Mid 2015 Group activity update


Another super busy year – it is already June 2015. I have not posted an update since Harriett’s news on ‘Microclimates’. Woops… I keep twitter up-to-date, but not in detail, so in reverse order here are some highlights from the group activity. I will update on publications in the next post.

  1. We now almost have one year or water table depth and soil moisture measurements form the Malaysian oil palm plantation with have grid-instrumented (from NERC-IoF funding). The kit is working well and so is the collaboration with Malaysian colleagues so I am pleased we have a one-year no-cost extension to collect another year of data and have some measure of inter-annual variability.
  2. PhD student Hazel Long has been awarded a place on the NERC/BAS Training Course: Delivering Safe and Effective Fieldwork in the Polar Regions. Lucky her. The course consists of three days learning at the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey and three days of practical training exercises on the ice in the Arctic. And she is also off to Baikal this summer. It was Greenland last summer, so her research is taking her to some fantastic places.
  3. I am just back from Zurich where I presented ‘The Underground is also our Environment’ to the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency EEA (June 3rd) for a special topic symposium on ‘The Underground’. It was a wide-ranging meeting with presentations from legal concerns to planning requirements – essentially the EEA SC were talking soundings and will condense to a report for the EEA. The talks were filmed and will be on-line. Contact me if interested and I can direct you to these.
  4. I ran a small workshop for the XVth IWRA World Water Congress on fluvial greenhouse gas emissions (27th May). I love how small the world becomes sometimes, spending time discussing shared interests with global ‘friends’, from Japanese ecohydrologists to French lawyers. I hope to run this again, so if anyone would be interested in attending such a workshop, please get in touch.
  5. Interns Marie Denis (from ENGEES-Strasbourg) and Lidia Escudero (from ENSTA-Paris) arrived in May and will be here until the end of July. They are researching respectively, the effect of turbulence on fluvial CO2 efflux, and modelling of 4-year long water table time series from Blacklaw windfarm (at 12 sites within the windfarm).
  6. PhD students Ying Zheng and Hazel Long both gave talks at EGU 2015, respectively ‘Spatial and temporal variation in dissolved organic carbon composition in a peaty catchment draining a windfarm’ and ‘Quantifying the magnitude, spatiotemporal variation and age of aquatic CO2 fluxes in western Greenland’.
  7. I was in China  twice in the past year, most recently in April 2015 for the joint NERC-NSFC pre-grant submission meeting on Critical Zone Science. Then mega hard-work to submit the follow-on grant for 27th May (here’s hoping). After the April meeting and in my earlier trip in Nov. 2015 I visited with colleagues there our field area – a fascinating karst catchment with some water quality challenges.
  8. My application to the Scottish Government Hydro Nation Scholarship programme for PhD funding to investigate ‘Micro-and Nanoplastics in Wastewater Treatment Systems and Receiving Waters’ was successful (Feb. 2015) and I am so pleased that Maricela Blair will be rejoining the group in September 2015 to undertake this research.
  9. (Dr.!) Harriett Richardson passed swimmingly her PhD viva in August and then worked as KE officer on the microclimates project until Feb. 2015 when she left to take up a new role as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate for the CRETE project (Community Renewable Energy Toolkits and Engagement) with SEI York. The past two posts reflect some of her activity.

Harriett attends the IUCN Peatland Action: Learning from Success

In 2014, the IUCN Peatland Programme conference was in Inverness (20th-22nd October). The conference was attended by a range of peatland restoration project staff, landowners, land managers, governmental departments, agencies and non-governmental organisations, businesses and academics.
The focus of the conference was to discuss what progress is being made towards our peatlands goals, to talk about new business and environment partnerships, learn from examples of restoration, find out what new information we have on peatland ecosystem services and to look forward and plan new initiatives for preserving and improving peatlands.
Harriett presented a poster at an interactive session, giving an overview of the Microclimates work and how it helps us to better understand peatlands and the potential effects of operational wind farms on them. This helped to open up discussions of how wind farm peatlands need to be monitored and what restoration techniques might be needed.

Harriett Richardson Poster IUCN

Take a look at the new pages on our website

Susan is the lead PI on WP1 of the NERC consortium grant Microclimates, a project that looks at the impact of spatio-climatic variability on environment-hosted land-based renewables (April 2010 – March 2014).

New pages about the Microclimates grant have been recently added to our website, including information about the work packages, team members, publications and summaries for stakeholders.

