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Handong Yang

image_preview.jpgUCL Department of Geography
University College London
North-West Wing
Gower Street
London. WC1E 6BT.

Tel: 020 7679 0544
Fax: 020 7679 0565


2007 to present:          Senior Research Fellow: ECRC / ENSIS Ltd, University College London

2000 – 2007:               Research Fellow: ECRC / ENSIS Ltd, University College London

1995 – 1996:               Deputy Director: Research Centre of Environment and Land Use, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics (IGG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

1994 – 1996:               Associate Professor: IGG, CAS.

1988 – 1994:               Research Fellow: IGG, CAS.

1984 – 1988:               Research Assistant: Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS.


2000    Ph. D. Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London

1992    M. Sc. Limnology. Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

1984    B. Sc. Chemistry. University of Wuhan.

Peer-reviewed papers and book chapters


  • Yang C, Rose N, Turner S, Yang H, Goldsmith B, Losadarivas S, Barber J, Harrad S. Hexabromocyclododecanes, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and polychlorinated biphenyls in radiometrically dated sediment cores from English lakes, ~1950-present. Science of the Total Environment. (in press)
  • Jones, V.J., Rose, N.L., Self, A.E., Solovieva, N., Yang, H. 2015. Evidence of global pollution and recent environmental change in Kamchatka, Russia,  Global and Planetary Change, doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.02.005
  • Rose NL, Yang H, Turner SD. 2015. A gradient of mercury concentrations in Scottish single malt whiskies. Environmental Geochemistry and Health (in press)
  • Meyer-Jacob C, Tolu J, Bigler C, Yang H, Bindler R. 2015. Early land use and centennial scale changes in lake-water organic carbon prior to contemporary monitoring. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(21):6579-6584.
  • Battarbee RW, Turner S, Yang H, Rose NL, Smyntek PM, Jones VJ, Flower RJ, Roe K, Shilland E, Reimer PJ, et al. 2015. Air pollutant contamination and acidification of surface waters in the North York Moors, UK: Multi-proxy evidence from the sediments of a moorland pool. Holocene 25(1):226-237.



  • Yang H, Smyntek P. 2014. Use of the mercury record in Red Tarn sediments to reveal air pollution history and the implications of catchment erosion. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts 16(11):2554-2563.



  • Yang H; Turner S. 2013. Radiometric dating for recent lake sediments on the Tibet Plateau. Hydrobiologia 713: 73-86.
  • Rioual P; Lu Y; Yang H; Scuderi L; Chu G; Holmes J; Zhu B; Yang X. 2013. Diatom-environment relationships and a transfer function for conductivity in lakes of the Badain Jaran Desert, Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of Paleolimnology 50: 207-229.



  • Drevnick PE; Yang H; Lamborg CH; Rose NL. 2012. Net atmospheric mercury deposition to Svalbard: Estimated from lacustrine sediments. Atmospheric Environment 59: 509-513.
  • Thies H; Tolotti M; Nickus U; Lami A; Musazzi S; Guilizzoni P; Rose N; Yang H. 2012. Interaction of temperature and nutrient changes in Piburger See (Tyrol, Austria). Freshwater Biology. 57: 2057-2075.
  • Rose NL; Yang H; Turner S; Simpson GL. 2012. An assessment of the mechanisms for the transfer of lead and mercury from atmospherically contaminated organic soils to lake sediments with particular reference to Scotland, UK. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 83: 113-135.



  • Self, AE; Brooks SJ; Birks HJB; Nazarova L; Porinchu D; Odland A; Yang H; Jones VJ. 2011. The distribution and abundance of chironomids in high-latitude Eurasian lakes with respect to temperature and continentality: development and application of new chironomid-based climate-inference models in northern Russia. Quaternary Science Reviews. 30: 1122-1141.
  • Salonen, JS.; Seppa, H.; Valiranta, M.; Jones, V.J.; Self, A.; Heikkila, M.; Kultti, S.; Yang, H. 2011. The Holocene thermal maximum and late-Holocene cooling in the tundra of NE European Russia. Quaternary Research. 75: 501-511.



