Guest contributors

One of the aims of the PeatBlog is to bring together posts from a number of experts in the field, each on their individual area of expertise. So from time to time we’ll be adding to this page, giving short profiles of each guest contributor. Hopefully it will become quite a portfolio! If you have come across our website, are an expert in any aspect of Bogology and would like to contribute a guest PeatBlog, please get in touch!

Dr Jessica Royles

Jessica is a research scientist working at the British Antarctic Survey and the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Jessica uses Antarctic moss cores to investigate past environmental changes on the Antarctic Peninsula.  The cold, harsh conditions of Antarctica mean that only two higher (vascular) plant species grow there, but perhaps surprisingly, hundreds of species of mosses and liverworts survive.  Jessica has been to the Antarctic four times to collect samples, when she learnt a lot about the ways (and smells) of penguins and elephant seals, as well as the quirks of removing two metre long peat cores from the middle of frozen peat banks. Read her Bogology blog entry here.

Dr Jenny Farmer

Jenny is a research scientist with the University of Aberdeen, where she recently completed her PhD measuring and modelling the effects of land use change on soil carbon in Indonesian peatlands as part of an EU funded project (REDD-ALERT). Although based in Aberdeen, she spent 16 months living in Indonesia undertaking fieldwork. Prior to this, Jenny worked in Uganda with the Uganda Carbon Bureau establishing and developing its carbon finance project portfolio. Jenny’s current research aims to collect new biophysical data on the current extent and carbon content of Uganda’s peatlands and the effects of land use change on these. Read her Bogology blog entry here.

Dr Simon van Bellen

Simon is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Aberdeen, working on late-Holocene palaeohydrological reconstructions from bogs using testate amoebae in southern Patagonia as part of the NERC-funded PATAGON project. During his Ph.D. project at Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, he quantified temporal and spatial patterns of carbon sequestration in eastern Canadian boreal peatlands and the influence of peatland fires during the Holocene. Read his Bogology blog entry here.

Dr Bethan Davies

Bethan is a glaciologist researching the impact of climate change on glaciers in the past, present and future. She uses fieldwork, satellite imagery and computer models to understand glacier change. Her research interests are focussed in Antarctica, Patagonia and Britain. She has a science blog at and tweets as @AntarcticGlacie. Read her Bogology blog entry here.

Dr Graeme Swindles

Graeme is Associate Professor of Earth System Dynamics at the University of Leeds, UK and works on the long-term ecohydrological dynamics of temperate, tropical and sub-Arctic peatlands. He is interested in the role of autogenic and allogenic factors in peatland development, and the nature of peatland responses to climate change. He also works on i) high-resolution dating methods including tephrochronology and ii) the critical examination of past human response and adaptation to climate change using palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data. Read his Bogology blog entry here.

Dr Richard Payne

Richard is a Research Fellow at the University of Stirling. He has broad interests in environmental change and environmental management, particularly in peatland ecosystems. With a background in palaeoecology his research increasingly bridges palaeo records and modern ecosystem ecology. His research focusses particularly on air pollution and climate change impacts on peatlands on both long and short time-scales. Read his Bogology blog entry here.