PhD: Impacts of sea level rise on atmospheric CO2 concentration during deglacial – glacial periods
School of Ocean Sciences
As an undergraduate I studied geological oceanography at Bangor University, with a focus on the West Antarctic ice sheet and the impact of melting on the Meridional Overturning Circulation. During the summer following my undergraduate, I also spent 2 months working at the MARUM in Bremen, Germany, looking at palaeoceanography using Baffin Bay foraminifera. This involved sampling a sediment core from Baffin Bay at 1cm resolution, preparing all the samples and picking forams out of each sample. These forams were then used in carbon isotope analysis. The research on Western Antarctica continued into my masters, where I presented the findings at EGU 2015.
After completing my masters, I undertook a PGCE in Secondary Geography at Reading University and went on to teach geography to key stage 3, 4 and 5 students for a couple of years in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Teaching was both insanely stressful and incredibly rewarding, and something I became passionate about. No two days were ever the same. A student once gave me a potato they decorated to look like a bumblebee, and I think that’s a unique gift that you wouldn’t get in any other profession. It quickly became clear to me that a PhD represents a pathway for me to pursue my ideal career, that would indulge my passion for research alongside my enthusiasm for teaching and developing the future generations.
My PhD project focusses more on physical oceanography and investigates how the development of shelf seas since the Last Glacial Maximum has affected atmospheric CO2. For this, we are using the intermediate-complexity UVic earth system climate model. Due to coarse resolution of global models, shelf seas are generally misrepresented; therefore, we are analysing the accuracy of a number of shelf sea parameters (such as freshwater influxes, tidal energy dissipation, and biogeochemistry) by comparing the model values to observations. From there, we can improve the model and create a series of idealised simulations.
I have been very fortunate to be able to share the outputs of my work at a number of conferences to date, as both posters and oral presentations. At the Challenger Conference in 2022, my poster was awarded the Cath Allen prize for best ECR poster (see below).
I am also still teaching, and currently teach physics and the occasional maths modules to undergraduate international students at Bangor University’s International College.
See the below infographic for more information about Katie’s exciting research. This was created by Katie during an Infographics training course delivered by Infohackit and organised by Envision.