Dr Karen Bacon
- Position: Lecturer
- Areas of expertise: plant ecology; plant palaeoecology; palaeo-proxies; climate change; taphonomy; mass extinctions; plant-atmosphere interactions; invasive species
- Email: K.Bacon@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 3371
- Location: 10.30 Garstang
- Website: Twitter | Googlescholar | ORCID
My research spans palaeobotany to present day plant ecology and incorporates elements of plant biology, geology and geochemistry. I am interested in how plants respond to changes in atmospheric composition and how these responses can be tracked in the fossil record. I work on developing plant-based proxies for interpreting changes in atmospheric composition and on tracking plant responses to changing environmental conditions. I am currently investigating the effects of atmospheric composition, temperature and light quality on leaf physiognomy, functioning and development and plant responses to extinction events.
I welcome PhD applications in the following areas:
- Plant responses to climate change/atmospheric composition change (past/present or future)
- Plant and leaf morphometrics/physiognomy
- Development of proxies for palaeobotany
- Understanding invasive plants
My research interests span deep time palaeobiology to modern ecology. I am particulalry interested in understanding how plants repond to environmental change both in a modern context and in relation to environmental upheavals, such as mass extinctions, in the geological record. I am also interested in taphonomy, the science of fossil preservation, and understading what quality of information can be determined from the fossil record. In particular, I am intersted in investigating evidence for sulphur dioxide and other volcanic gases in the fossil record. My modern ecological research focuses on invasive species, plant chemistry, and plant biodiversity/responses to Anthropogenic pressures.<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>
- PhD in Palaeobotany and Palaeoecology, University College Dublin
- BSc in Botany, University College Dublin
- Fellow of the Linnean Society
- Member of the Royal Society of Biology
- Member of the Palaeontological Association
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
I teach across a wide range of physical geography areas including ecology, geology, palaeobiology and field work.
I contribute to the following modules:
- Data analysis and tutorials
- Level 1 Malham residential field course
- Living Planet
- The Dynamic Environment of Mallorca
- Skills for Physical Geographers
- Timescales of Global Change (convenor)
I convene and supervise students on the Physical Geography dissertation module.
I am also interested in using novel technologies in student learning.
Research groups and institutes
- Ecology and Global Change