• Room 02.021 - Geography Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome applications from students interested in the following topics: environmental/climate change impacts on lakes and peatlands; development of novel biomonitoring approaches using microfossils and geochemical techniques; impacts of nutrient enrichment on aquatic ecosystems.

1992 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests centre around the reconstruction of late Quaternary environmental change in wetlands and coastal environments.   I am interested in how these systems function, and in feedbacks between different biological groups and the physical environment over a range of time scales (sub-decadal to millennial scale and longer).  Major research foci include i) applications of benthic protozoans (e.g. testate amoebae and foraminifera) and diatoms in biomonitoring and restoration; ii) the use of palaeoecological, palaeolimnological and geochemical approaches for understanding long-term climate and sea-level change; iii) use of quantitative, multi-proxy techniques to aid palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. 

Internal Roles 

  • REF Champion UoA14 Geography and Environmental Studies (2018-)
  • NERC QUADRAT DTP - QUB co-lead (2019-2020)
  • Director of Research, Environmental Change Research Cluster (2014-2016)
  • Deputy Director, Queen's Centre of Canadian Studies (2016-)

External Roles and Appointments

  • Adjunct Research Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa (2004-present)
  • Honorary Secretary, Quaternary Research Association (2018-)
  • Member, NERC Peer Review College (2020-)
  • Member NERC Radiocarbon Facility Steering Committee (2012-2018)
  • Member Royal Irish Academy's Climate Change and Environmental Sciences Committee (2018-)
  • Editorial Board member, Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution; PeerJ
  • External Examiner, BSc/MEnv Programmes in Environmental Geography, University of York (2018-)
  • External Examiner, BSc programme in Environmental Science, Kingston University (2017- )
  • AdvanceHE Aurora Programme for Future Women Leaders; role model 2015, 2019
  • Northern Ireland Urban Biodiversity Forum member
  • National Trust Committee, Strangford Lough, former member

Achievements (2015-present)

  • Ireland-Canada University Foundation James M. Flaherty Visiting Professor 2018-19.  Delivered James M. Flaherty Lecture, Global Water Institute, Ottawa, Sept 2019
  • Organiser INQUA 2019, Post Congress Field Meeting, North of Ireland
  • Organiser ISTA9: 9th International Symposium on Testate Amoebae (ISTA9), Belfast, Sept 2018
  • Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award, QUB, 2018
  • Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland, ACSI Bursary recipient 2018 (New methodologies to track water quality degradation in lakes)
  • Keynote Speaker: British Ecological Society, Palaeoecology SIG, Hull, Aug 2018
  • QUB-FAPESP Visiting Scholar, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil, 2017
  • Visiting Eaton Fellow, Dept. of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Canada, 2015
  • Keynote Speaker: Latornell Conservation Symposium, Geosciences Day, Ontario, Nov 2015

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Research Output

Assessment of FlowCam technology as a potential tool for rapid semi-automatic analysis of lacustrine Arcellinida (testate lobose amoebae)

Steele, R. E., Patterson, R. T., Hamilton, P. B., Nasser, N. A. & Roe, H. M., 01 Feb 2020, In : Environmental Technology & Innovation. 17, 14 p., 100580.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Use of Arcellinida (testate lobose amoebae) Arsenic tolerance limits as novel tool for biomonitoring Arsenic contamination in lakes

    Nasser, N., Patterson, T., Roe, H., Galloway, J., Falck, H. & Sanei, H., 19 Feb 2020, In : Ecological Indicators.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    An evaluation of methodologies for calibrating Itrax X-ray fluorescence counts with ICP-MS concentration data for discrete sediment samples

    Gregory, B. R. B., Patterson, R. T., Reinhardt, E. G., Galloway, J. M. & Roe, H. M., 11 May 2019, In : Chemical Geology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    16 Downloads (Pure)

    Dead Island Bog, Lower Bann Valley

    Swindles, G. & Roe, H., Jul 2019, Late Quaternary Landscape Evolution, Palaeoenvironments and Human Occupation in the North of Ireland. Roe, H., Whitehouse, N. & Knight, J. (eds.). Quaternary Research Association, p. 130-137 8 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland - Staff Bursary 2018

    Roe, Helen (Recipient), 27 Apr 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    British Ecological Society

    Roe, Helen (Recipient), 2003

    Prize: Appointment

    Eaton Fellowship Award, 2014-2016

    Roe, Helen (Recipient), Dec 2014

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    MSc External Examiner - Ottawa-Carleton Geosciences Centre, Ottawa, Canada

    Helen Roe (Examiner)

    26 Aug 2019

    Activity: Examination typesPGT external examination

    20th INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) Congress

    Helen Roe (Session chair)

    25 Jul 201931 Jul 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Goethe University, Frankfurt - 'Physisch-Geographisches Kolloquium' - Invited Research Seminar

    Helen Roe (Invited speaker)

    16 May 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    'Microeukaryotes as tools for resolving environmental questions'

    Helen Roe (Keynote speaker)

    03 Jul 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    Press / Media

    Algae bloom researchers using 1800's citizen scientist data

    Helen Roe & Tim Patterson


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment