Biography

I studied Physical Geography at The University of Nottingham, where I became fascinated with understanding environmental change particularly in Arctic regions. After graduating with a 1st class degree from The University of Nottingham I went to Royal Holloway, University of London to study an MSc in Quaternary Science. By April 2012 I completed a PhD in palaeolimnology at The University of Loughborough where I researched “The role of climate in determining the ontogeny trends of low Arctic lakes, south-western Greenland“. In September 2012 I started as a Teaching Fellow at Keele University and became a Lecturer in Geography in October 2019.

Research and scholarship

My research is concerned with understanding aquatic ecosystems and how they change over time in response to environmental and climate change and anthropogenic impacts such as pollution. I have a number of research projects which fall under this broad area.

  • Unravelling the controls of newly emerging proglacial lake ecosystems.

In Arctic and high-latitude regions of the world, warming temperatures are causing ice-marginal retreat and the creation of multiple new lakes and ecosystems. To characterise these lake ecosystems, determine their environmental controls and understand how they change over-time, I use a range of methods including water chemistry analysis, isotope analysis, algal habitat sampling, pigment analysis and DNA analysis. 

  • Interactions between plastics, pollutants and lake ecosystems

The presence of anthropogenic plastics in lake systems presents a new habitat for micro-organisms.  Lakes are large sinks for plastic that gets washed into them, but little is known about how micro-organisms in lakes colonise plastics as a biofilm, how the biofilm affects the breakdown of the plastic or whether pollutants interact with the biofilm. Using lakes as natural testbeds, I am investigating how plastics and biofilms interact with lake water chemistry and pollutants. 

  • Long-term environmental and ecological change in lake systems

Using lake sediment (palaeolimnology) records to understand how lakes develop biologically and chemically (ontogeny) over time and to reconstruct past environments. I am particularly interested in understanding how climate can modify lake ontogeny over the millennial timescales (i.e.., The Holocene) and how climate interacts with lakes and their catchments to determine lake water chemistry and biological structure. I use a range of proxies to undertake this palaeolimnological research including diatoms, tephra, sedimentary pigment, and sediment analysis and geochemistry. I am also interested in how the hydrology of arctic lake catchments can be used to reconstruct periods of climate change in the past from lake sediment records.

MSc/PhD Projects.

I have a number of potential MSc/PhD projects available. Please follow the links below and contact me if you are interested.

Professional Bodies

Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society
Fellow of the Higher Education Authority
Member of the British Society of Geomorphology
Member of the Quaternary Research Society
Member of the International Society for Diatom Research

Teaching

Year One

  • ESC-10038 Geographical Skills
  • ESC-10035 The Practice of Physical Geography
  • ESC-10039 Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  • ESC-10041 People and the Environment

Year Two

  • GEG-20018 Concepts and Debates in Geography
  • ESC-20029 Practical Physical Geography (Module Leader)
  • ESC-20049/50 dynamic Geographies-Representing the World (Module Leader)
  • ESC-20030 Regional Landsystems

Year Three

  • ESC-30018 Global Environmental Change
  • GEG-30006/8 Geography Double/Single Dissertation
  • GEG-30006/08 Geographical Research Training

Selected Publications

  • Anderson NJ, Leng MJ, Osburn CL, Fritz SC, Law AC, McGowan S. 2018. A landscape perspective of Holocene organic carbon cycling in coastal SW Greenland lake-catchments. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol. 202, 98-108. link> doi> full text>
  • Law AC, Nobajas A, Sangonzalo R. 2018. Heterogeneous changes in the surface area of lakes in the Kangerlussuaq area of southwestern Greenland between 1995 and 2017. ARCTIC ANTARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH, vol. 50(1), Article UNSP e1487744. link> doi> full text>
  • McGowan S, Anderson NJ, Edwards ME, Hopla E, Jones V, Langdon PG, Law A, Soloveiva N, Turner S, van Hardenbroek M, Whiteford EJ, Wiik E. 2018. Vegetation transitions drive the autotrophy-heterotrophy balance in Arctic lakes. LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY LETTERS, vol. 3(3), 246-255. link> doi> full text>
  • McGowan S, Gunn HV, Whiteford EJ, John Anderson N, Jones VJ, Law AC. 2018. Functional attributes of epilithic diatoms for palaeoenvironmental interpretations in South-West Greenland lakes. J Paleolimnol, vol. 60(2), 273-298. link> doi> full text>
  • McGowan S, Gunn HV, Whiteford EJ, John Anderson N, Jones VJ, Law AC. 2018. Functional attributes of epilithic diatoms for palaeoenvironmental interpretations in South-West Greenland lakes. J Paleolimnol, vol. 60(2), 273-298. link> doi> full text>

