Sarah Holmes



College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Discipline: Geography
Department: Geography

I am a PhD researcher in physical geography with an interest in climate change and the marine environment. I graduated from the University of Exeter in 2015 with a BSc in Geography (with proficiency in Spanish).

For my undergraduate dissertation I spent several months at Bangor University's sclerochronology lab and created the first ever sclerochronology for the English Channel using the growth bands of 26 marine bivalve molluscs (Glycycmeris glycymeris), finding links to the NAO, plankton concentrations and atmospheric temperatures. From this is developed a keen interest in the high-resolution proxy records can can be gained from these long-lived animals.

I am now undertaking a NERC iCASE PhD studentship in collaboration with the University of Exeter, Bangor University and CEFAS which will use the long-term records from particular bivalve molluscs in UK shelf seas to validate and potentially improve the benthic component of ecosystem models (ERSEM). This research involves both practical laboratory work alongside modeling using Python and may help to develop these models to give better future estimates of the shelf sea's response to change.