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Miss Frances Butcher

Professional biography

My PhD research is in planetary science, with a specific focus on the geomorphology of glacial landscapes 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:

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

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

October 2015 - Present: Outreach Volunteer, The Open University

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 on Mars




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)
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 March 2017, Houston)
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 September 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 March 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 (22nd January 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 March, 2016, Houston, Texas)

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