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Abby Mycroft
PhD Student



Abby is a PhD student in the SEI with co-supervision in the Environment and Chemistry departments. Her work aims to link peat chemistry to land management and climate change and to explore the implications this has both on long term carbon storage, water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Before starting her PhD, she completed a BSc in Environmental Science, a MSc in Hydrogeology, and was employed as an Organic Chemical Analyst in an environmental laboratory testing soils and waters for organic contaminants using GC/MS. Her main research interests are in both water and climate change sciences, in particular linking land management and climate change to water availability and quality, and how best to mitigate the pressures faced by the water industry.



PhD Environmental Science

University of York


MSc Hydrogeology

University of Birmingham


Organic Chemical Analyst

Nicholls Colton Analytical Ltd

Graduated 2015

BSc (hons) Environmental Science with a Certificate in European Studies

University of Nottingham and

École d'Ingénieurs de Purpan (Toulouse, France)



Linking blanket bog habitat status, management and climate to peat chemistry, carbon cycling and water quality


This project will explore the underpinning peat chemical properties impacting on decomposition and resulting blanket bog ecosystem services specifically carbon storage and water quality. Currently, observed carbon and water quality impacts lack any insight into the underpinning peat chemistry and little is known how water quality assessments relate to specific carbon compounds. This project will fill crucial evidence gaps which currently limit process level understanding and the ability of restoration projects and water companies to explain currently observed and predict future changes in carbon-cycling and water quality in relation to habitat status, management and climate.

The project addresses an urgent UK research need regarding long-term and catchment-scale replicated evidence on blanket bog management and climate impacts. The project aims to reveal key chemical plant-soil related processes regulating peatland carbon cycling, ultimately affecting ecosystem services, in order to provide sound advice on future best practice management. This project will: (i) test peat chemical composition across a wide spectrum of intact to degraded habitat, (ii) unravel litter-mediated differences in carbon cycling and water quality, (iii) identify potential key chemical components/groups  in relation to water quality parameters, (iv) assess if mowing results in a benefit in carbon storage without negative water quality impacts, and (iv) determine peat chemical responses to climate and management via litter carbon inputs and decomposition.


Funding: NERC iCASE studentship.


Industry partner: Yorkshire Peat Partnership (YPP)


Dr Andreas Heinemeyer (UOY, SEI), Dr Kirsty Penkman (UOY) and Dr Tim Thom (YPP)