With Savannah Worne, Loughborough University and Erika Whiteford, Nottingham Trent University.
Part of the Geosciences Seminar Series.
Sewage effluent is one major drivers of nutrient enrichment (eutrophication) in aquatic ecosystems in the UK. Only ~45% on sewage undergoes tertiary treatment (nutrient removal), with treatment practices varying between regions and over time. There is uncertainty about the efficacy of different tertiary treatments, and how long-term nutrient loading and pollution may impact standing water ecosystem health. Combined with future climate change, sewage related eutrophication is expected to intensify ecological impacts, for example through increasing algal bloom intensity and duration. Therefore, it is imperative for us to better understand the impacts of different sewage management practices in eutrophic-sensitive areas, such as Rutland Water.
My fellowship project is reconstructing nutrient loading and algal bloom histories using sediment cores to evaluate the long-term interaction between sewage nutrients and ecological quality. Additionally, I am developing novel multi-stable isotope approaches in modern waters and the sedimentary record to better evaluate the changes in nutrient sources and processing over time in response to sewage and climate change.
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