NERC project “Carbon Storage in Amazonian Peatlands: Distribution and Dynamics” begins

Our new NERC-funded project officially begins today, with the appointment of Dr Greta Dargie as a PDRA at St Andrews. Greta will be leading field and lab data collection, initially working with colleagues at IIAP in Iquitos. Greta has been in the news recently in relation to her pioneering work in mapping Congolese peatlands: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/12/congo-basin-swamps-peatlands-carbon-climate-change.

New NERC grant

Ian Lawson, Katy Roucoux, Tim Baker, Ed Mitchard and Mat Williams have been awarded NERC funding to continue their research into Amazonian peatlands. The project, “Carbon Storage in Amazonian Peatlands: Distribution and Dynamics”, will run for three years and aims to improve our understanding of the distribution and functioning of these globally-significant ecosystems.

PhD opportunity to work on Amazonian peats

Drs Ed Mitchard, Ian Lawson and Simon Mudd are advertising a PhD position under the SAGES competition. Based in Edinburgh, the student will develop remote-sensing and fieldwork-based approaches to mapping peat properties in the Peruvian Amazon, building on previous work by Draper et al. For more information, see FindAPhd.

Results featured in El Peruano

The results of Freddie Draper concerning the high carbon stocks of the peatlands of Loreto, northern Peru were featured in El Peruano – a Peruvian national newspaper. The article is based on our presentation on the margins of COP20, Lima, Peru in December 2014, and emphasises the role of the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia … Read more

Updates on deforestation in Loreto, Perú

Two recent reports suggest that the potential threats to Amazonian peatlands from deforestation for oil palms and cacao, and gold mining and other extractive industries, are growing. The EIA published a particularly critical report last month, and MAAP also claims to have found evidence of significant deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon in its analyses of LandSat imagery. This raises the concern that … Read more

Congratulations to Dr Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly passed his PhD viva at the University of Leeds, with well-deserved commendations from his examiners Rob Marchant (University of York) and David Galbraith (Leeds). His supervisors (Ian Lawson, Katy Roucoux and Tim Baker) are very proud! Tom has already led or contributed to several papers through his research, and we look forward to … Read more

New paper in Environmental Research Letters identifies the most carbon-dense ecosystem in Amazonia

Draper et al. “The distribution and amount of carbon in the largest peatland complex in Amazonia” shows, using a wide range of new field data, that peatland pole forest is the most carbon-dense type ecosystem in Amazonia, when below-ground carbon storage is taken into account. This work also revised the central estimate for carbon storage … Read more