Dr Richard Hodgkins

  • PGT Physical Geography Programme Leader (Geography and Environment)
  • Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography
  • External Examiner, MSc programmes, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Norway
  • External Examiner, Earth Science and Environment module group, undergraduate Natural Sciences Cluster, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Open University
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Social Sciences, Loughborough University
  • UK Arctic-Antarctic Partnership (UKAAP) Steering Committee member
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2017)
  • Director of Studies, Loughborough University Department of Geography (2014–2018)

The Arctic is the fastest-changing part of the global environment, warming at 2–3 times the planet’s average rate. Its glacier cover is contributing to sea level rise, and to a rapid transformation of the hydrology and ecology of the Arctic land surface and ocean. Richard’s research concerns the ways in which Arctic terrestrial glaciers influence the hydrology of the catchments they occupy, and in which marine-terminating – or tidewater – Arctic glaciers influence the fjords into which they flow. Specific interests are (1) the generation of meltwater at the ice-atmosphere interface; (2) its transit through glacier drainage systems; (3) its release at the ice-ocean interface. Recent achievements include (1) significant improvement in estimated positive degree-day totals at an Icelandic ice cap from variable lapse-rate modelling with reanalysis climate data; (2) demonstration of seasonally-increasing drainage efficiency and the co-existence of drainage pathways of contrasting efficiencies at a polythermal glacier in Svalbard; (3) successful calibration of MODIS reflectance for the identification of significant relationships between the turbidity of meltwater plumes and cumulative positive degree-days and floating ice extent in the Jökulsárlon tidal system in Iceland.

Richard teaches on the BA/BSc Geography, BSc Geography Joint Honours, MSci Geography and MSc Environmental Monitoring for Management programmes. He has over 21 years’ learning and teaching experience across four institutions with both undergraduates and postgraduates. He has completed both Advances HE’s “Teaching Excellence Programme” and “Professional Development Course for External Examiners.”

Current Research Student

  • 2018–present Guy Tallentire, Fjord meltwater and sediment delivery in a fast-changing, high-Arctic environment (NERC-funded)

Previous Research Student

  • 2014–2019 James Smith, Bream as biogeomorphic agents and ecosystem engineers: implications for fine sediment transport in lowland rivers (university-funded).

Selected Publications

  • Hodgkins, R., Bullard, J. 2019. Students as Partners in a Current, Research-Informed Curriculum. In Walkington, H. Ed. Handbook of Learning and Teaching in Geography, Edward Elgar, in press.
  • Hodgkins, R. 2018. Polar Feedbacks in a Changing Climate. In Nuttall, M., Christensen, T., Siegert, M. Eds Routledge Handbook of the Polar Regions, Abingdon, Routledge.
  • Brandon, M., Hodgkins, R., Björnsson, H., Ólafsson, J. 2017. Multiple melt plumes observed at the Breiðamerkurjökull ice face in the upper waters of Jökulsárlón lagoon, Iceland. Annals of Glaciology, doi:10.1017/aog.2017.10.
  • Wilby, R., Clifford, N., Luca, P., Harrigan, S., Hillier, J., Hodgkins, R., Johnson, M., Matthews, T., Murphy, C., Noone, S., Parry, S., Prudhomme, C., Rice, S., Slater, L., Smith, K., Wood, P. 2017. The ‘dirty dozen’ of freshwater science: detecting then reconciling hydrological data biases and errors. WIREs Water, e1209, doi:10.1002/wat2.1209.
  • Bullard, J., Baddock, M., Bradwell, T., Crusius, J., Darlington, E., Gaiero, D., Gassó, S., Gisladottir, G., Hodgkins, R., McCulloch, R., McKenna-Neuman, C., Mockford, T., Stewart, H., Thorsteinsson, T. 2016. High-latitude dust in the Earth system. Reviews of Geophysics, doi:10.1002/2016RG000518.
  • Hodgkins, R., Bryant, R., Darlington, E., Brandon, M. 2016. Pre-melt-season sediment plume variability at Jökulsárlón, Iceland, a preliminary evaluation using in-situ spectroradiometry and satellite imagery. Annals of Glaciology 57(73), doi:10.1017/aog.2016.20.
  • Matthews, T., Hodgkins, R. 2016. Inter-decadal variability of degree-day factors on Vestari Hagafellsjökull (Langjökull, Iceland) and the importance of threshold air temperatures. Journal of Glaciology, doi:10.1017/jog.2016.21.
  • Hodgkins, R. 2014. The 21st-century Arctic environment: accelerating change in the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial spheres. The Geographical Journal, 180, 429–436, doi: 10.1111/geoj.12112.