Alun gained his bachelor’s from Oxford University and was awarded a PhD in ice-sheet geophysics and modelling from the University of Edinburgh in 2003. Since then, a wide-ranging career primarily in glaciology, geophysics and environmental sciences has taken him from the South Pole, Antarctica to the High Arctic in Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia, whilst working at the University of British Columbia (Canada), Canterbury and Wellington Universities (New Zealand), his home town in Wales (UK), and, for the last decade, UiT the Arctic University of Norway. Since 2020 – when he was offered a visiting fellowship under the Arctic Interactions initiative – he has also been affiliated with the University of Oulu, at the Kvantum Institute and Geography Research Unit.

Prof Hubbard says: 

"I am delighted to accept this Directorship and am much looking forward to working with the Thule Institute team - championing the extraordinary breadth of Arctic expertise and activities conducted here at Oulu with its many partners, that are exemplary and highly regarded for their impact."

Alun has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, has led many dozens of successful Polar expeditions and projects. He currently holds a Chair in Glaciology, leading the Greenland Rainmaker project under the Arctic Five partnership of northern universities. 

"Hubbard is highly accomplished in the field of Arctic research. We are very excited for him to bring his extensive experience to the leadership of Arctic research at the University of Oulu," says Taina Pihlajaniemi, Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Oulu.

In addition to his academic credentials, Alun has been involved in a multitude of Arctic initiatives including numerous award-winning documentaries, is an advisor on Arctic policy and consultant for mining, transport, tourism and nuclear waste industries, he setup a Polar Research Aircraft Support non-profit, and has been involved in acclaimed artistic and conservation projects. He is passionate about the Arctic and Polar environments and is an experienced high-latitude skipper, pilot, mountaineer, diver and guide.

Read more on recent research of Alun Hubbard:

Meltwater is hydro-fracking Greenland’s ice sheet through millions of hairline cracks – destabilizing its internal structure

In a new film scientist descends into the guts of the Greenland ice sheet