'Using palaeo-data to inform Scots pine woodland management for climate change resilience'
Prior to joining the University of St Andrews, I completed a BSc (Hons) in Geography and a Masters by Research in Applied Ecology and Conservation at the University of Liverpool (2016-2021). Here, I focussed on understanding tree and woodland biogeography and growth dynamics in response to habitat fragmentation and climate.
I joined St Andrews as an interdisciplinary student in the Earth and Environmental Science and Geography and Sustainable Development Schools, after being awarded the St Leonard’s World-Leading Doctoral Scholarship. My PhD uses dendrochronology and peatland palaeoecology to understand spatial and temporal dynamics of the widespread decline of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) across Scotland in the mid-Holocene – known as the 'mid-Holocene pine-decline'. This multi-proxy approach combines tree ring-width and blue intensity of subfossil pine stumps, with pollen, spores, faecal fungi, charcoal, and pine stomata from stratigraphic peat cores, to elucidate the drivers, human and/or environmental, of woodland decline.
This project aims to understand past landscapes and ecosystem processes, apply this understanding of Scots pine growth during the Holocene to establish which regions were more resilient or vulnerable to decline, and provide context towards predicting the future of woodland dynamics in a changing climate.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):