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Michael (Mike) Hambrey

About Michael (Mike) Hambrey

Glaciology Presenter


Mike is an emeritus professor of glaciology at Aberystwyth University in Wales. Before “retiring,” he delivered undergraduate and master’s courses in physical geography, geology, glaciology and polar environments, as well as supervised many PhD students. He served as director of the university’s Centre for Glaciology and was the founding director of the Climate Change Consortium of Wales. He was previously head of earth science at Liverpool John Moores University and a researcher at the University of Cambridge and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Mike has undertaken cutting-edge field-based research in geology and glaciology, spanning 49 years, notably in the Antarctic and Arctic, but also in non-polar mountain regions. This research has yielded over 150 scientific publications. For this work, Queen Elizabeth II has twice honored him in person with the Polar Medal (1989 and 2012), and the Hambrey Cliffs on James Ross Island, Antarctica, were named after him. In 2018, he was awarded the SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research. 

As an ardent advocate of presenting scientific information to the wider public, Mike lectures widely around the U.K. on the consequences of climate change, especially from a polar perspective. He has also published several richly illustrated books, including Islands of the Arctic (2 editions), Gletscher der Welt (also translated into French), Colour Atlas of Glacial Phenomena and, most recently, The Continent of Antarctica (2018).

Mike holds degrees from the University of Manchester (B.Sc. and PhD) and the University of Cambridge (MA) and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Geological Society of London, the Higher Education Academy and the Learned Society of Wales.

He joined Quark Expeditions as an occasional lecturer and guide in 2016 and subsequently worked with the expedition teams in East Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica.