Research Fellows Directory
Professor Nicholas Anderson
Lake sediment records, which are natural environmental archives (information is held in the mud that accumulates in the bottom of the lake each year) when coupled with analyses of plant remains and geochemical composition of the [in]organic matter, allow us to determine a long-term (decades) records of past changes in lakes. This approach is important because it provides information for sites where there is little or no contemporary monitoring data: this is particularly true for remote sites, such as high altitude and arctic lakes. My work is concerned with fully understanding these sediment records in terms of what they tell us about the past ecology and biogeochemistry of lakes and their response to forcing by a range of environmental factors, both natural and anthropogenic, over a range of timescales. It is clear that ecological change in these remote alpine lakes often starts prior to regional warming, high-lighting the complex nature of global environmental change processes. This work is important because it highlights the numerous drivers of ecological change, even in remote areas far removed from major pollution sources: emphasizing one process, such as regional warming and ignoring other key processes, such as reactive nitrogen deposition, will lead to inappropriate policy development. There is a clear need to take a holistic approach to the management of these remote ecosystems as well as the factors that are causing the environmental impacts.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)