School of Geography

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Virginia Panizzo

Assistant Professor in Environmental Change, Faculty of Social Sciences



Ginnie is a freshwater ecologist and stable isotope geochemist whose work focuses on environmental change and biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems. In tandem with my research on algal proxies, I am interested in reconstructing the impact that humans and climate change have had on freshwater systems over the past 2000 years. My research sees me conduct research in SE Asia and continental Siberia.

Particular research focus is on:

  • Reconstructing human impacts (pollution and nutrient enrichment) on lacustrine, estuarine and riverine systems
  • Understanding aquatic ecosystem functioning (diatoms and algal biomarkers) and its relationship with carbon sequestration
  • Understanding biogeochemical cycling of silica in freshwater ecosystems
  • Developing and applying diatom isotopes δ13C, δ18O and δ30Si in environmental reconstructions

Ginnie works very closely with the British Geological Survey of which she is a Visiting Research Associate and her work falls under the umbrella of the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry.

Teaching Summary

I actively participate in the following modules in the School of Geography:

  • Earth and Environmental Dynamics
  • Geographical Field Course
  • Environmental Change (Convenor)
  • Quaternary Environments
  • Research Tutorial
  • Tutorial
  • Dissertation supervision
  • MSc Environmental Leadership and Management (dissertation supervisor)

Research Summary

Current research includes:

2020-2021: UKIERI-DST Partnership Development Workshop Call "Water for all: Addressing issues surrounding water quality, quantity and waste water treatment in India." c. £10,000 to Nottingham. UK PI Panizzo (Nottingham) and Indian PI Barooah (Assam Agricultural University).

2019-2024: Co-I on a GCRF Hub entitled "Living Deltas" (PI Newcastle). The Hub brings £1.2 million of funding to Nottingham (of a total of £15,287,248). Nottingham Leads McGowan and Panizzo.

2019-2020: National Geographic Explorer Grant: The origins and history of Lake Linumunsut, Maliau Basin, Borneo ($28,853). PI Panizzo, Co-I Frings (GFZ), Suhaimi and Pounsin (Maliau Basin).

Selected Publications

Previous research grants:

2017-2020: Newton Research Partnership NERC-NAFOSTED (total 447K with 337k from NERC): "Assessing human impacts on the Red River system, Vietnam, to enable sustainable management". The project has partners at BGS (CEG linkages) and the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology. PI McGowan with Co-Is Panizzo (Nottingham), Leng (NIGL), Vane (BGS) (NE/P014577)

2015-2018: Anne McLaren Research Fellowship (PI Panizzo) entitled "Silicon cycling in mangrove systems". Awarded £89,000 from the University with additional matched funding (c. £15,000) from the BGS

2012-2015: NERC Standard Grant entitled "Silicon isotope records of recent environmental change and anthropogenic pollution from Lake Baikal, Siberia" NE/J00829X/1 (PI Swann, with Dr. McGowan and Research Co-I Panizzo [Nottingham], Dr Priestnall [Nottingham], Dr. Mackay [UCL], Dr. Horstwood [NIGL] and Prof. Leng [NIGL]).

Facilities funding:

NIGFSC: IP-1815-0618: Understanding human-driven ecosystem change in tropical Southeast Asia. Awarded £46,000. Leng (PI, BGS) and Co-Is Panizzo, McGowan (Nottingham), Leng (Nottingham, BGS) and Engels (Birkbeck).

NIGFSC: IP-1731-0517: Biogeochemical cycling in a tropical, wetland lake: addressing missing links in the global Si cycle. Awarded £41,250. Panizzo (PI), Engels, McGowan (Nottingham), Pashley and Horstwood (BGS).

NIGFSC: IP-1586-1115: Understanding the Si isotope systematics of mangrove forests: quantifying their ready supply to tropical, coastal ocean regions and their impact on global CO2 budgets. Awarded £15,750. Panizzo (PI), Pashley and Horstwood (BGS).

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