Mr Robert Holden, BSc Biology
I completed a BSc degree from the University of York. My dissertation was titled 'Stable isotope analysis of environmental samples'. This dissertation involved working out a methodology for using the worlds first mobile IRMS (isotope-ratio mass spectrometer), and troubleshooting problems with it as well as performing calibrations. After my work it was deployed both to the Arctic and New Zealand.
Following my degree I worked on the RELU SCALE project with the University of Leeds, surveying farmland and investigating the impacts of different land-use on biodiversity. I surveyed birds and plants and also collected insects and worms for identification by others in the project.
I left this job to work for the UK Population Biology Network at York University, under Prof. Phil Ineson. This work aimed to get an estimate of the gaseous carbon flux from a peatland and to investigate the effect of moorland management techniques upon the flux, speciffically drainage ditch blocking. The work involved a large amount of field work and the use of an IRMS, gas chromatograph, infra-red gas analyser, open path tunable diode laser, LosGatos cavity ring-down gas analyser, Innova photo-acoustic gas analyser.
Following this work I moved to Durham to begin my PhD entitled 'Snow-vegetation interactions across the tundra-taiga interface: stabilising feedbacks or drivers of rapid environmental change?'. This continues my interest in the field of global environmental change, as the position of the tundra-taiga interface has huge consequences for the climate, due to tundra and taiga having vastly differing albedos; tundra being much more reflective over the winter months.