School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Amy Pickard

PhD student in the field of aquatic biogeochemistry and photobiology

Supervisors: Dr Kate Heal, Dr Andy McLeod and Dr Kerry Dinsmore

My research

I am a first year NERC funded PhD student working as part of the University of Edinburgh's Global Change Research Group which is based in the School of GeoSciences. My PhD project is entitled "Aquatic organic carbon - an overlooked source of methane?"

Over the next three years I will be investigating the effect of UV irradiation on methane production in inland aquatic ecosystems and, through a combination of laboratory analyses and field investigations, will aim to determine the relative contribution of this emissions pathway to overall methane fluxes. Research to date has not considered abiotic sources of methane in aquatic ecosystems and has primarily focussed on the role of anaerobic, microbially mediated methanogenensis to account for elevated methane emissions from these environments. My PhD will address this 'gap in knowledge' and aims to quantify a previously overlooked part of the global methane budget.

My background

About me

I am originally from Surrey, but am now based in Edinburgh for the duration of my PhD. I have a passion for global change issues and take particular interest in climate change. Having worked in environmental consultancy for over a year since graduating in 2011, I have returned to academia to further explore my primary area of interest by means of a PhD.

Undergraduate degree

I completed an undergraduate MSci degree in Geography at the University of Bristol from 2007 to 2011. My Masters thesis investigated the control of subglacial substrate on the activity of microbial populations beneath glaciers. A combination of organic and inorganic laboratory analyses were used to characterise the substrate found in basal ice from four distinctive glacial systems:

  • Leverett Glacier, W.Greenland
  • Finsterwalderbreen, Svalbard
  • Engabreen, Norway
  • Joyce Glacier, Antarctica

Laboratory analyses were conducted in Bristol University's Low Temperature Experimental facility (LOWTEX), under the supervision and guidance of Dr Jemma Wadham.

I graduated from Bristol in July 2011 with a First Class Honours degree.

Low Water, Consiton Old Man in September 2012

Contact details

Amy Pickard
PhD student
Crew Building
School of GeoSciences
Kings Buildings
West Mains Road

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