Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)
1987 - 1990: BSc Ecology, University of York
1990 - 1992: Scientific Officer, Botanical survey work, English Nature
1992 - 2000: Conservation Officer. Peak District, English Nature
2000 - 2003: Environmental Education Officer, Bamenda Highlands Forest Project, Cameroon (VSO Volunteer)
3003 - 2004: MSc Development and the Environment, University of East Anglia
2004 - 2007: PhD, University of Aberdeen and Macaulay Institute
For my PhD, I studied the fate of plant-derived carbon on a cut-over peatland in North East Scotland, supervised by Dave Johnson (University of Aberdeen) and Rebekka Artz (Macaulay Institute). Experimental work included studies of decomposition of plant litter from different species colonising the peatland; the influence of live plants on litter decomposition; a 13C pulse-chase experiment, sampling microbial biomass, DOC, peat and plant respiration; and the effect of root extracts from different plants on peat respiration.
January 2008 toJanuary 2011: Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen
This was a NERC-funded grant: "Direct in situ measurements of resource competition by plants along environmental gradients" with David Robinson (University of Aberdeen) and Rob Brooker (Macaulay Institute). We used 15N stable isotope labelling and pool-dilution techniques to measure directly the uptake of N from soils by competing plants; this is the first time that anyone has measured competition directly, rather than through the use of indirect or proxy methods. We used the common grassland species cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) to look at how competitive responses change due to environmental differences and different levels of N in the soil. To do this, we used two sites: a less environmentally extreme, lowland site (Aberdeen) and a more severe, higher altitude site (Braemar). Our first experiment (summer 2008) was a paired pot experiment and looked at inter- and intra-specific competition at both sites and at two N levels. Our second experiment (summer 2009) we used paired pots again and included an upland and a lowland ecotype of Dactylis to look at the role of local adaptation to competitive ability. Our final experiment (summer 2010) used field plots to compare results from our pot experiments with those from a field setting.
Level 1: Ecology & Environmental Science (contributor)
Level 2: Ecology (Course coordinator)
Level 2: Conservation Biology (Course coordinator)
Level 3:Advanced Community Ecology (Course coordinator)
Level 3: Conservation Issues in Scotland (field course; Course co-coordinator)
Level 3: Field Skills for Ecologists (field course; course coordinator)
Level 4:Honours Essay (Course co-coordinator)
Level 4: Topics in Biological Conservation (Course co-coordinator)
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