Thomas Sim

Thomas Sim


I am a current PhD student, funded by a NERC DTP scholarship researching the response of permafrost peatlands to recent climate warming across the Arctic. I completed a Masters by Research and undergraduate studies in BSc Geography also at the University of Leeds, with the latter including a study abroad year at the University of Queensland, Australia. 

Research interests

I am interested in all aspects of palaeoecology and environmental change with a focus on using palaeoenvironmental records to understand: how and when humans began to change environments, how we can use modern environments to understand the past and understanding ecosystems over timescales beyond observational or experimental reach. 

In my PhD project I will be using a palaeoecological approach to reconstruct the response of permafrost peatlands to late Holocene warming, beyond the timescale of contemporary studies. Some of the main questions I am considering are: Will these ecosystems become carbon sources or carbon sinks under warming? And how does this vary in space and in time?

In my project I hope to build on similar work from my MSc by Research that also used a palaeoecologcial approach and focused in the Canadian High Arctic on the response of wetlands to recent climate warming. I found that even at high latitudes these ecosystems haver demonstrated an ecological, hydrological and carbon accumulation response to twenieth century warming, but this varied depending upon wetland type. 


  • MSc by Research, University of Leeds
  • BSc (Hons), Geography (International), University of Leeds

Research groups and institutes

  • Ecology and Global Change
  • River Basin Processes and Management