University of St Andrews


Photo of Tobias Bolch


I joined the University of St. Andrews in February 2019 as a lecturer for remote sensing after almost ten years as senior scientist the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Other affiliations (positions) include University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany (substitute professorship for GIS and remote sensing), TU Dresden, Germany (senior scientist), Humboldt Universitaet Berlin, Germany (postdoc) and University of Northern British Columbia, Canada (postdoc). I obtained both my PhD in physical geography (in 2006) and Master (in 1999) at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. 2000 and 2001 I worked as a project manager and GIS specialist in a private consulting company.  For the achievements I was awarded in 2015 Honorary Professor of the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 


  • Member of the GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) core team
  • Scientific editor of The Cryopshere


Research Interests

My main research focuses on investigating the impact of climate change on glaciers and glacial hazards in various mountain ranges of the world with the regional focus on High Asia. I am using remote sensing, photogrammetry and GIS techniques to study glacier characteristics, their changes in area, volume and velocity and put special emphasis on debris-covered glaciers and glacial lakes. I am studying also other components of the cryosphere like snow cover, permafrost and rock glaciers. My remote sensing work is complemented by regular field investigations where me and my group are also measuring climate parameters or perform geophysical measurements.


Teaching Interests

  •  Remote sensing and GIS
  •  Cryosphere and geomorphology

Postgraduate Students

  • Atanu Bhattacharya (PostDoc)
  • Owen King (PostDoc)
  • Sonam Wangchuk (PhD-student)
  • Nico Moelg (PhD-Student)