Julian is a glaciologist, working on the form and flow of glaciers and ice caps and their response to climate change. In a career of over 30 years, he has taught in the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bristol and Cambridge. Since 2002, he has been Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, including its Polar Museum. He was awarded a Doctor of Science degree by Cambridge University in 2016.
Julian graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1980 and studied for a master’s degree at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research in the University of Colorado and for a PhD in the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. He has worked, on the ice and from aircraft, in Antarctica and many parts of the Arctic, including Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland and the Russian and Canadian Arctic archipelagos. He has also undertaken many periods of work on ice-breaking research vessels in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, in the fjords and on the continental shelves of Svalbard and Greenland, and around Antarctica.
He has also represented the UK on the councils of both the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and is a past chair of the UK National Committee on Antarctic Research.
Julian was awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen for ‘outstanding contributions to glacier geophysics’ and has also received the Founder’s Gold Medal (2008) from the Royal Geographical Society. In 2011 he was awarded the Louis Agassiz Medal by the European Geosciences Union and, in 2014, he was received the IASC Medal from the International Arctic Science Committee ‘as a World leader in the field of Arctic glaciology and for his outreach and communication activities which have been instrumental for public understanding of Arctic change’. Julian has also spoken recently on polar environmental change at the World Economic Forum in Davos and represented the UK at a White House meeting on the Arctic.