Katie Miles


Katie is a PhD student at Aberystwyth University, funded by an AberDoc PhD scholarship. She has just completed an MPhil in Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, determining the surface hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet using Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery. Prior to that, she studied a BA in Geography, also at the University of Cambridge, undertaking a field season on Glaciers Noir and Blanc in the French Alps for her dissertation: Investigating the effect of glacial debris cover on hydraulic efficiency. Her PhD aims to investigate and characterise the englacial and subglacial drainage system of a high-altitude debris-covered glacier.

Excited about the project (science) because:

So little is known about the subsurface hydrology of high-altitude debris-covered glaciers, and this project provides a unique and unprecedented opportunity to ‘see inside’!

Excited about the project (non-science) because:

The chance to work in a pretty crazy location, hike up to Everest Base Camp, and look up at Everest and some amazing scenery (so I’ve been told!) every day.

Favourite spare-time activity:

Cycling through the Welsh countryside or jammin’ in a jazz band.

Highest altitude before the project (and where):

3000 m (just!) on Glacier Blanc, French Alps.

Worst fieldwork experience:

A slip of the hand whilst doing a test dye-trace on the proglacial stream of Glacier Noir in the French Alps, which resulted in a flood of fluorescent pink water that we had to watch travel down-valley, through the National Park and past all the tourists and trekkers walking up towards us. Pretty embarrassing…

Social media:


University page:

(will have one soon)