Our September speaker is Dr. Helen Roe from the Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, who is a Reader in Physical Geography in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Director of the Queen’s University Environmental Change Research Cluster. Her talk will review recent advances in palaeolimnology and will provide examples from the UK, Ireland, and Canada.
Please find the event details below and feel free to share it with your friends sand colleagues. Refreshments will be provided.
Speaker: Dr. Helen Roe
Title: Navigating through Murky Waters: Applications of Palaeolimnology for Understanding Water Quality Change in Lakes
Date, time and location: September 17, Tuesday, 12-1 pm, ME (Mackenzie) 3444, Carleton University
Navigating through Murky Waters: Applications of Palaeolimnology for Understanding Water Quality Change in Lakes
Palaeolimnological approaches combine biological, geochemical and, increasingly, molecular information from lake sediments to reconstruct the ecological dynamics of the past. Because instrumental monitoring records do not typically extend for more than the past few decades, palaeolimnology is key for understanding the response of past lake ecosystems to disturbance and for evaluating their resilience to perterbations. Legislation both in Europe and Canada requires the assessment of ecological health as a framework to assess water quality status, and palaeoecology has been demonstrated to be the best approach to provide objective information about past conditions. Sensitive biological indicators such as diatoms, which preserve well in sediments, have a long history of application in palaeolimnological studies, and are a key group in the long-term management of surface waters However, many challenges and questions surround the application of biological proxy-indicators for water quality assessment, in relation to their sensitivity to specific contaminants, their taphonomy and preservation, and their ability to track complex spatio-temporal changes involving multiple drivers. This talk will review some of the advances in palaeolimnology in recent years, and, will illustrate, with examples, the utility of a key group of shelled protozoans that have come to the fore over the last decade as an important group of bio-indicators in lakes: the Arcellenida (testate lobose amoebae). Drawing on examples from the UK, Ireland and Canada the sensitivity of the group will be reviewed and future challenges and research directions addressed.
• Dr Helen Roe is a Reader in Physical Geography in the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. She is Co-Director of the Queen’s University Centre for Canadian Studies and a recent Director of the Queen’s University Environmental Change Research Cluster.
• Helen completed her PhD (Quaternary Palaeoecology) in the Sub-Department of Quaternary Research, University of Cambridge, where she first became fascinated by the insights that can be drawn from microfossil bioindicators and their applications in studies of environmental change.
• Helen’s current research interests centre around the reconstruction of environmental change in lakes and other wetland environments. She uses a variety of palaeoecological and geochemical techniques to understand climate change in peatlands and lakes. Her most recent work has focused on the use of different biological groups for biomonitoring and restoration, especially in urbanizing settings and lakes impacted by nutrient enrichment.
• Helen has long-standing ties with Canada and with Carleton. She is a former Eaton Fellow of the University of New Brunswick and has been an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences since 2004. She has recently helped to set up a Memorandum of Understanding between Carleton Geography and Environmental Studies and Queen’s University Belfast to facilitate student exchange. She holds the Ireland-Canada Foundation’s James M. Flaherty Visiting Professorship for 2018-19. Her visit to Carleton University this summer are sponsored by the Ireland-Canada Foundation, and this lecture will be delivered as the James M. Flaherty Lecture.