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Postgraduate Students

Sarah Lee

PhD Title: How does Climate Change Effect Freshwater Planktonic Food Webs?

Supervisors: Dr Rupert Perkins and Professor Stephen Ormerod and in collaboration with Dr Bryan Spears, Dr Stephen Maberly and Dr Marian Yallop.

Ecosystem processes in standing freshwaters depend on delicate interactions between a range of environmental conditions, and those affecting key primary producers such as algae are particularly important. Changes in atmospheric CO2, thermal regimes and precipitation may profoundly affect these interactions, but few case studies are available.

My PhD investigates the effect of atmospheric CO2 and temperature on the timing, productivity and community structureof phytoplankton in the model freshwater system of Cardiff Bay and how these factors might affect the dynamics of zooplankton and the invasive zebra mussel. Interactions with nutrient availability are being considered with reference to the need to manage freshwaters towards good ecological status as defined by the EU Water Framework Directive.