Full Publications List show

Journal Articles

  • Anderson NJ, Leng MJ, Osburn CL, Fritz SC, Law AC, McGowan S. 2018. A landscape perspective of Holocene organic carbon cycling in coastal SW Greenland lake-catchments. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol. 202, 98-108. link> doi> full text>
  • Law AC, Nobajas A, Sangonzalo R. 2018. Heterogeneous changes in the surface area of lakes in the Kangerlussuaq area of southwestern Greenland between 1995 and 2017. ARCTIC ANTARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH, vol. 50(1), Article UNSP e1487744. link> doi> full text>
  • McGowan S, Anderson NJ, Edwards ME, Hopla E, Jones V, Langdon PG, Law A, Soloveiva N, Turner S, van Hardenbroek M, Whiteford EJ, Wiik E. 2018. Vegetation transitions drive the autotrophy-heterotrophy balance in Arctic lakes. LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY LETTERS, vol. 3(3), 246-255. link> doi> full text>
  • McGowan S, Gunn HV, Whiteford EJ, John Anderson N, Jones VJ, Law AC. 2018. Functional attributes of epilithic diatoms for palaeoenvironmental interpretations in South-West Greenland lakes. J Paleolimnol, vol. 60(2), 273-298. link> doi> full text>
  • McGowan S, Gunn HV, Whiteford EJ, John Anderson N, Jones VJ, Law AC. 2018. Functional attributes of epilithic diatoms for palaeoenvironmental interpretations in South-West Greenland lakes. J Paleolimnol, vol. 60(2), 273-298. link> doi> full text>
  • Anderson NJ, Saros JE, Bullard JE, Cahoon SMP, McGowan S, Bagshaw EA, Barry CD, Bindler R, Burpee BT, Carrivick JL, Fowler RA, Fox AD, Fritz SC, Giles ME, Hamerlik L, Ingeman-Nielsen T, Law AC, Mernild SH, Northington RM, Osburn CL, Pla-Rabès S, Post E, Telling J, Stroud DA, Whiteford EJ, Yallop ML, Yde JC. 2017. The Arctic in the Twenty-First Century: Changing Biogeochemical Linkages across a Paraglacial Landscape of Greenland. Bioscience, vol. 67(2), 118-133. link> doi> full text>
  • Anderson NJ, Saros JE, Bullard JE, Cahoon SMP, McGowan S, Bagshaw EA, Barry CD, Bindler R, Burpee BT, Carrivick JL, Fowler RA, Fox AD, Fritz SC, Giles ME, Hamerlik L, Ingeman-Nielsen T, Law AC, Mernild SH, Northington RM, Osburn CL, Pla-Rabès S, Post E, Telling J, Stroud DA, Whiteford EJ, Yallop ML, Yde JC. 2017. The Arctic in the Twenty-First Century: Changing Biogeochemical Linkages across a Paraglacial Landscape of Greenland. Bioscience, vol. 67(2), 118-133. link> doi> full text>
  • Law AC, Anderson NJ, McGowan S. 2015. Spatial and temporal variability of lake ontogeny in south-western Greenland. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol. 126, 1-16. link> doi>
  • Anderson, NJ, Liversidge, AC, McGowan, S, Jones, MD. 2012. Lake and catchment response to Holocene environmental change: spatial variability along a climate gradient in southwest Greenland. Journal of Paleolimnology, vol. 48(1), 209-222. doi>
  • Law AC, Robinson Z, Szkornik K, Waller RI. 2020. Diatom assemblages from short-lived jokulhlaup-formed kettle lakes in a proglacial outwash plain, south-east Iceland. GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER SERIES A-PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, vol. 102(2), 162-181. link> doi>

