Toby Tonkin

Dr Toby Tonkin

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Personal profile


Toby is lecturer and researcher with interests in geomorphology, glaciology, and remote sensing. He has worked at a range of high-Mountain, subarctic and arctic research locations over his career. His fieldwork experience includes geophysical, sedimentological, and topographic surveys of glacial terrain in Sweden, Spitbergen, Iceland, and the European Alps.


Toby graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Geography (2011), undertook postgraduate studies in Global Environmental Change at King’s College London (2012), before returning to Nottingham Trent University to embark on his doctoral studies under a Vice-Chancellor's scholarship. Toby also has a PGCert in Higher Education (University of Derby; 2017) and holds fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy.

Career History

Toby started his HE career at Nottingham Trent University where he was employeed as an Hourly Paid Lecturer in Environmental Science and on various Research Assistant posts (2013 - 2016). In 2016 Toby was appointed to the position of Lecturer in Physical Geography at the University of Derby. He recently joined the team at Northampton where he delivers teaching on the topics of Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, geohazards, and geomorphology. 

Research Interests

Toby’s principal research interests include geomorphology and glaciology. He specialises in the study of glacial landforms, with a focus on internal structure, formation, evolution during deglaciation, and palaeoclimatic significance. Toby’s recent work has included studies in formerly glaciated terrain to better understand glacier response during the last glacial to interglacial transition in the British Isles. He has led or contributed to published work on topics including:

  • the use of UAVs in geoscientific research;
  • the internal structure of glacial landforms;
  • the application of Schmidt Hammer Dating in the British Isles;
  • the evolution of glacial environments during deglaciation;
  • the use of computer-vision for reconstructing former glacier extent from archive (historical) imagery.

Previous research funding for the above projects includes: EU-INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic), the Quaternary Research Association, and the British Society for Geomorphology.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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