Meet the team


Dr. George Swann (University of Nottingham)

George is an Isotope geochemist and palaeoclimatologist, who works on both freshwater and marine sediments, to investigate past environmental change over the Quaternary and Pliocene. Research interests include diatom isotopes in lacustrine and marine records, along with investigating ocean meltwater influxes and the role of the biological pump in CO2 sequestration within marine regions.

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Dr. Suzanne McGowan (University of Nottingham)

Suzanne is an aquatic ecologist and palaeolimnologist, with specific expertise in analysis of chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments. Interests include cultural impacts on lakes, with recent work investigating: eutrophication and acidification in lakes of the Windermere catchment to inform management strategies, the impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and terrestrial carbon flux on the ecology of lakes in West Greenland, and evidence for recent eutrophication in Lake Baikal using silicon isotopes.

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Dr. Anson W. Mackay (University College London)

Anson is a palaeoecologist who has worked on Lake Baikal for over 20 years, researching the anthropogenic and climate-driven impacts on the freshwater ecosystem. Anson works within the Environmental Change Research Centre at UCL, and has specific expertise in the analysis of diatom taxonomy and using stable isotopes to reconstruct environmental change. Research interests include Aral Sea in central Asia and the Okavango Delta in southern Africa.

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Dr. Virginia Panizzo (University of Nottingham)

Ginnie is a stable isotope geochemist and palaeolimnologist. Her interest is in the application of diatoms (unicellualr algae), from lake sediment cores to reconstruct Holocene environmental change. In particular, looking at the effects that natural and anthropogenic perturbations have had upon lake productivity (e.g. from remote, high altitude lakes in Uganda to remote sites in North East China). More recently her work has focused on stable isotope geochemistry, in particular the silicon cycle (both in oceans and lakes).  Silicon is essential for diatoms to form their frustules, so it is strongly linked to diatom productivity and, in turn, the carbon cycle (through diatom photosynthesis).

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Sarah Roberts (University of Nottingham)

Sarah is a PhD candidate, interested in using algal biomarkers, diatom taxonomy and phytoplankton composition to investigate the impact of recent pollution and climate change on Lake Baikal. Sedimentary algal pigments will be used to investigate the response of other algal groups (non-siliceous algae) and obtain a fully holistic insight into the ecosystem.

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Jennifer Adams (University College London)

Jennifer is a PhD candidate, interested in using biological proxies (e.g. diatoms) and heavy metal reconstructions to identify pollution and climate impacts on the Selenga River Delta, and reconstruct associated food web dynamics. The Selenga River contributes over 50% of the total annual inflow to Lake Baikal, making the sensitivity and resilience of the Selenga River Delta extremely important to the ecology of the lake.


Dr. Stephan Price (University of Southampton)

Stephan is a human geographer with interests in social and political influence, social networks,  environmental policy and politics, and political participation and organisation. He is working with the other members of the team to understand the extent of their influence and develop ways to help them and other participants reflexively guide their work.

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Recent Posts

Notts palaeolimnologists meet in China

This summer some of us palaeo researchers; Suzanne McGowan, Ginnie Panizzo, Heather Moorhouse, Mark Stevenson and Sarah Roberts, from University of Nottingham attended the 13th International Palaeolimnology Symposium (IPS) conference held in Lanzhou, China. Ginnie, who is the International Palaeolimnology Association (IPA) Young Scientist Representative, organised the Early Career Researcher Workshop at the start of the conference, which provided a great opportunity for researchers to engage in discussions on writing manuscripts, writing funding applications and applying for academic jobs. At the conference Suzanne gave a keynote talk within the ‘Putting ecology back into Paleoecology’ session, Heather presented her work on the Windermere catchment, and was awarded the best student presentation prize, and both Mark and Sarah gave talks on their work on sediment cores from lakes in Greenland and Lake Baikal.


This was an excellent conference for us all to attend, with many interesting talks and posters in sessions including; lake sediments as recorders of human-environment interaction, new advances in applied stable isotopes, recent advances in biomarkers, and palaeolimnological work from Tibetan, Alpine, high-latitude, Polar and southeast Asian Lakes. We had a great time in China with fellow palaeolimnologists, attending talks throughout the day…and taking part in a bit of karaoke in the evening too!


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