Reconstructing 2000 years of hydrological change in Africa – implications for future climate scenarios
British Geological Survey and University of Nottingham
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Lake systems in Africa provide water to some of Earth’s fastest growing and most vulnerable human populations, but are under threat from climate change and other anthropogenic pressures. My research aims to understand the past changes in hydrology and water balance of Ugandan crater lakes over the past 2000 years, and the implications of this for future climate scenarios. Stable isotope analysis of lake sediments, environmental monitoring and hydrological mass balance modelling will build a picture of past hydrological variability of the crater lake system and its response to environmental and human pressures. This regional climate information will allow the for the down-scaling of global climate models in order to understand how the lakes may respond to projected future change, aiding policy makers in managing the region and developing sustainable water resources.
I studied Geology at Cardiff University; during this time I became fascinated with the ways that we understand the earth’s past environments, and how we can use this knowledge to better understand and plan for the future. As well as studying more traditional aspects of geology, I undertook an independent research study looking at Miocene Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics using fossil diatoms and ice rafted debris. Before starting my PhD, I worked on a project investigating the use of giant clam shell isotope geochemistry as a proxy for past ENSO variability. I am the administrator for the charity Geology, which aims to champion the role of geoscientists in working towards and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
See the below infographic for more information about Laura’s exciting research. This was created by Laura during an Infographics training course delivered by Infohackit and organised by Envision.