Tim Harris

Senior Lecturer

School of Justice, Security and Sustainability

My principal research interests are glacial geomorphology and Quaternary environments. My post-graduate research concerned post-glacial vegetation on the Llŷn peninsula, North Wales, but over the last fifteen years I have fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition to study in Iceland by collaborating with a number of researchers both in the UK and overseas, notably Dr. Andrew Russell (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne), Professor Fiona Tweed (Staffordshire University) and Dr. Matthew Roberts (Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavík). Most of the field research connected with this work has been conducted in Iceland and has focused on glacier outburst floods, the processes of glacial sediment entrainment and environmental reconstruction. Research in these areas has been primarily funded by the Earthwatch Institute and the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). I have also been engaged in a smaller project looking at pronival rampart development in Iceland and the UK, funded by Staffordshire University. My research has always informed my teaching but I have been keen to involve undergraduates in research and this has led to my taking a lead in embedding research informed learning and teaching in the Geography curriculum at Staffordshire University. I have also led and promoted our degrees that incorporate ‘Mountain Leadership’.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Staffordshire University Teaching Fellow

  • Member of the Quaternary Research Association

  • Member of Staffordshire Regionally Important Geology and Geomorphology group


  • Consultant to local and national media

  • Active researcher

  • Research management

  • Local, national and international links

  • Journal referee and research thesis examiner

Research interests

  • Glacial and periglacial geomorphology

  • Climate Change

  • Quaternary Environmental Change

  • The Ice Ages in Britain

  • Pronival ramparts in Scotland and Iceland


My principal areas of teaching are geomorphological processes and landforms and natural environmental change. As well as teaching through the usual means of lectures, practical workshops, seminars and tutorials, I am committed to fieldwork as an effective learning and teaching environment for undergraduates and have supervised over 50 residential field courses to-date, both in the U.K. (e.g. Peak District, North Wales) and overseas (e.g. Iceland, Tunisia). I am also enthusiastic about exploring new means of learning and communication through the constantly changing and emerging new electronic media.

Undergraduate teaching
Level 3:
Mountain Leadership Assessment (module leader)
Dissertation Tutor
Level 2 & 3:
Glaciers and Ice Ages
Climate and Environmental Change (module leader)

Level 2:
Mountain Leadership Training (module leader)
Investigating Geography
Geoforensics (module leader)
Tutor, Project Preparation and Planning

Level 1:
Outdoor Skills (module leader)
Atmosphere and Biosphere
Foundations of the Landscape (module leader)
Landscapes of Britain
Introduction to Forensic Science
Tutor, Geographical Skills

Fieldwork activities:
Supervision of Level 2 residential field course (Devon/North Wales)
Supervision of Level 1 residential field course to Castleton
Supervision Level 1 Outdoor Skills (Mountain Leadership) field days


Harris, T.D. and Tweed, F.S. (2010) A research-led, inquiry-based learning experiment: classic landforms of deglaciation, Glen Etive, Scottish Highlands. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 34 (4) 511-528

Russell, A.J., Tweed, F.S., Roberts, M.J., Harris, T.D., Gudmundsson, M.T., Knudsen, Ó. & Marren, P.M. 2010. An unusual jökulhlaup resulting from subglacial volcanism, Sólheimajökull, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, 1363-1381.

Russell, A.J, Gregory, A.R., Large, A.R.G., Fleisher, P.J. and Harris, T.D. 2007. Tunnel channel formation during the November 1996 jökulhlaup, Skeiðararjokull, Iceland. Annals of Glaciology (45) pp 95 – 103.

Russell, A.J.; Roberts, M.J.; Fay, H.; Marren, P.M.; Cassidy, N.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Harris, T. 2005. Icelandic jökulhlaup impacts: implications for ice-sheet hydrology, sediment transfer and geomorphology. Geomorphology 75, 33-64.

Harris, T.D.; Tweed, F.S.; & Knudsen, Ó. 2004. A polygenetic landform at Stigá, Öræfajökull, southern Iceland. Geografiska Annaler 86A, 143-154.

Roberts, M.J.; Tweed, F.S.; Russell, A.J.; Knudsen, Ó.; & Harris, T.D. 2003. Hydrologic and Geomorphic effects of Temporary Ice-Dammed Lake Formation During Jökulhlaups. Earth Surface Processes & Landforms 28, 723-737.

Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Harris, T.D. 2003. Glaciolacustrine sedimentation at Creag Aoil, Spean Bridge, Scotland: implications for meltwater movement and storage during Loch Lomond Stadial ice retreat. Journal of Quaternary Science 18, 415-430.

Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; Knudsen, Ó.; Roberts, M.J.; Harris, T.D.; & Marren, P.M., 2002. The geomorphic impact and sedimentary characteristics of the July 1999 jökulhlaup on the Jökulsá á Sólheimasandi, Mýrdalsjökull, southern Iceland. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Red Book Publication 271 (Proceedings of ‘The Extremes of the Extremes’ Symposium, Reykjavík, July 2000), 249-254.

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021