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School of Geography

Liam Taylor Liam Taylor

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Masters by Research project title

Changing hydrology and carbon storage of permafrost peatlands

Project overview

Peatlands cover just 3% of the Earth's surface, but have a disproportionate importance to global scale climate systems. Permafrost peatlands represent 14% of the global carbon stores. Climate change and global warming in the Arctic pose significant threats to permafrost regions, and these carbon stores. Carbon that was once considered inert and locked away is now at risk from permafrost thaw, which could initiate a positive feedback mechanism of increased warming from the release of greenhouse gases. But permafrost peatlands are becoming greener and more productive with warming too. It is therefore unknown as to whether or not permafrost peatlands will become net contributors of carbon, or net sequesters.

Aims and Objectives

At an ecosystem scale

  • Develop a testate amoebae transfer function for continuous permafrost regions in Alaska.
  • Produce a reconstruction of hydrology and carbon accumulation of permafrost peatlands in the Alaskan North Slope during the late-Holocene.

At a landscape scale

  • Use land cover classification and InSAR remote sensing methods to explore how permafrost peatlands across the Arctic have responded to warming since the 1980s.
  • Project the future hydrological conditions of permafrost peatlands, and their relationship to carbon accumulation.


Dr Graeme Swindles, Dr Paul Morris

Cluster & research affiliations

Ecology & Global Change  & River Basin Processes & Management


Ecology and Global Change – Tuition fee bursary for Masters by Research


BSc Geography, University of Exeter, 2017

Awards: 2017

Esri UK Customer Success Awards – Community Engagement