Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Miss Frances Butcher

Miss Frances Butcher

Profile summary

  • Research Student
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Physical Sciences
  • frances.butcher

Professional biography

My PhD research is in planetary science, with a specific focus on exploring the past role of meltwater in glaciation on the planet Mars. I also contribute to studies of candidate landing sites for the ExoMars 2020 Rover mission.

October 2015 - Present PhD, The Open University, UK:

  • PhD Project: 'Wet-Based Glaciation on Mars'
    • Supervisors: Dr Matt Balme (OU), Dr Susan Conway (University of Nantes), Dr Neil Arnold (University of Cambridge), Dr Stephen Lewis (OU), Dr Axel Hagermann (Stirling University)
  • May 2018: Awarded 2nd prize in the Open University STEM faculty ‘3 minute thesis’ competition.
  • December 2017: Awarded the Nature Astronomy Prize for Best Student Presentation at the 1st British Planetary Science Congress, Glasgow, UK, 4-5 Dec. 2017, for a poster entitled: 'Environments of recent wet-based glaciation on Mars'.
  • September 2017:
    • Awarded the John Glen Prize for the best talk by a student at the International Glaciological Society's British Branch Meeting, Lancaster University, UK, 5-7 Sept. 2017, for a talk entitled: 'Recent basal melting of mid-latitude glaciers on Mars'.
    • Awarded the prize for best talk by a student at the Astrobiology Society of Britain: Habitability Beyond Earth conference. Open University, UK, 13-14 Sept. 2017
  • December 2016: Won the 2017 Planetary Science Institute Pierazzo International Student Travel Award, awarded to one non-US graduate student per year.
  • November 2016: Instrument Scientist on the UK Space Agency Mars Utah Rover Field Investigation (MURFI), an ExoMars-like rover mission field trial.

July 2015 - August 2015 Intern, The Open University, UK

October 2012 - June 2015 BA (Hons.) Geography, University of Cambridge, UK

  • Dissertation: 'Eskers on Mars? Investigating the Origins of the Dorsa Argentea'
    • William Vaughan Lewis Prize (University of Cambridge) for a first class dissertation 
    • Corpus Christi College Prize (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge) for a first class dissertation
  • Awarded a Hewitt Exhibiton by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge for contributions to outreach and admissions initiatives between 2012 and 2015.

Teaching interests

2018: Invited Speaker: Astrobiology Society of Britain & STFC Astrobiology Summer School, University of Edinburgh.

  • Lecture title: 'Mars: The Search for Water, Landing Sites and Life'

2016: Demonstrator, Natural Environment Research Council CENTA Doctoral Training Program ArcGIS Training Course, The Open University.

Invited Speaker: South-East Physics Network GRADnet Planetary Science Workshop, National Physical Laboratory, London.

  • Lecture title: 'Planetary Geomorphology in Mars Landing Site Selection'

Impact and engagement

July 2018: Provided expert opinion for media coverage of Orosei et al. 2018. Radar evidence of subglacial liquid water on Mars. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aar7268.

  • BBC Three Counties Radio
  • BBC Foyle Radio
  • Vectis Radio (Isle of Wight)

November 2017-March 2018: Media coverage of new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets: 'Recent basal melting of a mid-latitude glacier on Mars':

November 2017: Invited lecture, Denbigh School STEM lecture series, Milton Keynes

  • Lecture title: Space glaciers! Water ice on Mars and beyond...

October 2017: Fieldwork diaries podcast episode on 'Glaciers on Mars'.

September 2017: Invited lecture, Macclesfield Astronomical Society

  • Lecture title: Frozen in Time: Unlocking the Mysteries of Glaciers on Mars

May 2017: WeMartians podcast episode on Eskers on Mars

October 2015 - Present: Outreach Volunteer, The Open University

  • Open University Student Hub Live 'Planets' episode, Feb 2018
  • On-campus outreach events
  • 'Space Science Showcase', Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, 12-13th August 2016.
  • Invited lectures:
    • Open University Astronomical Society
    • Open University student societies (including OU Geological Society East Midlands Branch and OU Fusion (Physics) society)
    • OU School of Physical Sciences events, including open days and awards ceremonies.

October 2012- June 2015: Access and Admissions Volunteer, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

  • Awarded a Hewitt Exhibiton by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge for contributions to outreach and admissions initiatives.

