E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Oxford phone: 44-1865-270519
University of Limerick phone: 353-61-234642
Fax: (Oxford) 44-1865-270515; (Limerick) 353-61-334927
UK mobile 00 44 7811 220415; Irish mobile 00 353 85 814 8867
I was an undergraduate at Corpus
Christi College, Oxford, gaining a first in mathematics in 1974,
and then I wrote a D.Phil. on glacier dynamics under the
supervision of Alan Tayler, submitted in 1977 and granted in
1978. People often ask me how I got started in this apparently
abstruse subject. In fact, Dale Larson, then a post-doc with Jim
Murray at Oxford, had a paper by John Nye concerning waves on
glaciers, and a bunch of us got interested in the problem; I simply
kept going with it.
From 1977 to 1980 I was a postdoc at Trinity College Dublin,
where I continued working on glaciology, and also started work on
a subject which I still pursue.
After that, I went to M.I.T., first as Instructor, and then as
Assistant Professor (in the Mathematics Department). I left M.I.T.
in 1985 to take up a University lecturership in Mathematics at
together with a
at Corpus Christi College.
In 1999 I was appointed Adjunct Professor in the University of
Limerick, and from November 2007, I was appointed Stokes
Professor in Limerick, in association with the creation of the
Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry
My research interests cover a wide range of applications of mathematical
modelling in the applied sciences, including geophysics, biology and
industrial problems, and using analytical,
asymptotic and numerical methods of analysis to obtain useful results.
While I get excited by the mathematical analysis which
occurs in solving practical problems, my overriding concern is that the
physical problem should be solved in a form which is of interest and of use
to the applied scientist. Not that I'm always successful in this endeavour.
A reasonable list of my different research areas is given below:
glacier flow, ice sheet dynamics, basal sliding, subglacial hydrology.
mantle convection, dynamics of the earth's core, solidification
processes in magma chambers, magma transport,
applications (e.g. at Oxford Study Group), two phase flow,
Nonlinear systems and asymptotics:
chaos in differential equations, turbulence, shear flows,
convection. Time series analysis. Differential-delay
equations. Asymptotic methods.
Medical and biological:
respiratory and cardiac physiology, blood cell physiology,
Supervised doctoral theses and master's degrees
A list of my former students and their thesis subjects can be found in my
To find a one line biography and what they are doing now (if I know!),
Here is a (partial) list of suitable
M. Sc. dissertation and
D. Phil. thesis projects.
Published papers related to my research interests can be found in the
A full edition can be found in my
Papers which can be downloaded as postscript files are also indicated
there (with figures included where available).
- Mathematical models in the
Published by C.U.P. in December 1997, this book addresses the same
themes in mathematical modelling as Alan Tayler's book, Mathematical
models in applied mechanics (O.U.P. 1986), with the difference that
there is a wider variety of applications, in industry, the environment
and life sciences, and the general aim is to treat each problem area
in some depth. For reviews, see
This book was published by Springer in July, 2011. It is a compendium
of a number of topics in geoscience, including climate, oceans,
atmospheres, geomorphology, glaciology, groundwater and mantle and
magma dynamics. For reviews, see here.
I am currently
working on problems involving Liesegang rings, layered igneous
intrusions, granular flow, frost heave,
currents, plant nutrient cycling, soil biogeochemistry, tree growth
and the formation of
drumlins, eskers and flutes. The
curriculum vitae is a good place
to find what's currently in the mill.
At Oxford I have in the past taught the courses
More and more summer schools are run each year, many of the European
ones being in the Alps. For the right subject, these are an excellent
way for students to meet their contemporaries, and to fast forward
their academic careers.
I have been a regular lecturer at the summer school on the Dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets
on `Sliding, drainage and basal processes'. This school has been held
in the Alps since 1995. It is an ideal way in which glaciology
students can broaden
their understanding of the subject in a friendly, stimulating, and
otherwise terrific environment.
Of course you will want to buy an
OCIAM tee shirt, whether to pose on
the beach, or as a useful shirt for playing football.
Objects of scientific and miscellaneous interest are in the picture gallery.
[OCIAM Home Page]