UCL Department of Geography


News from the ECRC

11 October 2019

Variety of project themes and locations

News from the ECRC

The latest Newsletter of the UCL Geography Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) includes information on a wide range of recent activities, including:


  • The Norfolk Ponds Project was awarded the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) NGO Impact award at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall in the City of London on the 27th June.
  • Dr Handong Yang has been promoted to Principal Research Fellow at UCL.

New arrivals

Welcome to Dr Charlotte O’Brien and David Fairman, who will be working with Dr David Thornalley for the next two years as part of ReconAMOC (Reconstructing Atlantic overturning over the past 7000 yrs). Charlotte has expertise in using geochemical proxies to understand past ocean conditions and climate change. David has been working on size changes in Cretaceous echinoids due to ocean anoxia (oxygen deficiency) around 90 million years ago.

Conferences and papers

There was significant ECRC representation at the 20th INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) Congress, held in Dublin at the end of July, with papers and poster presentations from eight UCL Geography staff.

Research posters and talks were also presented at the ECRC Doctoral Training Programme conference, held at UCL in September. Congratulations to Eleri Pritchard who came 1st in the judges’ vote and 3rd in the public vote for the best talk on Day 2.


Fieldwork research last summer included a September trip to Madagascar for Big Ben (See below);  sailing off the NJ coast investigating sediments with a new piston coring system while avoiding a hurricane; and examining micro-plastic contamination in ponds in the Vale of Health, Hampstead and Norfolk.

The Pond Restoration project was also busy on the Big50 project to restore 50 farmland ponds in Norfolk and Gloucester, attracting media attention from the BBC regional TV and national radio.