Staff profile

Dr Toby Tonkin

Lecturer in Physical Geography




College of Life and Natural Sciences


Derby Campus



Lecturer in Physical Geography

Teaching responsibilities

I am Module Leader for:

I also teach on the following modules:

Research interests

My research primarily investigates the character and evolution of landforms in Arctic and Alpine glacial environments. Moraines, for example, represent terrestrial sinks for landforms debris and are regularly used as a palaeo-environmental proxy. However, moraines are not ubiquitous in terms of their morphology, structure, sedimentology, or preservation potential, which may vary greatly between different glacial landsystems. An understanding of moraine development is therefore important if the sedimentary signature left by glaciers is to be correctly interpreted.

As such, my work has investigated the internal structure and evolution of ice-marginal landforms by using ground-penetrating radar (Midgley et al. 2013; Tonkin et al. in press), and high-resolution UAV-derived topographic datasets (Tonkin et al., 2016; Midgley et al., in prep.) to aid understanding of the evolution and persistence of these landforms in the geomorphological record. I have worked at a number of sites, including the Norwegian high-Arctic and the Kebnekaise Mountains, northern Sweden.

I am interested in the potential of new technologies (e.g. UAVs and SfM Photogrammetry) for geomorphological and glaciological investigations and have investigated error associated with rapidly evolving UAV-SfM survey approaches (Tonkin et al., 2014; Tonkin and Midgley, 2016). I am also currently involved in a long-term project that is using novel UAV-SfM survey approaches to monitor geomorphologic change along a ~2km reach of a gravel bed river. 

Membership of professional bodies


Recent publications