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Ms Heather Plumpton

Postgraduate Researcher in Environmental Science

I am researching the impacts of the mid-Holocene (6000 years ago) drier climatic period on Bolivian seasonally-dry tropical forests. These forests are highly threatened by deforestation and fragmentation, largely due to agriculture. But how resilient will they be to future climate change? I aim to improve understanding of the long-term impacts of drier climatic conditions on these forests, to enable us to make better predictions about how they may respond in the future. Methods used: pollen, phytoliths, stable carbon isotopes, charcoal, C and N content of lake sediment, pXRF scanning. I have a particular interest in the role of science in policy making, and understanding how to make sure the science we do has impact. I recently participated in the Walker Institute's Climate Services Academy Training (CSAT) programme which gave me the opportunity to travel to Dakar, Senegal for 2 weeks to learn about how the Senegalese government, and other actors, responded to a drought in 2014. This was an extremely valuable experience which has inspired me to continue to work at the science-policy interface in my future career.

  • Archeology, Geography and Environmental Science
  • Tropical Palaeoecology Research Group


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