Skip to main content
 Helen Powley

Helen Powley

Research Associate in Coastal Seas

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Overview

I am a Marine Ecosystem Modeller, currently work part-time at both Cardiff University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.  I am interested in developing and using models to understand how environmental change may influence marine ecosystems. I am  particularly interested in how climate change and anthropogenic processes, for example through increased nutrient inputs to the ocean, may influence the biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem dynamics.

I have worked in marine systems modelling for 9 years (including my PhD), of which the last 3 have been using the biogeochemical-ecosystem model,ERSEM, in shelf-sea regions. For my PhD I developed 0D box models of nutrient cycling in the Mediterranean Sea and I now work on developing ERSEM, from the base of the food web to higher trophic levels, and running it in  1D and 3D domains on a variety of projects. I have 8 peer reviewed publications (first author on 6), and one book chapter, and have presented at numerous international and local conferences.

Biography

Academic Positions

  • 2021-present: Research Associate in Coastal Seas Modelling, Cardiff Univeristy, UK
    • MixoHUB: 3D ecosystem modelling of mixoplankton
  • 2018-present: Marine Ecosystem Modeller, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK

Education

  • 2011-2017: PhD, Earth Sciences, Ecohydrology Research Group, University of Waterloo, Canada
    • Thesis title: Phosphorus and nitrogen cycling in the Mediterranean Sea: Circulation biogeochemistry and anthropogenic forcing, supervised by Dr Philippe Van Cappellen
  • 2007-2011: BSc, Honours First Class, Earth System Science (Industrial), University of Leeds, UK
    • Thesis title: Modelling the biogeochemical cycling of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the Eastern mediterranean Sea: Effect of anthropogenic forcing and the Eastern Mediterranean transient
    • Year in industry: WSP Environmental, Soil and groundwater technician

Honours and awards

  • 2016 Graduate Studies Research Travel Assistantship, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • 2011-2016 International Doctoral Student Award, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • 2014 Best poster presentation: Hydrology and Atmospheric Section. World Water Day Graduate Research Fair, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • 2014 Golder Associates Graduate Scholarship, Water Institute, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • 2012 University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship
  • 2011 Provost Doctoral Entrance Award for Women, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • 2011 David Kay award for outstanding performance in the final year project, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK

Committees and reviewing

Journal Reviewer:

  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Biogeosciences
  • Journal of Hydrology
  • Scientific data
  • Climate of the Past

I am a Marine Ecosystem Modeller, currently work part-time at both Cardiff University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.  I am interested in developing and using models to understand how environmental change may influence marine ecosystems. I am  particularly interested in how climate change and anthropogenic processes, for example through increased nutrient inputs to the ocean, may influence the biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem dynamics.

At Cardiff, I am working on the MixoHUB project, led by Dr Aditee Mitra and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  This project uses a 3D model (FVCOM-FABM-ERSEM) to investigate the role of mixoplankton in food-web processes in coastal seas, and we will explore how climate change and anthropogenic inputs will impact coastal ecosystems and thence ecosystem services.