• 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 …2023

Research activity per year

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 

  • QUB PLANET Group Lead (2022-)
  • Deputy Director, Queen's Centre of Canadian Studies (2016-)
  • QUB REF2021 Champion UoA14 Geography and Environmental Studies 
  • NERC QUADRAT DTP - QUB co-lead (2019-2020)
  • Director of Research, Environmental Change Research Cluster (2014-2016)

External Roles and Appointments

  • Adjunct Research Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa (2004-present)
  • Member, NERC Peer Review College (2020-)
  • Honorary Secretary, Quaternary Research Association (2018-2022)
  • 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; Biology & Environment; PeerJ
  • Former External Examiner, BSc/MEnv Programmes in Environmental Geography, University of York (2017-2021); External Examiner, BSc programme in Environmental Science, Kingston University (2017-2021)
  • 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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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