 

External collaborations

  • Neil Arnold (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK): External supervisor on PhD project 'The Geomorphology of Glacial Landscapes on Mars'.
  • Colman Gallagher (University College Dublin, Ireland): Studies of glacial landscapes and eskers on Mars.
  • Rob Storrar (Sheffield Hallam University, UK): Comparative studies of eskers on Earth and Mars.
  • Tjalling de Haas (Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands): Studies of the interaction of glaciation and gully formation on Mars.

 

Publications

Glacial and gully erosion on Mars: A terrestrial perspective (2018-10-01)
Conway, Susan J.; Butcher, Frances E. G.; de Haas, Tjalling; Deijns, Axel J.; Grindrod, Peter M. and Davis, Joel M.
Geomorphology, 318 (pp. 26-57)
Surface-based 3D measurements of small aeolian bedforms on Mars and implications for estimating ExoMars rover traversability hazards (2018-04)
Balme, Matt; Robson, Ellen; Barnes, Rob; Butcher, Frances; Fawdon, Peter; Huber, Ben; Ortner, Thomas; Paar, Gerhard; Traxler, Christoph; Bridges, John; Gupta, Sanjeev and Vago, Jorge L.
Planetary And Space Science, 153 (pp. 39-53)
Recent basal melting of a mid-latitude glacier on Mars (2017-12)
Butcher, Frances E. G.; Balme, M. R.; Gallagher, C.; Arnold, N. S.; Conway, S. J.; Hagermann, A. and Lewis, S. R.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 122(12) (pp. 2445-2468)
Time will tell: temporal evolution of Martian gullies and palaeoclimatic implications (2017-11-27)
de Haas, T.; Conway, S. J.; Butcher, F. E. G.; Levy, J.; Grindrod, P. M.; Goudge, T. A. and Balme, M. R.
Geological Society Special Publications, Article SP467.1(467)
Are the Dorsa Argentea on Mars eskers? (2016-09-01)
Butcher, Frances E.G.; Conway, Susan J. and Arnold, Neil S.
Icarus, 275 (pp. 65-84)
The Hydrology of Mars Including a Potential Cryosphere (2018)
Lasue, Jérémie; Clifford, Stephen M.; Conway, Susan J.; Mangold, Nicolas and Butcher, Frances E. G.
In: Filiberto, Justin and Schwenzer, Susanne P. eds. Volatiles in the Martian Crust (pp. 185-246)
Publisher : Elsevier
Evidence for Recent Wet-Based Crater Glaciation in Tempe Terra, Mars. (2018)
Butcher, F. E.G; Balme, M. R.; Gallagher, C.; Arnold, N. S; Conway, S. J.; Storrar, R. D.; Hagermann, A. and Lewis, S. R.
In : 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (19-23 Mar 2018, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas, USA)
Glacier-Linked Eskers on Mars: Environments of Recent Wet-Based Glaciation From Numerical Models (2018)
Butcher, F. E.G; Arnold, N. S.; Balme, M. R; Gallagher, C; Conway, S. J.; Hagermann, A and Lewis, S. R.
In : 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (19-23 Mar 2018, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas, USA)
Intense Glacial Erosion Could Have Erased Gullies on Mars (2018)
Conway, S. J.; Butcher, F. E. G.; de Haas, T.; Deijns, A. A. J. and Grindrod, P. M.
In : 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (19-23 Mar 2018, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas, USA)
Highly erosive glaciers on Mars - the role of water (2018)
Conway, S. J.; Butcher, F. E.G.; de Haas, T.; Deijns, A. A. J. and Grindrod, P. M.
In : EGU General Assembly 2018 (8-13 Apr 2018, Vienna, Austria)
Surface-based 3D measurements of small aeolian bedforms on Mars (2018)
Balme, Matthew; Robson, Ellen; Barnes, Robert; Butcher, Frances; Fawdon, Peter; Huber, Ben; Ortner, Thomas; Paar, Gerhard; Traxler, Christoph; Bridges, John; Gupta, Sanjeev and Vago, Jorge
In : EGU General Assembly 2018 (8-13 Apr 2018, Vienna, Austria)
