University College London

The UCL Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) is a world leading multi-disciplinary research group which focusses on the nature, causes and consequences of environmental and biodiversity change. In particular, the ECRC specialises in the use of lake sediment records and other natural archives in the reconstruction of past environmental stressors and responses over periods of decades to millenia. Over the last 35 years the ECRC has conducted a series of major research programmes funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the European Union (EU), The Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust on topics such as surface water acidification, eutrophication and toxic pollution. Increasingly, its research aims to identify the role of climate change in modifying ecosystem behaviour on various spatial and temporal scales.


Prof Neil Rose (UCL PI)NR UCL 2

Neil is a leading expert on the use of lake sediments to infer past pollution histories and is Professor of Environmental Pollution and Palaeolimnology. Neil’s research has focussed on the use of lake sediments as natural archives of atmospherically deposited pollutants, particularly in remote areas and the use of fly-ash particles (especially spheroidal carbonaceous particles: SCPs) as a direct measure of pollutant deposition, as a dating tool for lake sediments and as a surrogate for other deposited pollutants. More recently, Neil’s research has also included the scale and causes of temporal changes in sediment accumulation rates and public participation in aquatic science through the Lottery funded OPAL project where he led the OPAL Water Centre. His research has been undertaken in many areas of the world including Greenland, Svalbard, China, Tibet, Alaska, Uganda and many areas of Europe.

Dr Carl Sayer

Carl is a Senior Lecturer in the ECRC whose expertise lies in the ecology and palaeoecology of sPOHIcarlandcrucianOct08hallow lakes and ponds, especially with diatom, macrophyte, cladoceran and fish communities and their associated fossil  remains. A key research stream is concerned with the ecological response of shallow lakes to eutrophication and in this respect he has pioneered the development and application of ecologically-relevant palaeolimnological methods. Recently he has broadened his research to include rivers and ponds including landscape-scale approaches to  aquatic restoration and biodiversity conservation. In 2015 he initiated the UCL Pond Restoration Research Group which uses scientific research to underpin practical pond conservation and restoration action, especially in agricultural landscapes. Carl has supervised 22 PhDs (11 completed) and is the founder of two major conservation initiatives: the River Glaven Conservation Group and the Norfolk Ponds Project. He is a regular advisor to The Rivers Trusts, Broads Authority, National Trust and Natural England on aquatic conservation issues and recently (2015) won a UCL award for public engagement.

Dr Helen Bennion

Helen is a Reader in Environmental Change with 20 years experience of aquatic ecological and palaeoecological research into the structure and functioning of lakes, particularly shallow, lowland systems subject to eutrophication. Her work has been largely concerned with developing methods for assessing lake ecological response to nutrient enrichment HB UCLover a range of timescales involving diatoms and aquatic macrophytes. She has been involved in EU collaborative research on five large multi-partner projects (BIOMASS, EDDI, Euro-LIMPACS, WISER and REFRESH), the latter two involving development of ecological classification tools for the EU Water Framework Directive and the examination of climate-nutrient interactions in lakes. She works closely with government agencies and conservation organisations to help inform lake management and conservation strategies especially with regard to establishing restoration targets, and has worked widely in Europe and China.

VJ UCLDr Vivienne Jones

Viv is a reader of palaeolimnology at the  Environmental Change Research Centre (UCL). Viv is a specialist in diatom analysis with expertise in acid upland lakes and polar systems. She is currently researching how palaeolimnological records can help interpret the population dynamics of rare birds (e.g. Brooks, Jones et al. 2012) and is currently supervising (with Dr Sayer) a PhD (funded by WWT) on common scoter decline. @vivjones2

Dr Ambroise Baker

Ambroise is a postdoctoral researcher. Ambroise’s work aims to promoteAB UCL biodiversity, both at the local scale and at landscape scale, by providing management advice in agreement with our latest understanding of ecosystem functioning and in ecology. Ambroise’s research is inspired by his keen interest in natural
history and botany, in particular bryophytes and vascular plants. You can read more about his botanical interest on his blog.


Dr Simon Turner

Simon is a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC), University CollegeST UCL London (UCL). He has 20 years experience of extracting environmental records from lake and wetland sediments and environmental monitoring. His work is focused on geochemical and ecological
changes in aquatic ecosystems due to human activity. In Hydroscape he will be generating new data on metals in lake sediments, fish and plants to understand the effects and mobility of legacy and modern contaminants in catchments