I gained my BSc in Geography at Aberystwyth University, graduating in 2014, where I got my first insight into palaeoclimate research. This was finalised with a dissertation entitled “A Stratigraphic Investigation of the Surface Wetness of Cors Fochno with Past and Current Theories on Bog Growth and Formation” which focussed on mid-Holocene climate impact on peatlands, mainly using plant macrofossils of Sphagnum mosses found at Cors Fochno (Borth Bog). This formed the basis of applying for an MSc in Quaternary Science, Royal Holloway, University of London. It was here that I sparked my interests in abrupt climate changes in the Late Glacial Interglacial Transition (LGIT) and the Holocene. During this time, I undertook research in stable isotopes and their usage alongside palaeoecological proxies – focussing on fossil Coleoptera (beetles).
My thesis used both proxies, providing a unique and novel way of looking into climatic changes. I utilised the ratio of Oxygen isotopes within fossil remains of the Notaris weevil. The overall aim of this study was to test whether the fossil specimens could hold an isotopic signal, which can be correlated to other terrestrial isotopic sequences in Britain. Additionally, I aimed to assess the potential of using aquatic beetles to reconstruct palaeoclimate, to test if the isotopic signal varies from reconstructed Mutual Climatic Range (MCR) data available.
After graduating in 2015, I took a few years out of academia. I worked, mainly, in data analysis with a variety of different clients. I have gotten the research bug once again, now starting my PhD at Reading with the NERC SCENARIO DTP. My PhD project will focus on bringing together data from organic geochemistry (lipid, faecal and bile biomarkers), palaeoecology (fossil pollen, and non-pollen palynomorphs) and inorganic geochemistry (heavy and light stable isotopes) from upland Andean lake and mire systems. I will be using this data to explore the connections between human occupation and agriculture in response to past climate changes.