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PhD Testimonials

A number of our former PhD students have provided details of their experience as a SAGES funded or affiliated student. Please click on the testimonial link to find out more

David Ashmore Aberdeen SAGES affiliated Themes1 & 3 David completed his PhD research at the University of Aberdeen under the joint supervision of Robert Bingham, University of Edinburgh (formerly Aberdeen); Richard Hindmarsh, British Antarctic Survey; Matteo Spagnolo, University of Aberdeen & Martin Siegert, Imperial College London (formerly Edinburgh). His PhD was concerned with how the large, arterial ice streams of Antarctica flow and understanding the geological and hydrological processes occurring beneath kilometres of ice at the ice bed. David completed his PhD and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Aberystwyth University's Centre for Glaciology. His role involves him spending time each year in Antarctica on a NERC project addressing the impact of surface melt on the dynamics and stability of Antarctic ice shelves.To find out more about David's experience as a SAGES affiliated PhD student, read his testimonial.
Caroline Clason Aberdeen SAGES affiliated Theme 3 Caroline completed her PhD research at the University of Aberdeen under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Mair with additional support from Prof. Peter Nienow at the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD involved writing a new model for quantitative prediction of the formation of moulins and the drainage of supraglacial lakes, and was applied to glacial catchments on both the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Devon Ice Cap in High Arctic Canada. Since completing her PhD she has been employed in a postdoctoral position in glaciology at Stockholm University in Sweden. In addition to research she is also a course leader and main teacher of a largely field-based course in High Alpine glaciology and geomorphology, she works part-time on the monitoring programme at Tarfala Research Station in Arctic Sweden, and supervises a number of students. To find out more about Caroline's experience as a SAGES affiliated student, read her testimonial.
Scott McGrane Aberdeen SAGES funded Theme 1 Scott completed his PhD research at the Northern Rivers Institute within the University of Aberdeen under the joint supervision of Professors Doerthe Tetzlaff and Chris Soulsby with additional support from Dr Richard Essery at the University of Edinburgh. His research centered on catchment dynamics in lowland regions of Scotland and applied a dual environmental tracer (stable isotopes and geochemistry) and conceptual modelling approach to determine spatial and temporal dynamics of catchment behaviour. His PhD provided a broad appreciation of catchment scale hydrology by also assessing water quality risk indicators from microbial sources and change in hydroclimatic drivers over time and space. He submitted and successfully defended his PhD in March 2013 and has published manuscripts in leading international journals (Hydrological Processes and Hydrology Research). Scott joined the University of Surrey in April 2013 where he works as a Research Fellow with Professor Soon-Thiam Khu, investigating the role of urbanization on the quantity and quality of freshwater hydrology systems as part of the NERC Changing Water Cycle programme. To find out more about Scott's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read his testimonial.
Jenny Gilford Abertay SAGES affiliated Theme 2 Jenny completed her PhD research at the University of Abertay under the joint supervision of Dr. Ruth Falconer and Dr. Rebecca Wade with additional support from Dr. Ken Scott-Brown. Her research focused on Modelling & visualising the role of soils in maintaining ecosystems, goods and services. This involved developing bespoke software and conducting user/perception evaluation studies. Jenny was awarded an MPhil and is currently seeking employment as an I.T professional whilst continuing to work on the software she developed during her PhD research. To find out more about Jenny's experience as a SAGES affiliated student, read her testimonial.
Anna Koza Abertay SAGES affiliated Theme 2 Anna completed her PhD research at the University of Abertay under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Spiers. Her research project aimed to investigate adaptation of bacteria to the soil and plant environments. This particular research area is of great interest due to emerging problems of sustainable soils management and food security, where microbial communities are key factors influencing soil and plant health, disease resistance and productivity. Since completing her PhD thesis entitled 'Adaptation and niche construction by Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25' she has been employed as a Postdoc at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Copenhagen, Denmark. To find out more about Anna's experience as a SAGES affiliated student, read her testimonial.
Josselin Rouillard Dundee SAGES funded Theme 4 Josselin completed his PhD research at the University of Dundee under the joint supervision of Tom Ball and Alison Reeves with additional support from Dr. Kate Heal at the University of Edinburgh. The aim of his thesis "Sustainable flood risk management in Scotland" was to understand how specific policy ideas in flood risk management are developed and implemented by actors in Scotland. Research provided guidance on the effectiveness of reforms of governance arrangements for flood risk management in Scotland. Josselin has completed his PhD and is currently travelling. To find out more about Josselin's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read his testimonial.
