Laura Crossley

Laura crossleyI loved geography in school so when it came to choosing what undergraduate degree I wanted to do it was easy – Geography! I left the University of Liverpool with my Geography BSc but that wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to carry on learning. I undertook the Environment and Climate Change MSc once again at the University of Liverpool which allowed me to follow my interest in environmental reconstruction. Before I finished my MSc I knew I wanted a research career so when I was offered a research position under the KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) Scheme I grasped the opportunity. I was the Wastewater Recycling Specialist for a private company working with Liverpool John Moores University. After finishing this position I became a Research Assistant at LJMU looking at the implications of future climate change on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road in Canada. This experience convinced me even more that a research career was for me and a PhD was the next step.

“Assessing the safe operating space for nutrient loads to river estuaries: a palaeoenvironmental approach to estuary management” is my PhD here at the University of Southampton, match funded by Wessex Water. My research is focussed on Poole Harbour and looks at the implications of land use on nutrient loading into the rivers which in turn effects the ecology of the Harbour. This project allows me to develop my skills and knowledge in a key interest area. I am collecting sediment cores from around the catchment of the River Frome which feeds Poole Harbour and from various locations within the Harbour itself. I will be using these cores to reconstruct the nutrient and ecological history of Poole Harbour to identify the safe operating space in which the Harbour can sustain its ecological diversity. I hope that by looking at the past this research will support future land management practices within the Harbour’s catchment.