Growing up in SE Cornwall, UK, I owe my interest in Quaternary geology and geomorphology to the Cornish landscape and coastline as well as trips with my father, a geography school teacher, to the fells of the English Lake District and ski trips to the Alps.
I undertook a BSc in Physical Geography at Lancaster University, UK (including a year’s exchange at the University of British Columbia), graduating with First Class Honours in 1997. My undergraduate dissertation focussed on the raised beaches and periglacial stratigraphy of the SE Cornish coast.
Bypassing a masters degree, I undertook my PhD in Quaternary and marine geology at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, UK, graduating in 2001. Supervised by Prof. James Scourse, my PhD focussed on the deglaciation of the Celtic Sea, the subsequent Holocene marine transgression of the region, and the use of fossil molluscan faunas to reconstruct past sea-levels.
Following my PhD I continued at Bangor University as a research associate working as a consultant on geoconservation issues as well as investigating the IRD signal of the British-Irish Ice Sheet in the NE Atlantic. In 2004, I commenced a three-year NSERC-funded postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. John England at the University of Alberta studying the deglaciation of the western Canadian Arctic and its isostatic sea-level signature. This included several field seasons on Melville and Banks islands at various field campus in the company of John England and his research group.
In 2007 I began at MacEwan University as a assistant professor, making associate professor in 2015. I have continued my research interests in the Canadian Arctic and NW European continental shelf, including further field camps in the western Arctic and ship-based work in the Northwest Passage aboard the Canadian Coastguard icebreaker CCGS Amundsen. My ongoing work is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative, working with researchers at the University of Alberta, Bangor University, Durham University, Queen’s University, and the Geological Survey of Canada – Atlantic.
Married to my close research collaborator, Dr Anna Pieńkowski, my other interests include home mechanics, 4×4 vehicle exploration, landscape photography, Arctic history, antique communications equipment, mountain sports, and cross-country skiing.