Dr Karen Cameron
- Lecturer (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
Microorganisms are crucial for the functioning of every environment on Earth; even those found in the extreme environments of the cryosphere.
I'm fascinated by the ability of microbial communities to consume and cycle chemical elements within glacial environments, in spite of the cold, nutrient poor and challenging light conditions that they can face. Communities throughout these environments are connected through hydrological flows, so what happens in one area of the glacier has the potential to impact downstream glacial habitats, or adjoining periglacial, fjord and marine environments. As climate warming continues to redesign these extensive, temperature sensitive ice masses, I'm intrigued to study the regional and global ecological consequences of this escalating event.
My research focuses on:
- The role that microorganisms play in facilitating the flow of chemical elements into and through glacial systems and their connected downstream environments.
- The geobiological relationship between microbial communities and their glacial or periglacial habitats.
- The distribution and connectivity of glacial microbial communities locally, regionally and globally, and the implications of this on ecological function.
- The relationship between the environment and microbial community function, and the impact that climate warming may have on the future ecology of cryospheric systems.
Royal Geographical Society Walters Kundert Fellowship Award 2020 for Polar field-based research activities (2020 - 2022: £10,000)
Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Research Fellowship award for project MEGARISE. Jointly funded between EU and Welsh government (2016-20: £211,838)
Horizon 2020 INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic) - INTERACCESS award to visit the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR), Nuuk (2019: ~ £8,500)
Sêr Cymru (EU and Welsh government co-funded) National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and Environment award (2016-19: £39,600)
Horizon 2020 INTERACT - INTERACCESS field work award to visit Tarfala Research Station, Sweden (2017: ~ £8,000)
Aberystwyth University Inter-disciplinary Research Centre for Environmental Microbiology award (2016-2017)
University of Copenhagen, CENPERM, field expedition grant for 3 months on Disko Island, Greenland (2015: ~ £8,900)
- Funded PhD opportunities:
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Research Fellow (COFUND), Aberystwyth University, Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) and Centre for Glaciology (Oct. 2016 – Apr. 2020)
- MEGARISE: Molecular Ecology of Glacial Albedo-Reducing Ice Surface. Horizon 2020 funded.
Postdoctoral researcher, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Department of Geochemistry and University of Copenhagen, Centre for Permafrost Ecology (CENPERM) (Jan. 2014 – Jan. 2016)
- The molecular microbial ecology of supraglacial environments. Villum Fonden funded.
Research Associate, Polar Science Center, University of Washington, Seattle (Jan. 2011 – Mar. 2013)
- Biogeochemistry of subglacial environments and microbial ecology at sub-zero temperatures. NSF funded.