  • Vane, CH; Kim, AW; McGowan, S.; Leng, MJ; Heaton, THE; Kendrick, CP; Coombs,P; Yang, H.; Swann, GEA. 2010. Sedimentary records of sewage pollution using faecal markers in contrasting peri-urban shallow lakes. Science of the Total Environment. 409: 345-356.
  • Yang, H.; Engstrom, D.; Rose, N. 2010. Recent changes in atmospheric mercury deposition recorded in the sediments of remote, equatorial lakes in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. Environmental Science & Technology. 44: 6570-6575.
  • Wang, X.; Yang, H.; Gong, Zhao, Wu, Turner, Yao. 2010. One century sedimentary records of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, mercury and trace elements in the Qinghai Lake, Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Pollution.158: 3065-3070.
  • Yang, H. 2010. Historical mercury contamination in sediments and catchment soils of Diss Mere, UK. Environmental Pollution. 158: 2504-2510.
  • Lami, A.; Turner, S.; Musazzi, S.; Gerli, S.; Guilizzoni, P.; Rose, N., Yang, H.; Wu, G.; Yang, R. 2010. Sedimentary evidence for recent increases in production in Tibetan Plateau lakes. Hydrobiologia. 648: 175-187.
  • Yang, H.; Battarbee, R.; Turner, S.; Rose, N.; Derwent, R.; Wu, G.; Yang, R. 2010. Historical reconstruction of mercury pollution across the Tibetan Plateau using lake sediment. Environmental Science & Technology. 44: 2918-2924.
  • Sayer, C. D.; Burgess, A.; Kari, K.; Davidson, T. A.; Peglar, S.; Yang, H.; Rose, N. 2010. Long-term dynamics of submerged macrophytes and algae in a small and shallow, eutrophic lake: implications for the stability of macrophyte-dominance. Fershwater Biology, 55: 565-583.
  • Curtis, C. J.; Flower, R.J.; Rose, N.; Shiliand, J.; Simpson, G.L.; Turner, S.; Yang, H.; Plai, S. 2010. Palaeolimnological assessment of lake acidification and environmental change in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta. Journal of Limnology. 69 (Suppl.1): 92-104.



  • Yang, H.; Berry, A.; Rose, N., Berg, T., 2009. Decline in atmospheric mercury deposition in London. Journal of Environmental Monitoring.
  • Flower, R.J.; Appleby, P.G.; Thompson, J.R.; Ahmed, M.; Ramdani, M.; Chouba, L.; Rose, N.; Rochesterr, R.; Ayache, F.; Yang, H.; Rasmussen, E.K. 2009. Sediment distribution and accumulation in lagoons of the Southern Mediterranean Region (the MELMARINA Project) with special reference to environmental change and aquatic ecosystems. Hydrobiologia 622: 85-112.
  • Li, T., Cai, S., Yang, H., Wang, X., Wu, S., Ren, X., 2009. Fuzzy Comprehensive-Quantifying Assessment in Analysis of Water Quality - A case study in Lake Honghu, China. Environmental Engineering Science. 26: 451-458.



  • Rippey. B., Rose, N., Yang, H., Harrad, S., Robson, M., Travers, S., 2008. An assessment of toxicity in profundal lake sediment due to deposition of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants from the atmosphere. Environment International. 34: 345-356.
  • Dong, X., Bennion, H., Battarbee, R., Yang, X., Yang, H. & Liu, E. 2008. Tracking eutrophication in Taihu Lake using the diatom record: potential and problems. Journal of Paleolimnology 40: 413-429.



  • Yang, H., Linge, K. and Rose, N., 2007. The Pb pollution fingerprint at Lochnagar: the historical record and current status of Pb isotopes. Environmental Pollution. 145(2): 723-729.
  • Tipping E.; Yang, H.; Lawlor, A.J.; Rose, N.L.; Shotbolt, L. 2007. Trace metals in the catchment, loch and sediments of Lochnagar: Measurements and modelling. In: Lochnagar The Natural History of a Mountain Lake, edited by Rose N.L., 345-373. Springer.
  • Rose, N;, Yang, H. 2007. Temporal and spatial patterns of spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) in sediments, soils and deposition at Lochnagar. In: Lochnagar The Natural History of a Mountain Lake, edited by Rose N.L., 403-426. Springer.



  • Yang, H. and Rose, N., 2005, Trace element records in some UK lake sediments, their history, influence factors and regional differences. Environment International. 31: 63-75.
  • Chen, P., B He, Y Dun, K Endo, H Yang, 2005. The environmental magnetic records of Honghu Lake evolution in past 1200 years. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica. 23: 138-142.
  • Rose, N.; Yang, H.; Fernandez, P.; Grimalt, J.O. 2005. Trace metals, fly-ash particles and persistent organic pollutants in European remote mountain lakes. In: Global Change and Mountain Regions, edited by Huber, U.M., et al. 123-132. Springer.



  • Rose, N., D Monteith, H Kettle, R Thompson, H Yang and D Muir, 2004, A consideration of potential confounding factors limiting chemical and biological recovery Lochnagar, a remote mountain loch in Scotland. J Limonl 63: 63-76.



  • YANG, H. and N. Rose, 2003, Arsenic distribution in the UK lake sediments. Journal de Physique IV. 107:1389-1392.
  • YANG, H. and Rose, N. L., 2003, Mercury distribution in lake sediments across the UK. The Science of Total Environment. 304: 391-404.