UK Space Agency “Mars Utah Rover Field Investigation 2016” (MURFI 2016): overview of mission, aims and progress (2017-03)
Balme, M. R.; Curtis-Rouse, M. C.; Banham, S.; Barnes, D.; Barnes, R.; Bauer, A.; Bedford, C.; Bridges, J.; Butcher, F. E. G.; Caballo, P.; Caldwell, A.; Coates, A.; Cousins, C.; Davis, J.; Dequaire, J.; Edwards, P.; Fawdon, P.; Furuya, K.; Gadd, M.; Get, P.; Griffiths, A.; Grindrod, P. M.; Gunn, M.; Gupta, S.; Hansen, R.; Harris, J. K.; Holt, J.; Huber, B.; Huntly, C.; Hutchinson, I.; Jackson, L.; Kay, S.; Kybert, S.; Lerman, H. N.; McHugh, M.; McMahon, W.; Muller, J.-P.; Paar, G.; Preston, L. J.; Schwenzer, S.; Stabbins, R.; Tao, Y.; Traxler, C; Turner, S.; Tyler, L.; Venn, S.; Walker, H.; Wright, J. and Yeomans, B.
In : 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (20-24 Mar 2017, Houston)
Eskers associated with Extant Glaciers in Mid-Latitude Graben on Mars: Evidence for Geothermal Controls upon Recent Basal Melting (2017-03)
Butcher, F. E.G.; Gallagher, C.; Arnold, N. S.; Balme, M. R.; Conway, S. J.; Lewis, S. R. and Hagermann, A.
In : 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (20-24 Mar 2017, Houston, Texas, USA)
Morphometric Characterisation of Eskers Associated with an Extant Mid-Latitude Glacier on Mars (2017-03)
Butcher, F. E.G.; Gallagher, C.; Arnold, N. S.; Balme, M. R.; Conway, S. J.; Lewis, S. R. and Hagermann, A.
In : 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (20-24 Mar 2017, Houston, Texas, USA)
New evidence for geothermal controls upon recent basal melting of mid-latitude glaciers on Mars (2017)
Butcher, Frances; Gallagher, Colman; Arnold, Neil; Balme, Matthew; Conway, Susan; Lewis, Stephen and Hagermann, Axel
In : EGU General Assembly 2017 (23-28 Apr 2017, Vienna, Austria)
Surface-Based 3d measurements of aeolian bedforms on Mars (2017)
Balme, Matthew; Robson, Ellen; Barnes, Robert; Huber, Ben; Butcher, Frances; Fawdon, Peter; Gupta, Sanjeev and Paar, Gerhard
In : EGU General Assembly 2017 (23-28 Apr 2017, Vienna, Austria)
Time will tell: temporal evolution of Martian gullies and paleoclimatic implications (2017)
de Haas, Tjalling; Conway, Susan; Butcher, Frances; Levy, Joseph; Grindrod, Pete; Goudge, Timothy and Balme, Matthew
In : EGU General Assembly 2017 (23-28 Apr 2017, Vienna, Austria)
The Dorsa Argentea, Mars: New Comparisons to a Large Sample of Terrestrial Eskers and Quantitative Tests for Esker-Like Topographic Relationships (2016-09)
Butcher, F. E.G.; Conway, S. J. and Arnold, N. S.
In : Sixth International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration (5-9 Sep 2016, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland)
Characterizing Rock Abundance At ExoMars Landing Site Candidates (2016-03)
Sefton-Nash, E.; Bridges, J. C.; Kissick, L.; Butcher, F.; Donnelly, P.; Piercy, J. D.; Vago, J. L.; Loizeau, D.; Lorenzoni, L.; Grindrod, P. M. and Balme, M.
In : 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (21-25 Mar 2016, The Woodlands, Texas, USA)
The Dorsa Argentea, Mars: Comparison to new terrestrial analogues and statistical tests for topographic relationships (2016-01-22)
Butcher, F.E.G.; Conway, S.J. and Arnold, N.S.
In : UKPF 13th Annual Early Career Planetary Scientists' Meeting (22 Jan 2016)
The Dorsa Argentea, Mars: Comparison to >5900 Terrestrial Esker Systems and Statistical Tests for Topographic Relationships (2016)
Butcher, F.E.G; Conway, S.J.; Arnold, N.S. and Balme, M.R.
In : 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (21-25 Mar 2016, Houston, Texas)