Roseanne McDonald

‌‌PhD Research Student

M.Sc. Environmental Protection and Management, University of Edinburgh (2013-2014)
B.Sc. (Hons) Geography, University of Aberdeen (2009-2013)

Dr Kerry Dinsmore (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
Dr Chris Evans (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
Professor Michael Billett (University of Stirling)
Professor Susan Waldron (University of Glasgow)

Start Date: 1st October 2014

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB

tel: +44 (0)131 4458452
email: or
Twitter: @RosieMcDonald91

Research Project

Greenhouse Gas Release from UK Reservoirs 

There has been increasing research to investigate freshwater reservoirs as potential sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, measurements have been biased towards Brazil, Canada and China. The IPCC’s 2013 Wetland Supplement omitted reservoirs due to limited data. Reservoir GHG production is influenced by numerous factors, for example: soil type, water temperature, residence time, stratification and drawdown events. Understanding of current emissions is an important step in predicting how emissions will change under future climate scenarios and climate variability. Larger water level fluctuations may lead to greater emissions due to water pressure changes influencing ebullition. In addition, reservoir numbers may increase due to water shortage or flood protection requirements.

This project will address two key research questions: i) do reservoirs currently represent a significant GHG source in the UK, and ii) how is this likely to change in the future? This will be delivered through a variety of field campaigns and laboratory work: diffusive GHG flux measurements using floating chambers, GHG concentrations calculated via manual headspace analysis, methane ebullition by inverted funnels, diffusive flux from drawdown soils using static chambers, and a sediment core experiment to test water level fluctuation.

Funding Acknowledgement

IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship (NERC) with CASE enhancement provided by Scottish Water.

Wider Research Interests

Glacier hydrology; glacier carbon fluxes; permafrost carbon; cold region bioremediation; hydromorphology; and flood risk management.


McDonald, R., and Knox, O. G. G. (2014).Cold Region Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils: Do We Know Enough?Environmental Science & Technology, 48 (17), 9980-9981.

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