Department of Geography and the Environment

Greta Wells

B.A. Geology; French Studies, Colby College

Doctoral Candidate
Greta Wells



Glacial lake outburst floods; glacial geomorphology; hydrochemistry; Quaternary paleoenvironmental change; Arctic and alpine environments; Iceland


Greta Wells' research interests cluster around Arctic and alpine geomorphology, hydrology, and Quaternary paleoenvironmental change. Her current research focuses on glacial lake outburst floods--also known as jökulhlaups--which result from the drainage of glacial meltwater lakes. Greta received her Master's degree from the UT-Austin Geography department in May 2016. Her thesis examined geomorphologic impacts and timeline reconstruction of jökulhlaups along the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River in northeastern Iceland. She continues to investigate Icelandic jökulhlaup geomorphology, geochronology, and hydrology for her PhD research, reconstructing a series of paleofloods that drained across southwestern Iceland during Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene deglaciation. She is currently conducting her research in Iceland on a 2019-2020 Fulbright-NSF Arctic Research Grant. 

Greta worked as a TA during her Master's program and was the lead Graduate Research Assistant in the Geography department's Environmental Hydrology and Water Quality Lab from 2016-2019. 

She has conducted field work across the globe during her graduate studies, including four field seasons in Iceland. She has also participated in projects on glacial lake outburst floods in the Nepal Himalayas; glacial geomorphology in the Swiss Alps; sediment budget and soil erosion in the Colombian Andes; and dendrochronology in the Guatemalan Highlands. Prior to graduate school, Greta taught English in the Czech Republic and Japan for three years. She received her B.A. in Geology and French Studies from Colby College in 2011. 

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  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street, A3100
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712