundra Interface, from 2000.
  • Co-director of the International Polar Year core programme PPS Arctic
  • Member of steering committee, International Circumpolar Remote Sensing Symposium (since 2010).
  • Member of Editorial Board of 'Remote Sensing' (since 2019).