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Research interests of physical geographers at Queen Mary. Adrian Smith Head of Department Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London.

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slide1

Research interests of physical geographers at Queen Mary.

Adrian Smith Head of Department Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London.

Prepared by Andrew Baird, Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London.

slide2

Physical geography research

Research themes.

  •  Hydrological, hydrochemical and fluvial.
    • People: Andy Baird, Lisa Belyea, Kate Heppell, Laura Shotbolt, Kate Spencer, Geraldene Wharton.
  •  Environmental change.
    • People: (Lisa Belyea), Becky Briant, Simon Carr, Dave Horne, Simon Lewis, Sven Lukas, Jaap van der Meer.
  •  Example research interests and areas for collaboration.
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Physical geography research

Hydrological, hydrochemical and fluvial research theme.

  •  Peatland research.
    • People: Andy Baird, Lisa Belyea, Kate Heppell, Laura Shotbolt.
  •  Example projects.
    • Four NERC projects (lead three) worth £1.38M; processes of peat decomposition, dissolved carbon export, effect of fire on carbon balance, controls on methane flux.
    • Other projects on long-term management and climate change (Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency).
  •  Example key paper.
    • Belyea, L.R., and Baird, A.J. 2006. Beyond the “limits to peat bog growth”: cross-scale feedback in peatland development.Ecological Monographs 76(3), 299-322.
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Physical geography research

Hydrological, hydrochemical and fluvial research theme.

  •  Fluvial research.
    • People: Kate Heppell and Geraldene Wharton.
  •  Example projects.
    • Two NERC LoCAR projects worth £0.59M (involving colleagues in SBCS); macrophyte-sediment-contaminant/nutrient dynamics.
    • Urban river restoration with Environment Agency funding.
  •  Example key paper.
    • Wharton, G., Cotton, J.A., Wotton, R.S., Bass, J.A.B., Heppell, C.M., Trimmer, M., Sanders, I.A., and Warren L. 2006. Engineering of flows and fine sediments by macrophytes and suspension-feeding invertebrates in the Frome and Piddle Catchments, Dorset (UK). Journal of Hydrology, 330, 171-184.
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Physical geography research

Hydrological, hydrochemical and fluvial research theme.

  •  Aquatic/sedimentary hydrochemistry and geochemistry.
    • People: Kate Heppell, Kate Spencer.
  •  Projects.
    • Various (e.g., NERC, EPSRC, Environment Canada) funding to £1.76 M for projects such as N transformations in hyporheic zone of rivers (with colleagues in SBCS) and tracing of metal contaminants in estuarine sediments; effects of dredging on metal mobility.
  •  Example key paper.
    • Spencer, K.L., Dewhurst, R.E., and Penna, P. 2006. Potential impacts of water injection dredging on water quality and ecotoxicity in Limehouse Basin, River Thames, SE England, UK.Chemosphere, 63 (3): 509-521.
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Physical geography research

Environmental change research theme.

  •  Former glacier and ice-sheet extent and behaviour of climatically marginal glaciers.
    • Personnel: Simon Carr, Sven Lukas, and Jaap van der Meer.
  •  Example projects:
    • Use of thin-section analysis of subglacial sediments for reconstruction of former glacial / ice sheet dynamics.
    • Dynamics of small glaciers as indicators of climate change.
  •  Example key paper:
    • Carr, S.J., Holmes, R., van der Meer, J.J.M., Rose, J. 2006. The Last Glaciation in the North Sea Basin; micromorphological evidence of extensive glaciation. Journal of Quaternary Science 21, 131-153.
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Physical geography research

Environmental change research theme.

  •  Ostracod biology and use as environmental indicators.
    • People: David Horne.
  •  Example projects
    • Use of fossil ostracods for environmental/climate reconstruction.
    • Evolutionary ecology of ostracod sex and parthenogenesis.
  •  Example key papers
    • Horne, D.J. 2007. A Mutual Temperature Range method for Quaternary palaeoclimatic analysis using European nonmarine Ostracoda. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, 1398-1415.
    • Smith, R.J., Kamiya, T., and Horne, D.J. 2006. Living males of the 'ancient asexual' Darwinulidae (Ostracoda: Crustacea). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series B (Biological Sciences), 273, 1569-1578.
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Physical geography research

Environmental change research theme.

  •  Early human activity in Britain and reconstruction of former hydrological/fluvial activity.
    • People: Becky Briant and Simon Lewis.
  •  Example projects
    • AHOB – Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (Leverhulme Trust).
    • Fluvial response to rapid climate change.
  •  Example key papers
    • Briant, R.M., Coope, G.R., Preece, R.C., Keen, D.H., Boreham, S., Griffiths, H.I., Seddon, M.B. and Gibbard, P.L. 2004. Fluvial response to Late Devensian aridity, Baston, Lincolnshire, England. Journal of Quaternary Science, 19, 479-495.
    • Ashton, N., Lewis, S.G., Parfitt, S., White, M. 2006 Riparian landscapes and human habitat preferences during the Hoxnian (MIS 11) Interglacial. Journal of Quaternary Science, 21, 497-505.
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Physical geography research

Research collaboration between Geography and SBCS.

  •  Existing collaboration in aquatic ecology and hydro/geo-chemistry.
    • Could be extended to include work on heavy metals in estuarine environments and nutrient dynamics of areas undergoing managed realignment and salt-marsh re-creation.
  •  Peatland research.
    • Little existing collaboration (involvement in one PhD project). Possible areas to consider: geochemical controls on peat decomposition, landscape ecology of peatlands (modelling of emergent properties of peatlands such as microhabitat patterning), measurement and modelling of carbon balance processes.
  •  Ostracod evolutionary ecology.
key contacts
Key contacts

HHFP Research Theme

Prof Andrew Baird – a.j.baird@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Lisa Belyea – l.belyea@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Kate Heppell – c.m.heppell@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Kate Spencer – k.spencer@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Geraldene Wharton – g.wharton@qmul.ac.uk

Environmental Change Research Theme

Prof Jaap van der Meer – j.meer@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Becky Briant – b.briant@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Simon Carr – s.j.carr@qmul.ac.uk

Dr David Horne – d.j.horne@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Simon Lewis – s.lewis@qmul.ac.uk

Dr Sven Lukas – s.lukas@qmul.ac.uk