Dr Antony Blundell

Dr Antony Blundell


Upland catchment management for water colour reduction

Increasing levels of water colouration and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) are a concern in many upland catchments in northern Britain. It is particularly of concern to water companies who are required to remove the colouration, traditionally via engineering solutions (eg. MIEX). This study initially aims to monitor a selection of catchments with regard to water colouration and levels of DOC production. Peatland management strategies aimed at elevating water tables and regenerating a more bio diverse vegetation cover will later be applied and the implications assessed against the prior monitoring period. This project is in sponsored by Yorkshire Water.


The value and implications of palaeoecological investigations from blanket moor for contextualising contemporary land management decisions

Realization of the economic and environmental value of peatlands has led both public and private organizations to implement ‘restoration’ schemes. The word ‘restore’ implies that you reverse the adverse effects that have occurred and return the ecosystem to a state pre-disturbance. Restoration schemes centre on the objectives of raising the water table via blocking drainage channels and gullies and revegetating bare areas of peat that are prone to erosion. The target is often the reinstatement of Sphagnum as a significant part of the bog flora as this will produce a peat accumulating system. Restoration of a peatland implies you have knowledge of its previous ecological history from which you can attain a blueprint to restore to. Palaeoecological techniques offer an excellent way to gain information regarding the past ecological status of a site, potentially providing a context and support for remediation. This project has employed these techniques to provide context for an upland catchment in Yorkshire and ultimately support for proposed management changes. The project highlights the worth of these techniques for land managers and academics alike.


Strong ecological memory in patterned raised bogs: the case of peat permeability (Baird, Milner and Blundell)






2012-2013 Second year tutor

2011-2012 First Year Tutor

2011-2012 First Year tutor

Present position

  • Researcher at the School of Geography, University of Leeds.

Previous posts

  • March 2006 – November 2008. Postdoctoral Research Fellow on NERC and DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) funded project. University of Liverpool.
  • ‘Modelling soil magnetism for defence, humanitarian and environmental purposes'.
    Principle investigator, Prof J. Dearing)
  • October 2003 – November 2005. Postdoctoral Research Fellow on EU funded ‘ACCROTELM’ (Abrupt Climate Changes Recorded over the European Land Mass) Project, Web address: www.glos.ac.uk/accrotelm/ . University of Plymouth.
  • June 2002 – April 2003. Postdoctoral Research Fellow on NERC small grant. University of Southampton. 
    ‘The Holocene palaeoclimate record of eastern Newfoundland: Developing a high-resolution terrestrial climatic response model from raised peat bogs.’ (Principal investigator, Dr. Paul Hughes)

Qualifications & education

  • Ph.D., Palaeoecology, University of Southampton, 2002.
  • M.Sc. Recent Environmental Change, University of Liverpool 1997.
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Geography, University of Liverpool, 1996.
  • Membership of Learned Societies
  • Quaternary Research Association (QRA)

Other details

  • Peatland palaeoecology, hydrology and present day management
  • Quaternary environmental and climate change
  • Environmental magnetism
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
Skills & experience
  • Upland hydrology and restoration
  • Testate amoebae analyses
  • Peatland macrofossil identification
  • Environmental magnetism
  • ArcGIS
  • Python for Data Analysis
  • VBA programming in Excel
  • Multivariate statistical analyses

Blundell, A., Palmer, S.M., Brown, L.E. and Holden, J. (2013) Impact of wildfire on water quality on Marsden Moor. Final report for Yorkshire Water services. Report B5398. University of Leeds, Leeds.

  • Quaternary Research Association annual discussion meeting 2011. Poster presentation entitled ‘Application of palaeoecological techniques to contextualise the present ecological and hydrological status at Keighley Moor’.
  • ICUN Peatland Program, 2010. Application of palaeoecological techniques to contextualise the present ecological and hydrological status at Keighley Moor.
  • Vienna European Geophysical Union (EGU), 2008. Oral presentation. ‘Production of high resolution topsoil magnetic variability maps for England and Wales and an initial assessment of the importance of soil forming factors upon magnetic enhancement’
  • Quaternary environments and human past conference 2007, University of Manchester, June 2007. Poster presentation. ‘Multiproxy late Holocene peat records from Ireland: towards a regional palaeoclimate curve.’
  • Holivar 2006 Co-author of three poster presentations.(see www.holivar2006.org/abstracts/viewabstract)
  • ACCROTELM conference, Helsinki, April 2004. Modern testate amoebae assemblages from raised mire across Europe: The development of new transfer functions for ‘palaeowetness’ reconstruction.
  • QRA Annual Field Meeting and AGM 2004, 19th-23rd April, Isle of Man and the Northwest of England, Presentation entitled ‘Palaeomoisture records from Heathwaite Moss, South Cumbria: An evaluation of analyses from two independent studies.’
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • Quaternary Research Association
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>