Photo of  Lilo Henke

Lilo Henke

Postgraduate (Geography)

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I started my PhD at Exeter University in October 2012 under the supervision of Dan Charman in CLES and Hugo Lambert in CEMPS. My project title is Holocene hydrological change and the tropical peatland carbon cycle. Tropical peatlands have acted as a significant carbon sink throughout the Holocene, but it is still poorly understood how and to what extent hydrological change and variability affect carbon fluxes in these environments. By examining past changes in the hydrological cycle and comparing these to peatland records we can get an idea of the sensitivity of the peat carbon cycle to these changes. However, hydrological reconstructions based on proxy records can be problematic as spatial shifts over time in atmospheric and oceanic patterns (e.g. the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO) may have influenced the proxy signal as much as actual changes in strength. By evaluating shifts in patterns from instrumental and model data and using that to re-interpret proxy records, a new hydrological reconstruction can be created. This will provide information on the expected relative contribution of the hydrological cycle to tropical peatland carbon flux records.
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