You can find out more about all of the projects Susan is involved with, including the Microclimates grant, by going to Projects on the main menu.


Update on publications 2014

I am on a roll tonight and have also added four new publications for 2014:

1.Vihermaa et al, Biogeosciences. The key message is old C can be degassed from the Amazon.

2. Wadron et al, RCM. A smart way to quantify isotopic composition and concentration of DIC from the field-collected sample, but considering very seriously the real uncertainty in such measurements.

3. Lang’at et al, PLoS One. The key message is girdling of mangroves causes rapid subsidence in surface sediment elevation and so shoreline stabilization, coastal protection and carbon storage are affected.

4. The Scottish Government Expert Scientific Panel Report on Unconventional Oil & Gas, which I co-authored. A nice diagram of earthquake occurrence and magnitude in Scotland from the BGS.

All are open access, which is great – science accessible to all.

New grants in 2014

Finally I have found the time to add information about three new grants awarded this year. The NERC Radiocarbon Facility awards are to support  the research of Hazel (PhD student) and Leena (UKLEON PDRA) and will generate ages of CO2 degassed from Greenland glacial meltwater (how exciting!) and of dissolved CO2 in lakes of differing nutrient status – we are testing a new technique here.

The EPSRC award is to create a network as part of  EPSRC’s Living With Environmental Change theme. The lead PI is Prof. Marian Scott of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Glasgow. The network will bring together data providers and researchers from the environmental sciences with the statistical community to improve decision support tools for environmental change forecast. To make this happen, we will fund feasibility projects, sandpits and workshops.

Lack of news does not equal lack of activity, just lack of time.

Everone here has been super busy: Zhiwei has graduated; Hazel has been to Greenland and back; Susan completed two weeks fieldwork in Malaysia in June installing soil moisture probes and pressure transducers in an oil palm plantation; Harriett has her viva in August and is currently undertaking the KE for the Microclimates Project. More updates coming soon…

NERC IoF Grant Funded! Oil palm, soil moisture and boundary layer dynamics…

Really pleased to announce that our bid to NERC for funding from the International Opportunity Fund has been successful!  This is a project which is aligned with our NERC Microclimates Grant, but this time, Dr. Ralph Burton (NCAS) and I will be undertaking research to assess whether the change in soil moisture budgets associated with draining soils for oil palm plantations influences atmospheric boundary layer development. All very exciting and more fieldwork in Malaysia.

Fieldwork in Malaysia over; sample analysis awaits

Dr. Leena Vihermaa and I are now packing up to return from a busy field campaign in Malaysia (20/7-4/8/2013). Here we joined collaborators Dr. Stephanie Evers (ex Carbon Landscapes alumni, now UNMC) and Dr Rory. Padfield (UTM) to visit current and relict peatlands subject to disturbance for resource extraction. Our role was, through sampling, to offer training in collecting samples for identifying the source of C in fluvial drainage systems, and in measuring gas efflux (carbon dioxide and methane) and corresponding aqueous concentrations. It has been hot, sticky and dirty, and both equipment and operators suffered some heat-related malfunction… but hopefully there will be a good pilot data set to inform further research bids. Until piccies are loaded on this web page, check out the twitter account where you can see some images.

Welcome to new members of the group

Welcome to Sofia Daouadji from ENSTA Paristech who is here for the summer undertaking a biogeochemistry internship. Sofia will analyse sediments from traps in Loch Brora to consider the source of the sediment.

Welcome also to Beatriz Marins, from the University of Sao Paulo Brazil, who is on an exchange year at the University of Glasgow. Beatriz will research the spatial variability in fluvial TOC concentrations in mesoscale catchment,  lower reaches urbanised, and discharging to the Clyde estuary.

A belated welcome to Amira Elayouty, our new PhD student funded through the UoG sensor initiative that I am co-supervising with good colleagues Prof. Marian Scott and Dr. Claire Miller from the School of Mathematics and Statistics. More information about Amira’s research on the People webpage.

Susan talks to University of Uppsala limnologists

On Friday 23rd Nov. Susan gives a talk to the Limnology group at the University of Uppsala on ‘Carbon Landscapes and Drainage: the Inherited DIC Signature’. Really looking forward to meeting the group there. Been musing Scottish and Peruvian DIC and isotopes and finding common ground!



Would you like to do research within this group?

We are always interested in supporting interested researchers in securing funding to come and do research within our group. Please contact Susan Waldron to discuss further.

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