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School of Geography

Sheila Palmer Dr Sheila Palmer

Contact details

Room Garstang 10.33
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK

Email:
s.m.palmer

Telephone:
+44 (0) 113 34 37991

Student hours:
Open door or email for an appointment.

Work in progress

Recent Projects

Effect of wildfire on Marsden Moor, with Antony Blundell, Joe Holden, Lee Brown & Martin Tillotson.  In April 2011, a fire that blazed for several days affected an area of >500 hectares of moorland landscape.  This project aims to determine the effect of landscape recovery from fire on water quality, particularly DOC, POC and colour. Our approach includes a paired before/after burn comparison using EMBER data and infrastructure at Marsden Moor pre-burn and at a nearby unburned (‘control’) site.

Catchment management and DOC/colour, with Pippa Chapman, Joe Holden, Rich Grayson & Martin Tillotson.  I am involved in three out of four projects, including: 1) Role of surface connectivity in contributing to colour/DOC production in moorland patch burning (PI); 2) Role of moorland vegetation and the incidence and nature of colour in upland catchments (Co-I);  3) Role of intake pools in the propagation of dissolved organic carbon (PI).

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with non-gaseous losses of carbon from peatlands – fate of particulate and dissolved carbon, in collaboration with Pippa Chapman & Joe Holden (Leeds), and colleagues at CEH Bangor (project leaders) & Edinburgh, and at Universities of Durham and Manchester.  The Leeds team are responsible for analysing water chemistry from multiple synoptic samplings in four separate upland regions in North Wales, North Yorkshire, North Pennines and the Peak District with the aim of identifying ‘hotspots’ for carbon transformations, for example across confluences, with different land uses, and in water bodies such as reservoirs and lakes.

Ember: Effects of peatland burning on hydrology, water quality and aquatic ecosystems, in collaboration with Lee Brown (PI) and Joe Holden, funded by 3-year NERC standard grant beginning 2009.  Across the UK many peatlands are burned to encourage and maintain heather growth. However, detailed evaluations of the costs, benefits and sustainability of burning are hampered by a lack of basic scientific data. This project will provide the first coordinated evaluation of vegetation burning on peatland hydrological and ecological processes. Four work packages aim to: 1) increase understanding of the effects of moorland patch burning on the hydrology and physicochemistry of peat, through examination of changes in soil hydrology and water quality; 2) provide a better understanding of the effects of moorland patch burning on basin runoff quantity and quality, through examination of river flow regimes, suspended sediment concentration and water chemistry; 3) assess the influence of changes in stream hydrology, water quality and sediment fluxes on stream ecosystems through examination of stream invertebrate community biodiversity and fish abundance and 4) gain a more fundamental understanding of some environmental drivers of upland aquatic community response to burning by experimentally manipulating fine sediment flux under controlled conditions using a series of streamside mesocosms.

Previous Projects

  • 2008-2010 The comparative effect of acid sulfate and sea-salts on aluminium solubility and speciation in upland soils, in collaboration with Jo Clark (Reading) and Pippa Chapman (Leeds).
  • 2009-2011 Characterisation of dissolved organic carbon from different sources within a catchment.
  • 2008-2009 The influence of broadleaved woodland on soil and streamwater acidification.
  • 2004-2005 The effect of afforestation on the soil and streamwater chemistry of natural grasslands in Uruguay and Argentina
  • 2004-2005 The effect of elevated CO2 on subsoil solution and soil chemistry under loblolly pine
  • 1999-2003 Spatial and temporal patterns in the biogeochemistry of aluminium at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
  • 1997-1999 The role of streams in the transport of gaseous and dissolved carbon from the terrestrial environment. NERC funded project, M.F. Billett (PI, now at CEH Edinburgh), D. Hope, J.J. Dawson (University of Aberdeen).

 Grants

  • Oct 2011, £80,343. Effect of wildfire on Marsden Moor (PI), with Antony Blundell, Joe Holden, Lee Brown, Martin Tillotson.
  • Aug 2011, Yorkshire Water, total award £391,869. Catchment management and DOC/colour – 4 projects (PI on two), with Pippa Chapman, Joe Holden, Rich Grayson & Martin Tillotson.
  • Sept 2010, Defra, total award £299,988 (£44,921 to Leeds). Greenhouse gas emissions associated with non-gaseous losses of carbon from peatlands – fate of particulate and dissolved carbon. In collaboration with Pippa Chapman & Joe Holden (Leeds), and colleagues at CEH Bangor (project leaders) & Edinburgh, and at Universities of Durham and Manchester.
  • Aug 2009, Yorkshire Water, £48,640. Characterisation of dissolved organic carbon from different sources within a catchment. In collaboration with Pippa Chapman (PI) & Paul Kay at Leeds, and Pete Jarvis & Emma Goslan at Cranfield University.
  • Dec 2008, NERC standard grant, total award £745,324. EMBER: Effects of Moorland Burning on the Ecohydrology of River basins. In collaboration with Lee Brown (PI) and Joe Holden.
  • Sept 2008, Cluster Development Fund, £2,268. The comparative effect of acid sulfate and sea-salts on aluminium solubility and speciation in upland soils.
  • Aug 2007, Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund, £1,500. Trees and soil chemistry - small group student projects.