Melanie Douarin Edinburgh SAGES funded Theme 3 Melanie completed her PhD research on "Secrets from a Deep Reef: Structure, Biogeography and Palaeoclimate Reconstruction from Mingulay Reef Complex Sediment Cores" at the University of Edinburgh. This was under the supervision of Dr. Mary Elliot with additional support from Mr David Long of the British Geological Society and Dr. Murray Roberts of Heriot-Watt University. Her research was based on the study of 2 British Geological Survey vibro-cores from cold-water coral reefs within the Mingulay Reef Complex, located in the Sea of Hebrides. Melanie has completed her PhD and is working on publications. To find out more about Melanie's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read her testimonial.
Rachel Howell Edinburgh SAGES funded Theme 4 Rachel completed her PhD research on "Promoting Lower-Carbon Lifestyle" at the University of Edinburgh. This was under the supervision of Dr. David Reay, Prof. Pete Higgins and Dr. Simon Allen with additional support from Dr. Charles Warren of the University of St Andrews.This was an interdisciplinary social science PhD combining insights from environmental and social psychology, sociology and environmental education. Rachel is a Lecturer in Sociology & Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh. To find out more about Rachel's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read her testimonial.
Dr.Helen Murray Glasgow SAGES funded Theme 2 Helen completed her PhD research on "Assessing the impact of windfarm-related disturbance on streamwater carbon phosphorus and nitrogen dynamics: A case study of the Whitelee catchments" at the University of Glasgow. She was under the supervision of Prof. Susan Waldron, and Dr. Hugh Flowers with additional support from Dr. Kate Heal at the University of Edinburgh and Dr. Tom Nisbet at the Centre for Forestry and Climate Change. Helen is currently with the Organic Chemistry Section of SEPA. To find out more about Helen's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read her testimonial.
Dr. Marie Porter SAMS SAGES funded Theme 3 Marie completed her PhD research on "Linking surface fluctuations of terrestrial ice masses to variability within the mixed layer of the surrounding oceans" at SAMS. She was under the supervision of Prof. Toby Sherwin with additional support from Dr. Brice Rea and Dr. Doug Mair at the University of Aberdeen. This involved investigating the links between the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding terrestrial glaciers. Marie is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Physics, Sea Ice and Technology Department, SAMS and a member of the Dynamics Oceans Research Theme. To find out more about Marie's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read her testimonial.
Louise Slater St Andrews SAGES funded Theme 1 Louise completed her PhD research on "The Imprint of climate in alluvial channel geometry" at the University of St Andrews. She was under the joint supervision of Dr. Michael Singer (St Andrews) and Dr. Simon Mudd (Edinburgh). This involved developing automated statistical procedures to analyse the US Geological Survey's databases of streamflow and stream channel measurements, which have been collected at thousands of stream gauges over the course of the last century. Louise is currently a Lecturer in Physical Geography at Queen Mary University, London. From July 2015 she will begin a Postdoctoral Research Scholarship at the Iowa Institute for Hydraulic Research, Hydroscience & Engineering, in Iowa City, US. To find out more about Louise's experience as a SAGES affiliated PhD student, read her testimonial.
David Small St Andrews SAGES funded Theme 3 David completed his PhD research on "The last deglaciation of the British-Irish Ice sheet (North-West sector)" at the University of St Andrews. He was under the joint supervision of Dr. Vincent Rinterknecht and Dr. William Austin with additional support from Dr. Mary Elliot of the University of Edinburgh. This involved obtaining new data relating to the onshore and offshore stages of retreat to synthesise the behaviour of the Ice sheet. David is now a Research Associate in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. To find out more about David's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read his testimonial.
Dr. Reka Hajnalka-Fulop SUERC SAGES affiliated Theme 1 Reka graduated with a PhD in Geomorphology from the University of Glasgow. She was under the supervision of Prof. Paul Bishop and Dr. Derek Fabel with additional support from Dr. Gordon Cook at SUERC and Dr. Jeremy Everest at the British Geological Society. Her thesis focused on quantifying the magnitude and timing of Holocene soil erosion events on parent materials of known age using in-situ cosmogenic C-14 and Be-10 depth-profiles. Reka is currently a Post Doctoral Researcher at the University of Cologne but will soon be immigrating to Australia where she hopes to remain in academia. To find out more about Reka's experience as a SAGES affiliated PhD student, read her testimonial.
Marta Bruno Soares UWS SAGES funded Theme 4 Marta completed her PhD research on "Performing climate change vulnerability assessments at the local level in Scotland: Challenges, analytical trade-offs, and implications for local adaptation" at the University of the West of Scotland. She was under the supervision of Dr. Alexandre Gagnon with additional support from Dr. Ruth Doherty from the University of Edinburgh. This research focused on understanding climate change vulnerability assessments with a particular focus on a Scottish context. Marta is currently a Research fellow at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds. She is working on a European project alongside Prof. Suraje Dessai. To find out more about Marta's experience as a SAGES funded PhD student, read her testimonial.