CPOM’s Tom Slater wins 2019 Piers Sellers Prize

Tom Slater, a final year PhD student at CPOM Leeds, is being presented with the Piers Sellers prize for exceptional PhD research.

The prize, awarded annually by the Priestley International Centre for Climate, will be presented as part of an event to mark the Centre’s new home in the Priestley Building at the University of Leeds.

Tom’s work involves using satellites to measure the height of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and how they change over time, as well as their respective contributions to global sea level rise. He was nominated for the award by his supervisor, CPOM Director Professor Andy Shepherd, who commended him on developing new methods for processing satellite altimeter observations of the polar ice sheets.

“Tom’s PhD has led to significant methodological advances, extending the value of satellite altimeter data for polar science.

“In addition to his ground-breaking technical work, Tom has also applied his knowledge to address important scientific problems. He has published 3 first author articles during the first two years of his PhD, including one in Nature Climate Change, and he has also co-authored two others including one in Nature and one in Nature Geosciences. He also has two further first author articles and one co-author article in preparation. This is an outstanding body of technical and applied work.”

Professor Shepherd also praised his student for his work tracking Antarctic ice losses: “Tom showed they were tracking the upper range of sea level projections [from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment]… If Antarctic ice losses continue to follow this trend, the ice sheet will be responsible for an additional 10 cm of sea level rise by 2100. This is a major revision and has significant implications for coastal communities and climate policy.”

Tom will be awarded the prize on 24 June 2019.

Read more about the Piers Sellers Prize