Conference Presentations

Harris, M., Fogwill, C., Power, A., Turney, C., Love, J., Cage, A., and Law, A (May 2020). Visual and fluorescence characterisation of particulate aerosols in ice cores with imaging flow cytometry, EGU General Assembly 2020.

Law, A.C. Robinson, Z.P., Glanville, H and Fogwill E (July 2019). Characterising hydrochemical controls on lake algal communities in proglacial lake systems from the SE ice-margins of Vatnajökull, SE Iceland. INQUA, Dublin.

Law, A.C. McGowan, S. and Anderson, N.J. (July 2019). Holocene trends in phototrophic communities from four lakes in south-western Greenland: the role of ontogeny, climate and climate-catchment interactions. INQUA, Dublin.

Law, A.C. Robinson, Z.P.,Szkornik, K and Waller, R.I. (April 2018). Diatom assemblages as indicators of geomorphological and hydrological evolution in former kettle hole lakes from Skeiðarársandur, south eastern Iceland. European Geosciences Union (EGU), Vienna, Austria. Oral presentation.

Leng, M. Anderson, N.J., Osborne, C. Fritz, S., Law, A.C. and McGowan, S.(April 2018). A landscape perspective of Holocene organic carbon cycling in coastal SW Greenland lake-catchments. European Geosciences Union (EGU), Vienna, Austria. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C. Robinson, Z.P.,Szkornik, K and Waller, R.I. (October 2016). The diatoms of Icelandic kettle holes: how geomorphology, hydrology and climate produce unique ecological habitats. The British Diatomist Meeting, Malham, UK. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (May 2015). The spatial and temporal variability of lake ontogeny in south-western Greenland. The Kangerlussuaq Working Group Meeting. Shrewsbury, UK. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (May 2015). Ecological transitions in the low Arctic lakes of south-western Greenland. Aquatic Transitions: Integrating records of aquatic change. British Geological Society, Nottingham, UK. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (October 2014). The spatial and temporal variability of lake ontogeny in south-western Greenland. The British Diatomist Meeting, Hay-on Wye, UK. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (March 2013). School of Geography, Geology and the Environment Research Seminar. Lake ontogeny in south-western Greenland. Keele University, UK. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (January 2013). Holocene climate change and lake ontogeny in south-western Greenland. The QRA Annual Meeting, Newcastle University, UK. Poster presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (August 2012) Holocene climate change and lake ontogeny in south-western Greenland. The International Palaeolimnology Symposium, Glasgow, UK. Oral presentation.

Leng, M., Anderson, N.J., Wagner, B., Bennike, O., D’Andrea, W.J., Liversidge, A.C., McGowan, S. (December 2011). Deglaciation, lake ontogeny and organic carbon cycling in SW Greenland lakes. American Geophysical Union (AGU), San Francisco, USA. Poster presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (October 2009). The role of climate in determining ontogeny trends of low Arctic lakes, south-western Greenland. The British Diatomist Meeting, Freshwater Biological Association, Windermere, UK. Oral presentation.

Law, A.C., Anderson, N.J. and McGowan, S. (August 2009). The role of climate in determining ontogeny trends of low Arctic lakes, south-western Greenland. The QRA Postgraduate Symposium, Manchester University, UK.  Oral presentation.

PGT Students

PGT students

  • Charlotte Briddon. 2016. Investigating aquatic community response during the anthropocene at Tasik Chini, Malaysia. Unpublished MSc thesis, Keele University.

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*Accreditation is dependent on the degree route and modules taken