Dr Pete Langdon


I’ve been a palaeoecologist now for 17 years, since the start of my PhD in 1996, which may seem like a long time, but for me it has passed very quickly. I’ve been busy! My interests have always been in reconstructing past environmental change – initially looking at Holocene climate change through peat stratigraphy, followed by the use of chironomids as temperature proxies from lake sediments.

Having taken the ‘plunge’ into working with lake sediments, I became interested in recent changes in functioning, such as eutrophication, interactions between multiple drivers, and the role of macrophytes within chironomid palaeoecology, and have since worked on trying to better understand lake processes on decadal to centennial scales using palaeolimnological techniques. I’ve been lucky enough to dabble in a range of other techniques, such as tephrochrononlogy, stable isotopes, using palaeo data to help understand ecosystem services over decadal timescales, and more recently complex dynamic systems.

I’m very much at home in the field, and one of my ambitions is to core a lake (and write about it) on every continent. I’ve achieved this for Europe, Asia, North America, and have data waiting for South America and Africa. Just Australasia and Antarctica to go…