Emma Hopla

I discovered my passion for palaeoenvironmental change during my geography undergraduate degree at Plymouth University.  After completing my degree I knew I wanted a career in academia but I still was unsure about the direction I wanted to take.  I signed up for the MSc in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoenvironments in 2006 at Birmingham University where I fell in love with palynology and I’ve never looked back.  I spent a further 6 years working as a Research Associate in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity at Birmingham working on the palaeoenvironmental component for a variety of commercial and research projects.  This position gave me a fantastic opportunity to work on raised mire sequences in Ireland, wetland archaeological sites in the UK and Holocene deposits associated with the pre-inundation landscapes of the southern North Sea where I developed a particular interest in early Holocene environmental change and prehistoric landscapes.

I soon knew that I wanted to develop my career by undertaking a PhD and diversify my palynological skills into other regions of the world.  When I saw the project advertised at Southampton with Prof Mary Edwards and Dr Pete Langdon on Holocene ecosystem function and carbon cycling in arctic lake catchments I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in.   I am just about to start my first term within the PLUS team and my PhD will look at the long-term interaction between processes of the lake catchment with in-lake processes.