Professor Suzanne McGowan (October 2021 to 2024)
Suzanne is interested in how, why and when lake ecosystems have changed through time. Her research is particularly focused on understanding change across recent centuries when human impacts such as nutrient pollution and hydrological modifications have intensified. Suzanne was trained as a palaeolimnologist, but commonly incorporates other approaches into her work including aquatic monitoring programmes, comparative large-scale surveys, and experiments spanning whole ecosystems, mesocosms and bioassays.
She specialises in the application of chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments as biomarkers of algae and cyanobacteria in sediments and waters, and has worked on many collaborative projects across the world applying these techniques and training students in their use.
She works with stakeholders such as Cemex (UK) Ltd and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust at Attenborough Nature Reserve to address water management issues. She also works internationally including ongoing research in West Greenland which investigates how Arctic lake-scapes are responding to recent environmental changes. She has worked in some of the most iconic lake systems in the world including Lake Baikal and Lake Victoria.
Recently her interests have focused on addressing development challenges in sub/tropical regions, including work on lakes of the Yangtze floodplain, crater lakes in The Philippines, flood-pulse wetlands in Malaysia, the Red River Delta of Vietnam, and the Ganges-Brahamaputra-Meghna Delta in India and Bangladesh.
Suzanne received postdoctoral training from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (as a Marie Curie Fellow) and the University of Regina in Canada. She spent 17 years in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham with three of those years seconded to the Malaysia Campus as Head of School of Geography. She is currently Head of Aquatic Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and a Visiting Research Associate at the British Geological Survey.