I joined Northumbria University in 2013 after completing three years as a post-doctoral researcher in Woods Hole, USA. During this time, I had the opportunity to study some of the world’s largest river systems and grew increasingly interested in Arctic science. This experience, combined with my previous work with the British Antarctic Survey, led me to focus my research on polar systems and how they are responding to environmental change.
Arctic regions are warming resulting in increased soil temperatures and thawing of previously frozen soils, known as permafrost. These soils contain vast quantities of carbon approximately twice the size of the atmospheric pool, or seven times those contained in the entire tropical forest biomass. My research focuses upon the response of particularly aquatic ecosystems to environmental change across the Arctic.
I study the structure of water and soil carbon, using a range of biomarker and geochemical techniques, to investigate the supply and reactivity of material as it is transported from land to ocean. I examine the response of microbial communities to environmental change to assess how this may affect the export of carbon and subsequent release of greenhouse gases from fluvial networks. I am also interested in the role of sunlight (photochemistry) on carbon/ nutrient cycling, black carbon export and in-situ technologies for high resolution water quality measurements.