Laura A Stevens

Research Interests

Understanding ice sheet dynamics on Earth is critical for the prediction of past and future global ice volume, which have direct implications for global sea level. My research program aims to determine how ice sheets flow and fall apart. We investigate Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet, ice shelf, and outlet glacier flow dynamics to better understand the physical mechanisms that destabilize ice sheets with increased surface meltwater production in our warming climate. At present, the question that motivates our research is: How does ice-sheet melting drive ice-sheet flow? To approach this question, we pair geophysical observations with time-dependent inverse methods and computational modeling. The range of observations we analyze includes GPS observations of ice-sheet and ice-shelf surface deformation, weather data from Autonomous Weather Stations deployed on glaciers and ice sheets; satellite remote sensing observations of ice-sheet surface velocities and hydrology; and, observations of fjord hydrography. Students joining this research group will jointly use techniques of data analysis and numerical modeling to investigate ice-sheet processes in Antarctica and Greenland.  


I am currently advertising projects related to supraglacial lake drainage dynamics on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Candidates with a background in earth sciences, physical geography, physics, and/or applied mathematics that have an interest in data analysis, numerical modeling, and/or remote sensing are encouraged to apply. While field work is a part of the research process in our group, no prior field work experience is required for joining our research group. Moreover, candidates who do not wish to participate in fieldwork are welcome on all projects!  


Please see the Department of Earth Sciences Graduate Admissions page for the project advertisements: Current DPhil Advertisements in Earth Sciences


Qualifications & Experience

Postdoctoral Fellow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, 2018–2020

PhD, Geophysics, MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, 2017

BA, Geosciences, Wellesley College, 2011


Personal Research Keywords

Glaciology, geodesy, hydrology, ice sheet/ocean interactions, data analysis, numerical modelling