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    I am a Quaternary Scientist primarily interested in environmental reconstruction through palaeolimnology. I have a general interest in palaeo-disturbance whether that is human disturbance and the associated impacts, or natural disturbance such as impacts of wildfires, tsunamis or rapid climate change.  My current research focusses on the terrestrial and aquatic impacts of distal tephra deposition from the climactic eruption of Mount Mazama.  There have been several studies looking at tephra impacts with varying results, and my research covers several themes which I intend to develop further: High resolution studies with multiple cores to detect disturbance and impact regimes, Holocene environmental change; the need for multiple proxies, and Tephrochronology and Bayesian modelling. 


    High resolution studies with multiple cores to detect disturbance and impact regimes

    As highlighted above, past studies have revealed a variety of impacts, but these have been low resolution studies based on one core.  I carried out high resolution (1 mm) pollen and diatom analyses on cores from lake fringes and deep water.  From these analyses, I found that high resolution sampling was essential as the duration of the impact lasted approximately 100-200 years, which can be easily missed.  This is important to consider for human impacts, and I would be interested in taking this approach in future research.  I also found from my PhD work that the fringe locations recorded a much stronger impact than the deep water cores, and the fringe location could reflected an isolated basin at that time. This is an important factor to consider when assessing disturbance regimes and pollution.  More work needs to be done to determine how important taking multiple cores is, and how doing so will help to understand land development and hydrological change.


    Holocene environmental change; the need for multiple proxies

    Pollen and diatom analyses were also carried out on the whole of the Holocene record.  The pollen assemblage indicated major shifts in climate such as the transition from the glacial to interglacial, the mid-Holocene maximum warmth and the early Holocene cooling.  However, the diatom assemblage recorded cyclical shifts, suggesting that these are more sensitive to abrupt climate change possibly relating to variations in solar activity and changes in air and water circulation patterns.  However, the diatom and pollen assemblages alone cannot help to determine the true cause of the shifts, and the diatom responses could be due to limnological changes or pollution, not responses to climate shifts.  Therefore, there is a need for more proxies in such studies such as isotope analyses and geochemical analyses, and I am very interested in gaining further knowledge and learning these applications.

    Tephrochronology and Bayesian modelling

    During my research it came to my attention that very little had been done in tephrochronology in the Pacific Northwest.  There was little geochemical data for the Mazama tephra, and other tephras found such as Glacier Peak and an earlier eruption of Mazama. There is a great potential for cryptotephra studies, and I would like to expand the use of Bayesian modelling in future work.


    Level 4:

    • GEO1047 Practical skills in Geography and Environmental Science (module leader)
    • GEO1049 An introduction to Natural Hazards (module leader)
    • GEO1051 Geological hazards (module leader)
    • GEO1045 Introducing Physical Geographies (contributor)
    • GEO1046 Environmental issues (contributor)
    • GEO1048 Introduction to Geographical and Environmental Science Research (contributor)
    • GEO1140 Science of the Physical Environment (contributor)

    Level 5:

    • GEO2071 Research methods for Physical Geography and Environmental Science (contributor)
    • GEO2073 Environmental Research in Practice (contributor)

    Level 6:

    • GEO3071 Natural Hazards (module leader)
    • GEO3073 Environmental Change (contributor)
    • GEO3140 Environmental Monitoring and Management (contributor)
    • GEO3070 Dissertation (supervisor)

    I have been involved in and lead many undergraduate and postgraduate modules covering a diverse range of topics including skills-based modules, research techniques, Natural Hazards, Environmental Change, Environmental Monitoring and Modelling and I have supervised dissertation students.  I have also been involved in many residential field courses to Cumbria, Mallorca, Iceland and Morocco.  

    Public/media engagement

                   BBC RADIO LANCASHIRE

    I was invited for an interview on BBC Radio Lancashire in march 2019 to discuss the importance of studying Geography.

                   LANCASHIRE SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2018

    UCLAN hosted the Lancashire Science Festival from 28th to the 30th June 2018. We had an exhibition focusing on water loving organisms and the implications of climate change and anthropogenic activity on these. The event targeted primary school children but was also well received by families.

                   PRESTON SOCIETY TALK 2018

    I delivered a talk to the Preston Society on 5th February 2018 entitled “Mount Mazama: Monster of the past. The Preston Society Birdwatching  & Natural History is based in Preston are a group of people who meet weekly sharing an interest in different fields of the natural world. 

                   NERC INTO THE BLUE 2016

    NERC into the Blue ran from 25-29th October 2016 and was based at the Runway Visitor Park, Manchester Airport. I organised an exhibit with colleagues from Geography and Biology from Edge Hill University about organisms that live in water. We had a tank with a range of macro-organisms, microscopes to look at diatoms and various interactive activities such as Top Trumps. There were 40 exhibits at the event concentrating on four themes: water, air, energy and health. The event was well attended and publicised. 


    Manchester Museum held an event with many other contributing scientists from John Moores Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University.  Here, I was involved in the pollen identification station, which gave me the opportunity to demonstrate what we do as researchers and how important pollen analysis is for reconstructing past climate change.  We had over 1,200 visitors and participants ranged in age from 3-80 and giving very positive feedback “The one thing I would change is nothing, it was all fantastic!”.


    I served as an external mentor for Manchester Museum during Ice Age Science Week by setting up displays for Mammoths, Mega Boulders and Microscopes event and communicating active research to the general public. Participants ranged in age from 2-74 and included distinguished delegates from the Royal Society. For this event, I helped develop a set of small scale mountains (~1 meter tall) and made a batch of glacier gak (a mixture of PVA glue and Borax) that makes a gooey substance that approximates glacier movement fairly well. I also helped to organise the microscope workshop where we had various type slides and encouraged participants to identify them.  There was a station for mammoth drawing using charcoal, which got very messy but was great for the younger participants.  There was also a Top Trumps station with various ice age creatures.


    This is a role I undertook as an undergraduate and involves visiting schools to encourage students to continue Geography after GCSE or A-Level.  Presentations using involve a range of activities, which demonstrate how important Geography is in everyday life, such as looking through a newspaper and trying to find an article that has to relation to Geography.  Class sizes have ranged from 30 to 150 students with ages between 14 and 17.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 15 - Life on Land

    Education/Academic qualification

    Physical Geography, PhD, Impact and significance of tephra deposition from Mount Mazama and Holocene climate variability in the Pacific Northwest USA, University of Manchester

    5 Sept 201220 Jun 2016

    Award Date: 20 Jun 2016

    PG Cert in HE, PGCert, Edge Hill University

    17 Jan 201720 Jul 2018

    MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction, MSc, University of Manchester

    5 Sept 20105 Sept 2011

    Geography BSc(hons), BSc, University of Manchester

    18 Sept 200720 Jul 2010


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