From ice age insects to the tropics: an introduction to new postdoctoral researcher...by Stefan Engels
|Stefan Engels in the field|
After finishing my PhD I moved to Stockholm and then Canada where I continued work into chironomids until I returned to The Netherlands in 2010 where I took up a post at the University of Amsterdam. My job was to use a range of different indicators and techniques to further study Holocene lake level changes on lakes across Europe. I used a combination of ground-penetrating radar imagery, palynology, chironomid analysis and geochemical tools to reconstruct past changes in precipitation. While I found evidence for changes between 3500 and 2500 years ago, I also noticed that my methods didn’t work so well in the sediments that covered the last few centuries. This turned out to be the result of overriding effects of lake ecosystem pollution, and using a different set of techniques (including sedimentary pigment analysis and coprostanol analysis) I was able to show that my study site had been polluted by man since the Medieval times.
|Tasik Chini in Malaysia which is suffering due to |
|Suzanne, Ginnie and Melanie with our Malaysian |
collaborators on the shores of Tasik Chini
My main collaborators for this project are Dr Suzanne McGowan (University of Nottingham) and Dr Melanie Leng (BGS and University of Nottingham), but there are lots of other collaborators both at the university of Nottingham and the British Geological Survey as well as in Malaysia.
If you’d like to see more about Stefan’s previous research projects, take a look at the following links:
http://bit.ly/1U4Muc2 - a professional mini-documentary on palaeoclimatology, aimed at undergrad students
http://bit.ly/1p86MV2 - an item broadcast by Dutch national television showing some of my work at Lake Uddelermeer (in Dutch)