Ciara Sugrue

Loughborough University

Project

Predicting the sensitivity of coastal dune wetlands to climate change and eutrophication

Supervisors

Dr Jonathon Millett (Loughborough University), Dr David Graham (Loughborough University), Laurence Jones (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and Rachael Mills

PhD Summary

I will be using plant functional and community traits to predict the sensitivity of coastal dune wetlands to climate change and eutrophication. I will be focusing on sand dunes in the UK, specifically the dune slacks.

What inspires you?

Obviously David Attenborough!

Previous Activity

BSc Zoology at the University of Reading (Whiteknights Campus); MSc Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at from Imperial College London (Silwood Park); Field Assistant for Ecological Planning and Research.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

I enjoy reaching targets and developing my skills along the way. I really appreciated the opportunity to manage an independent research project during my Masters, which allowed me to develop my statistical knowledge, my botanical identification skills and my research skills. It was for these reasons that I decided to apply for a PhD and I’m glad I did!

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

The extensive training CENTA studentships receive is great. The training days this year include geospatial data acquisition and analysis using GIS and RADAR data, statistical analysis using R, and an unmanned aerial vehicle workshop. CENTA also encourage students to undertake a two-week placement during your PhD to develop your skills and knowledge in a different field.

What are your future plans

After completing the PhD, I would like to continue a career in research, where I can continue to challenge myself. Undertaking further study and volunteering has provided me with new opportunities to enhance my skills and develop my knowledge and this is something I would like to continue doing.