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ARCdoc team


Matthew Ayre is a postgraduate research student at the University of Sunderland. He graduated from the same University in 2010 with a BSc in Geography, during which he became interested in paleoclimatology. Matthew is the research assistant on the ARCDOC project and will be working primarily on the Hull Whaling log books, as well as conducting his own research towards a PhD.

Philip Brohan is a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre, who specialises in the reconstruction of climate change and variability from historical weather observations. Philip will be providing tools and expertise in the analysis and visualisation of the logbook meteorological data.

Julian Dowdeswell is Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) and is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Cambridge. He is a glaciologist who works on the links between former icesheets and the marine geological record, and the form and flow of glaciers and icesheets and their response to climate change. Julian will be overseeing access to and analysis of ships’ logbooks and associated historical records held in the archives at SPRI.

David J Starkey is Director of the Maritime Historical Studies Centre at the University of Hull. He is a specialist in eighteenth and nineteenth-century British maritime history and his research focusses on shipping, seafaring, privateering, fisheries and marine environmental history. David will be working with the Hull whaling logbook collection.

Catharine Ward is a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Sunderland. Catharine has worked as a historical climatologist on a number of UK and European projects, digitising and analysing weather observations from ship’s logbooks from the 18th to the late 20th century. Catharine will be project managing ARCdoc.

Dennis Wheeler is a reader in Geography at the University of Sunderland. His current research activities are principally concerned with the use of ships’ logbooks and other documentary and instrumental sources for the purposes of climatic reconstructions for the period 1680-1850. Dennis will be leading ARCdoc.


Bernard Stonehouse  is an environmental biologist with particular interests in marine birds and mammals, and the history of their exploitation by man. He has undertaken extensive field research in both polar regions, and taught in universities in Britain, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Now retired from teaching, he is involved in Arctic whaling research as an Associate Emeritus of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, and a Senior Honorary Fellow in the Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull. Bernard will be advising the team on the interpretation and analysis of data held within the British whaling logbooks.

Clive Wilkinson is a maritime historian and visiting fellow at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. He has notable experience working with naval documents and logbooks and has contributed to a number of important climate research projects. Clive will advise the team on the narrative interpretation of the logbooks and advise on appropriate Arctic logbook sources in the UK.

Dinah Molloy Thompson is a computer consultant and has been MD of DMT Associates for the past 25 years.   During the last five years, in the Scott Polar Research Institute, she has been researching the validation of British Arctic whaling information for use in modern day climate research. She has written a suite of programs to record and interrogate the data. Dinah’s role within the project will be to assist in the validation of the material and advise on computer methods.

John Nicholls is a Research Fellow and Data Manager operating within the History Department at the University of Hull. Apart from history research and work with postgraduate students, his role encompasses Data Management and inter-disciplinary cooperation. As Data Manager, he will develop the ARCDOC data repository and public facing web data pages.


One Comment leave one →
  1. BRIAN CLASPER permalink
    July 2, 2014 1:03 pm

    Amazing reading the account of Mathew`s & Denis` work remarks in the Journal newspaper today. Having just come back from NE Spitsbergen last week and was told in front of a glacier, we were in uncharted waters , as the 0.5 miles of water we were in was glacier a year ago. I have passed the article to the scientists in the Arctic I was with.

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