Daniel HaynesUniversity of Birmingham
Future climate – Future forests: Gas and particle measurement in a CO2 enriched forest
Dr Francis Pope and Professor Rob MacKenzie
The PhD project is an investigation into the aerosol response to increased CO2 concentration in a mature oak woodland. It takes place at BIFoR, where six rings have been designated for a large scale FACE study. CO2 enrichment is achieved by the use of CO2 dispersal tower rings, each tower higher than the tree line. The project will use multiple techniques to look at the output of aerosolized organic compounds and gases in the atmosphere of the forest in response to the increased CO2.
What inspires you?
My interest in the natural world was first inspired by watching documentaries about geography and biology as a child. I was always most interested in these subjects at school, and chose to carry these interests further into A-Level and University Degree. At University, I joined the Conservation Volunteer Society, which took an interest in helping to maintain local and national nature reserves, green spaces and areas of special scientific and natural interest around Birmingham. I then took a part in running the society myself for 3 years, being the Chair for two of those. My involvement with this society peaked my interest in getting involved in conservation and studies into the natural world.
I studied for an Undergraduate Degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham. I helped with a Bioaerosol study being carried out by Dr Francis Pope at the Birmingham Institute of Forestry Research (BIFoR), where a large scale Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) experiment has recently been initiated. During my involvement with this project I was inspired to join the Aerosol Society, and was lucky enough to present data at their annual science conference in November of last year.
Why did you choose Docotoral Research?
My involvement with Dr Pope’s group inspired me to want to carry on with my association with the BIFoR FACE experiment. There was a PhD available at BIFoR, which catered to my interests and would allow me to be involved in this amazing experiment. I feel that undertaking Doctoral Research will allow me to develop skills and gain experience that will be invaluable in going forward with working in the research of the natural world.
Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?
CENTA supports a lot of really good studies into the environment and the human impact on environmental systems. The PhD that I chose, that was funded by CENTA, is a study that allows me to carry on with my interest in the aerosol output of a mature forest under atmospheric Carbon enrichment. This work is a future-minded study into the effects of the predicted human effect on global CO2 concentration. This type of FACE experiment is the first of its kind in the northern hemisphere, and by joining CENTA I am able to be involved in it too.
What are your future plans
I would like to continue to work in the field of environmental research, as part of an organisation concerned with the environment, and the management of risk to both human health and the ecological systems. I think that studying here will enable me to gain vital experience in research and enable me to forge contacts that will prove useful in coordinating a multi-disciplinary approach to the challenges faced by environmental researchers as we consider the future effect of climate change and change in land use.