Skip to content
2018 Fellow

Frederick (Fred) Richards


PhD Institution
University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral institution and lab

Mitrovica Group, Harvard University

Next Steps

Imperial College Research Fellow at Imperial College London

Fred trained as a geophysicist at the University of Cambridge where he worked to understand changes in Earth’s topography caused by the flow of hot rock within our planet’s interior. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, he crossed the Atlantic to Harvard University where he studied prehistoric sea-level to develop new insights into how climate change may affect coastal communities. He is passionate about strengthening the role of scientific evidence in policymaking, especially in climate and energy policy.

Fred worked in Prof Jerry Mitrovica’s group to determine how high global sea-level was during the Pliocene epoch. This period, around three million years ago, was the last time atmospheric CO2 levels were as elevated as they are today. The potential impact of Fred’s work will come from combining this study of prehistoric precedent with his previous insights into the behavior of Earth’s interior to create new, more accurate predictions of future sea level rise. In addition to his research on sea-level change, Fred has been using advanced seismological techniques to improve exploration for the key metals required in the transition to a low-carbon economy. He now continues this work as an Imperial College Research Fellow at Imperial College, London. Read more on Fred’s research published in the Economist here.