In 2015 I joined the School of Geography, University of Leeds to undertake a PhD funded by a Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship. My research addresses the geomorphological and ecological resilience of stream ecosystems to extreme floods. I am affiliated with water@leeds and the River Basin Processes and Management (RBPM) research cluster for which I have been a postgraduate rep since 2016. I have recieved numerous grants to support fieldwork from the Bristih Society for Geomorphology, water@leeds and the Staffordshire Educational Endowment and have successfully secured internal funding for microscopy equipment. In early 2018 I presented findings of my PhD orally at the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting in Detorit. At the conference I recieved the Petersen Award for young overseas researchers and I secured a British Society for Geomoprhology travel grant to support my attendance of the conference.
Directly before my time at the University of Leeds, I completed a masters in Conservation BIology at the University College London (UCL). During my time at UCL my studies focussed on understanding the principal threats to biodiversity and how society can manage these threats across multiple spatial scales. My MSc thesis addressed the capacity of invasive crafish to impact headwater stream fish communities in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks. The thesis project was developed with the collaboration of PBA Ecology, an ecological consultancy based in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. I was awarded a distinction in my MSc, and gave oral presentations of my thesis at the 5th National Crayfish Conference, Institute of Fisheries Management South East and London Group Annual Project Meeting and the 9th Malham Tarn Field Centre Research Seminar.
Before I undertook my MSc, I worked in the Nature Reserves team at the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. My time at the Wildlife Trust allowed me to develop an understanding of the challenges associated with establishing scientifically sound approaches to solving conservation issues in real world scenarios. As well as the importance of accessible, relevant and digestable outputs from academic work to the success of conservation and ecological practitioners work. The Cumbria Wildlife Trust works across terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments and during my time there I was involved in projects spanning all three. Importantly, I worked on a number of projects which expressly linked multiple enviropnments into cohesive conservation plans for the protection of endangered species. These plans allowed me to develop my understanding of environmental and ecological connectivity between environments and sites.
My research on stream ecosystems lies within the following fields:
- Ecological and geomorphological response to disturbance events
- Resiliency of freshwater salmonid communities
- Invasive species ecology
The interdisciplinary nature of my research interests and their clear links have allowed me to develop understanding in a range of scentific fields. These include conservartion biology, community and poulation ecology, fisheries management, geomophology and hydrology.
My current research is focussed on the ecological and geomorphological response of streams to repeat summer floods. Principally this work addresses the processes of ecological and geomorphological resilience to disturbance events and how resilience can vary with disturbance type and pre-disturbance ecological and habitat conditions. Understanding how pre-disturbance conditions influence ecological responses is critical in establishing conservation approaches given the ongoing alteration of physical and ecological conditions through anthropogenic management practices in our freshwater environments. My PhD research focusses on streams in Glacier Bay, Alaksa and has three main threads, which are all addressed across a pre-flood stream habitat heterogeneity gradient:
- Identify the geomorphological impact of repeat summer floods and elucidate postflood sediment and physcial habitat dynamics
- Identify the ecological reslience of stream benthic macroinvertebrate communties to repeat summer floods
- Establish the implications of repeat summer floods for stream foodwebs: with a particular empahsis on changes to juvenille salmonid diet, feeding behaviour and the importance of terrestrial subsidy
- MSc, Conservation, with Distinction, University College London.
- BSc (Hons), Biology, Class: I, University of Nottingham.