Model of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet

I started my PHD in July 2010. On March 12, 2016, the paper that summarizes over five years of work was finally published. Before going on what it is about, you can download your own copy of the paper from this link until May 1st. After that, it is behind a paywall, but feel free to email me if you want a copy. I am always happy to help out, don’t be shy!

A childhood dream

When I was a kid, I was totally obsessed with Earth sciences. I had notebooks full of dinosaur names and facts. I had a big rock collection! I completely wanted to be a geologist or paleontologist when I grew up. When my parents went on a trip to Las Vegas, the gift they got me was a collection of “The rocks and minerals of Nevada” (I actually still have that). Sometime after the age of about 8 or 9, I sort of grew out of those ideas.

I didn’t really get back into the Earth sciences until I randomly took an introductory geology course as an undergrad student as an elective. I was completely enthralled, and remembered the love I had of the Earth that I had as a kid. The class was taught by Jim Teller, an expert on glacial Lake Agassiz.


Upper Campbell strandline, the “Arden Ridge”, Arden, Mantoba

When I was growing up, I went to school on top of one of the largest features in the post-glacial landscape in North America – the Upper Campbell strandline. It formed when there was a large lake known as Lake Agassiz at the south end of the Laurentide Ice sheet. This lake existed because the natural northward flow of water was blocked by the ice sheet. When I was a kid, I played in the gravel pits of this wave sculpted piece of the ancestral Assiniboine River delta, finding interesting rocks and fossils. I always wondered, how did this come to be? Of course, everyone here knew that this was the shoreline of Lake Agassiz, locally known as the Arden Ridge. I knew the Arden Ridge stretched way to the south, and that you could drive a long way to the south on top of it. I remembered the dip in topography just behind our elementary school. I always thought this was really odd. I also wondered why there was another ridge about 1 km to the east, and other smaller ridges further on the road to my parents’ house.

So I went to Australia, and found out about these things. Continue reading

2016 – It’s getting better

IMG_1416-croppedIn Japan, there is this concept called honne and tatemae (本音 and 建前), where you keep your true thoughts to yourself (honne), and project yourself in a more pleasant manner (tatemae). This concept is pretty hard to grasp for a Canadian, where we tend to wallow in our in our (real or imagined) misery. Living in Japan, this is one of the hardest things to get used to. Even simple the simple everyday complaining that I do can be interpreted as a huge grievance.

If I am to live in Japan, even part time, I think it is a must to adjust to honne and tatemae. This is my new year’s resolution that I vaguely made mention of last time. Anyways, here are some notes. Continue reading

Electoral Reform in Canada

2015 has come to an end, and it has been an up and down year for me. I plan on elaborating on this in another post, but I’ll just say for now that posting more on my blog will be a part of what I hope will be a better 2016.

2016 is here, and for the Canadian federal Liberal government, electoral reform is on the docket. Indeed, if the Liberals are serious about this issue, they could make a lasting impact on our democracy, and change how politics are done in our country. However, electoral reform is not really something that is advocated by entrenched parties that have benefited from the current electoral system. So why is electoral reform being pursued? Let’s have a look. Continue reading

State of the World, December 2015

Those who know me are well aware that I usually am pretty tuned into the affairs of the world, and am not afraid of making my views know. Since I finished my PHD, I’ve struggled to deal with the flux of my life, and therefore have stayed further and further from discussing these manners.

But make no mistake, I am paying attention. And it depresses me. Continue reading

Canadian Election 2015

Anyone who knows me knows that I always make a list of observations prior to the Canadian election. Since I no longer live in Canada (but can still vote, because I had to maintain residency during my PHD so the new 5 year rule does not apply), I have been a bit disconnected to the happenings in the run-up to the election. Much of this has been deliberate – the actions of the federal government during the past five years has not been exactly friendly to science (especially climate scientists). I need to mail in the ballot soon, so time to start thinking. Continue reading

Primer: Ice on the Earth’s surface

In front of the Fox Glacier, New Zealand

In front of the Fox Glacier, New Zealand

I started this blog to be able to share what I do with the world, in a way that is hopefully accessible to everyone! First though, I should introduce the subjects that I am interested in. The first topic I am tackling is “ice on the Earth’s surface”. Reading the reactions to news stories of climate change, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding ice. One of the problems is that the huge quantities of ice that exist on the Earth’s surface are very far away from populated area. This means it is hard for people to envision what the changes in the cryosphere (the frozen areas of the Earth) means to them. So here we go. Continue reading

Back to the Grind

Täby Church

Täby Church

When I last wrote, I was attending the INQUA congress in Japan. But as fun as conferences are, you have to return to the real world and get back to work! At the moment for me, that means going back to Stockholm Sweden. For those who don’t know what this means, here is what it is like: Continue reading

INQUA conference in Nagoya


I currently have the pleasure to attend the 2015 INQUA Congress (International Quaternary Association). This is one of the largest gatherings of people who work on geology and climate change for the past 2.5 million years. Although I still question the wisdom of holding a conference in Nagoya in July (temperatures are currently in excess of 35C), overall I am quite happy with how the conference has gone so far. Continue reading

First post

This is my new website, where I will share my thoughts on the world of science (particularly Earth science) and other topics that may or may not be related to that. Make sure to look at my about page, which will explain my interests and motivations.

Also make sure to check out On Circulation, a blog I used to contribute to when I was a PHD student at The Australian National University.