Antarctic glacier named after Bristol University Professor


By Nyse Vicente, Second Year, French and Russian

Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Bristol, has had an Antarctic glacier named after him as part of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the continent.

Several glaciers, domes, mounts, bays and inlets in Antarctica were named, after British scientists and explorers. The names were chosen by the UK Antarctic place committee in honour of Brits who have made ‘an exceptional contribution’ to scientific understanding of Earth's southernmost continent.

The Bamber Glacier, named after Prof Jonathan Bamber, is about 9km long and flows west from between Mount Reeves and mountains to the north. Prof Bamber is a specialist in using satellite altimetry (measuring sea surface levels). He has spent more than three decades studying the morphology and dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheets.

Morphology, the study of how natural scenery shapes and forms, has become more important, as climate change continues to be an ever-present threat to the South Pole's landscape.

The Bamber Glacier on Adelaide Island is about 9 km long and 2 km wide, flowing west from between Mount Reeves and the un-named mountains to the north | University of Bristol

‘This is a fantastic honour and comes as a complete surprise! I have been working on understanding and mapping of Antarctica for many years,’ said Prof Bamber. ‘The UK has a long and established record of pioneering research in Antarctica and I am very proud to be able to contribute to and continue that record.’

The UK Committee for Antarctic Place-Names advises on place naming in the British Antarctic Territory, using agreed international principles. Features are identified where naming is necessary for scientific, logistical or management purposes.

Other recipients of place names announced include Professor Elizabeth Morris, glaciologist of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS); the late explorer Lady Virginia Twistleton-Fiennes and Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of the BAS.

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A social media campaign to promote Antarctic place names has launched @AntarcticNames on Twitter and Instagram to showcase the stories behind them and encourage those who work and study unnamed glaciers, mountains and coastal sites to get in touch.

Featured Image: University of Bristol