What we're about
Upcoming events (2)
Blue Carbon - the role of UK salt marshes in climate change mitigation, with Scott Xavi Gudrich MSc MA, founder of Plover Rovers
Marine ecosystems like seagrass meadows, salt marshes and mangroves absorb or ‘draw down’ carbon dioxide from the water and atmosphere. The storage of carbon in marine habitats is called blue carbon.
• Globally, salt marshes and seagrass – blue carbon sinks – draw down and store between them[masked] million tonnes of carbon a year; almost half the emissions from the entire global transport sector.
• Scientists estimate that salt marsh and seagrass habitats fix and store carbon at two to four times the rate of mature tropical forests. This means the UK’s salt marshes and seagrass beds have the carbon storage potential of between 1,000 and 2,000 km2 of tropical forests.
Yet despite these impressive numbers and the obvious importance of coastal wetlands for climate change mitigation and carbon sequestration, there is still much global scarcity in understanding the patterns and drivers of salt marsh carbon storing. In particular, little is known about how salt marsh carbon store will react to changes in marsh elevation due to sea level rise (SLR), and the drivers which determine variations of carbon store at depth levels below 50 cm are also not well described. I will present the findings of my research undertaken on 4 UK marshes which attempted to quantify the influence of elevation relative to local tidal range on soil carbon stores, thereby directly addressing the question how changes in relative elevation due to SLR might affect carbon store. I also investigated the relative change in importance of drivers of carbon store with increasing depth.
I hold a BSc in Environmental and Sustainability Studies as well as an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection. My research interest is in coastal ecosystems and coastal management, especially human-nature interactions and participatory methods in stakeholder engagement, as well as ABR (arts-based research). I am a former professional musician and am still active making “Music for the Planet” with my band The Lürxx.
I also hold a MA in Classics and am passionate about Latin and Ancient History as well as about nature conservation and science communication. I founded the Plover Rovers in 2020 whilst being on furlough from my job as a marine biologist. Plover Rovers is a charity dedicated to enhancing ocean literacy and empowering coastal communities through delivering exciting scientific talks all along the English Coast Path.
Note that you will have the chance to meet Scott Gudrich on a guided walk and talk led by Stuart Ellis along the Undercliff from Brighton Marina on Saturday, 11 September 2021: https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/find-a-walk-or-route/walk-detail.aspx?walkID=4129581
Winchcombe: the first UK meteorite in 30 years, with Dr Natasha Stephen on Wednesday 20 October; talk starts at 7:30pm.
On the 28th February 2021 a fireball was seen and heard across the UK. Dedicated fireball cameras, as well as dash cams and doorbell cameras, across the UK recorded the event and calculated that a meteorite may have dropped in Gloucestershire. Thanks to a public appeal by UK meteorite scientists, several pieces of the new meteorite were quickly recovered. As part of the initial recovery team, Natasha was one of the first scientists on the scene to see and hold the meteorite. She is now leading an analysis team at the University of Plymouth who have a small fragment of the newly named Winchcombe meteorite, and is beginning to unravel its mysteries. Join us as we explore the science behind the observation, recovery, and classification of the UK’s first new meteorite in 30 years.
Dr Natasha Stephen is a geologist by training, focusing on extra-terrestrial materials & planetary science. Natasha is Director of Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre at the University of Plymouth, where she is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Science & Engineering. Natasha has been working with extra-terrestrial materials from the Moon, Mars, and asteroids for 12 years since starting her PhD at Imperial College London jointly with the Natural History Museum, London. Natasha has searched for meteorites in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and classifies them using the non-destructive techniques available in her own analytical microscopy facility in the SW of England.
Join us on Zoom from 7:20pm; there will be opportunities to ask questions during and at the end of the talk.