Freya Muir

Room 403 | School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

University of Glasgow | G12 8QQ

LinkedIn | Dynamic Coast | Google Scholar


Research Summary

My ultimate research goal is to create a framework for predicting shoreline change in a range of coastal environments in response to short-term weather events. I hope to extract information about the coast and storm activity using automatic analysis of satellite and ground-based imagery, and weather and wave forecasts. These conditions will then feed into a numerical model of shoreline change, which will form the basis of a user-friendly, opensource software solution to predict a coastline's response to upcoming storms that can be run regularly at a range of spatial and temporal scales by coastal managers and stakeholders.


  • Fitton, J.M., Rennie, A.F., Hansom, J.D., Muir, F.M.E. (2020). Remotely sensed mapping of intertidal zone extents: a Sentinel-2 and Google Earth Engine methodology. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 22, 100499.

  • Muir, F.M.E., Hurst, M.D., Vitousek, S., Hansom, J.D., Rennie, A.F., Fitton, J.M., and Naylor, L.A. (2019). Predicting coastal change in Scotland across decadal-centennial timescales using a process-driven one-line model. In Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Coastal Management, La Rochelle, France, 24-26 September 2019. Institution of Civil Engineers.


External supervisors

University of Glasgow

Dr Martin Hurst

Prof Larissa Naylor

University of Stirling

Dr Carlos Loureiro

JBA Consulting

Dr Doug Pender

Scottish Government/NatureScot

Dr Alistair Rennie


  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership: 2020/21 Cohort


  • September 2021: CoastGIS (Poster) | Raseborg, Finland
  • March 2021: Edinburgh Women In Space Conference (10min) | Edinburgh (virtual)
  • September 2019: Institute of Civil Engineers: Coastal Management (20min) | La Rochelle, France
  • June 2019: MSc in GIS - GISUpdate Alumni Conference (20min) | Edinburgh, UK
  • May 2019: Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference (20min + assisted with conference administration) | Glasgow, UK
  • April 2019: European Geosciences Union - General Assembly (12min) | Vienna, Austria


  • June 2021: GEOG5117 - Modelling Water Environments | Demonstrator
  • March 2021: GEOG5025 - Topographic Modelling and Landscape Monitoring | Demonstrator
  • July 2020: I co-authored (with Eilidh Stott and Craig MacDonell) and  and delivered a two-day workshop on an "Introduction to GIS" as part of the Geographical & Earth Sciences Summer School, aimed at prospective first year undergraduates. In the two workshops we presented the concepts of shoreline change in response to sea level rise, and socioeconomic vulnerability to erosion and climate change, set in the context of analyses undertaken on the Dynamic Coast project.

Additional Information

  • Prior to my doctoral research, I was the sole Research Assistant on the Dynamic Coast project, an award-winning pan-government partnership, whose aim is to establish an evidence base of national coastal change via the National Coastal Change Assessment (NCCA). Utilising a range of skills such as GIS, numerical modelling, field work, and journal article and adaptation & resilience report writing, my role was to conduct research on how Scotland's coast has changed over the last 130 years and predict how it may change in the future with response to climate change. The findings from this project continue to impact and support key partners at Montrose, St Andrews, Dumbarton, Golspie, and on Orkney and Tiree to make informed decisions about how they may best manage their coasts.


  • I completed my Masters degree in Geographical Information Science at the University of Edinburgh in 2018, excelling in courses on spatial modelling, data visualisation and storymapping, web mapping, remote sensing analysis and machine learning. My dissertation project "Simplistic hydrodynamic modelling and satellite imagery calibration: predicting landscape response to cyclonic precipitation in Southern Mexico" assessed the relationship between flood rasters produced by cyclonic precipitation fed into the hydrological model HAIL-CAESAR, and floodwater extent automatically extracted from Sentinel-2 imagery of the same cyclone event.


  • Prior to my Masters degree, I completed my Undergraduate degree in Geology & Physical Geography also at the University of Edinburgh. My dissertation project "Topographic analysis of earthquake-induced landsliding: A focus on Central Nepal" I evaluated the distribution and topographic characteristics of over 5,500 landslides that occurred as a result of the Gorkha 2015 earthquake that affected much of Nepal. In this three-part analysis, I identified channel steepness as a potential proxy for coseismic landslide occurrence across the Nepali Himalayas.