Dr Stephanie Mills
Lecturer in Physical Geography
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
I joined the University of Plymouth in September 2013 as a Lecturer in Physical Geography. I was previously a lecturer at Kingston University from 2010 – 2013.
I am a glacial geomorphologist with an interest in late Quaternary environments. My expertise lies in the area of using glacier reconstruction and mass balance techniques, glacier modelling and surface exposure dating, to reconstruct past environmental change in previously glaciated landscapes. My work has specifically focussed on environmental change in southern Africa and more recently in Australasia.
Current work includes the Royal Geographical Society funded project (Peter Fleming Award) which aims to reconstruct past environmental change in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg, southern Africa.
BSc (Hons) Geography, RoyalHolloway University of London
PGDip Surveying and Mapping, University of East London
PhD (cold climate geomorphology), University of the Witwatersrand South Africa
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
British Society for Geomorphology
Quaternary Research Association
South African Society for Quaternary Research
I have taught many aspects of Physical Geography, however my particular area of expertise is in glacial and periglacial geomorphology.
I am currently Stage 4 Tutor and am module leader for:
GGP2204 Cold Environments
GGX3200 Dissertation in Geography
I also contribute teaching to the following modules:
GGX1200 Geography Matters
GGX1202 Introducing Physical Geography 2
GGX2200 Fieldwork in Geography
GGX2201 Principles and Applications of Geography 1
GGX2202 Principles and Applications of Geography 2
GGP2204 Cold Environments
My research has focussed on the development of a multi-method approach, to discriminate between landforms and deposits of glacial origin in the Drakensberg Mountains of southern Africa. A key outcome from this has been the identification that the climate of southern Africa is highly sensitive to climate change and has experienced large variations in the past. More specifically, during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) the high mountain regions of southern Africa were wet enough to sustain small glaciers, suggesting a change in the timing and seasonality of precipitation in southern Africa during the last glacial cycle. This research has been funded by the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society.
Much of my more recent work has focussed on the timing and magnitude of glaciation within the broader southern Hemisphere and fieldwork has been undertaken in Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea as part of a collaborative project with Dr Tim Barrows (Exeter University) funded by the Australian Research Council. This research will help gain a better understanding of global warming at the end of the last ice age, using glacier modelling and surface exposure dating to determine whether the timing was synchronous across a latitudinal gradient.
I am also interested in the application of glacier modelling to determine glacier-climate relationships, based on glaciological simulations and geomorphological evidence. In addition, recent work has focussed on the modelling of snowblow in areas of marginal glaciation, in order to determine the effect this can have on glacier mass balance and subsequent climate reconstructions.
Grants & contracts
2011 - Royal Geographical Society Peter Fleming Award. The impact of the Agulhas Currenton the ice age climate of the Drakensberg Mountains, southern Africa £9000.
2010 - Royal Geographical Society 30th International GeographicalCongress Award £650.
2010 - Queen Mary University of London Michaela Benzeval fund £450.
2009 - European Geosciences Union Young Scientist's Travel Award £400 (€ 433).
2008 - British Society for Geomorphology Research Grant. Determining the timing ofglaciation in eastern Lesotho, southern Africa £525.
2007 - Royal Society Joint International Project. Climate and Glaciation insouthern Africa at the LGM £11 750. Co-investigatorin project led by Dr Simon Carr and Prof. Stefan Grab.
2007 - Quaternary Research Association Research Grant £450.
Key publications are highlightedJournals