  • YANG, H., Rose, N.L., Battarbee, R.W. and Monteith, D. 2002, Trace metal distribution in the sediments of the whole lake basin for Lochnagar, Scotland: a palaeolimnological assessment. Hydrobiologia. 479: 51-61.
  • Rose, NL, Shilland, E, YANG, H, Berg, T, Camarero, L, Harriman, R, Koinig, K, Lien, L, Nickus, U, Stuchlik, E, Thies, H and Ventura, M, 2002, Deposition and storage of spheroidal carbonaceous fly-ash particles in European mountain lake sediments and catchment soils. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution: Focus 2: 251-260.
  • YANG, H., Rose, N.L., Battarbee, R.W. and Boyle, J.F.  2002,  Mercury and lead budgets for Lochnagar, a Scottish mountain lake and its catchment. Environmental Science & Technology. 36(7): 1383-1388.
  • YANG, H., Rose, N. L. and Battarbee, R. W.  2002, Concentration and distribution of trace metals in Lochnagar, a remote Scottish mountain lake ecosystem and its catchment. The Science of Total. Environment. 285: 197-208.
  • Bennion, H.; Simpson, G.; Battarbee, R.W.; Cameron, N.G.; Curtis, C.; Flower, R.J.; Hughes, M.; Jones, V.J.; Kernan, M.; Monteith, D.T.; Patrick, S.T.; Rose, N.L.; Sayer, C.D.; Yang, H. 2002. Environmental Change in Scottish Fresh Waters.In: The State of Scotland’s Environment and Natural Heritage, edited by Usher, M.B.; Mackey, E.C., Curran, J.C. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. pp. 145-152. ISBN 0 11 497306 7.



  • YANG, H., Rose, N.L., Boyle, J.F. and Battarbee, R.W.   2001, Storage and distribution of trace metals and spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) from atmospheric deposition in the catchment peats of Lochnagar, Scotland. Environmental Pollution. 115(2): 231-238.
  • YANG, H., Rose, N.L. and Battarbee, R.W.  2001. The dating of recent catchment peats using spheroidal carbonaceous particle (SCP) concentration profiles with particular reference to Lochnagar, Scotland. The Holocene, 11(5): 593-597.


  • Boyle, J.F. Rose,N.L. Bennion, H. YANG, H. & Appleby, P.G., 1999, Environmental impacts in the Jianghan Plain: Evidence from lake sediments. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 112: 21-40.



  • YANG, H. He, B., et al, 1998, Magnetic measurements of recent sediments in Lake Changhu in the Jianghan Plain and their climatic implications. Scientia Geographica Sinica, 18(2): 135-138.


  • YANG, H. and Cai, S., 1997, Chemical characteristics of lake sediments in the Jianghan Plain and the relationship with influence of human activities. Scientia Geographica Sinica, 17(4): 323-328.
  • YANG, H., He, B., Cai, S., Oldfield, F. and Yu, L. 1997, Environmental implication of magnetic measurements on recent sediments from Lake Donghu, Wuhan. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 98: 187-195.
  • YANG, H. 1996. Geochemical characteristics of calcium in the ecosystem of Lake Honghu. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 20: 91-92.



  • Yang, H. 1996. Assessment methods on lake sediment pollution. Prevention and Cure of Environmental Pollution. 18: 41-43.



  • YANG, H., Du, Y. and Cai, S. 1995, Characteristics of water environmental chemistry of the lakes in Hubei Province and the relationship with activities of human being. Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Valley 4: 58-63.
  • YANG, H. and Cai, S. 1995, Geochemical characteristics of cultivation profiles in Lake Honghu. Oceanologica et Limnologica Sinica 26: 269-274.
  • YANG, H. and Cai, S. 1995, Chemical structure of the ecological environment in Lake Honghu. Acta Ecologica Sinica 15: 392-398.
  • YANG, H. 1995, Preliminary study on chemical stability and loading capacity of acids and alkalis of the lake water. In: Hydrobiology of Lake Honghu. Edited by Chen, Y.,  Science Press, Beijing. 188-191.
  • YANG, H. and Cai, S. 1995, Geographical characteristics of Honghu Region. In: Hydrobiology of Lake Honghu. Edited by Chen, Y., Science Press, Beijing. 1-11.
  • YANG, H. 1995, Water chemistry of Lake Honghu. In: Hydrobiology of Lake Honghu. Edited by Chen, Y.,  Science Press, Beijing. 12-27.



  • YANG, H. and Cai, S., 1994, Environmental geochemistry of sediments in Lake Donghu, Wuhan. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica. 18(3): 208-214.



  • YANG, H. and Cai, S. 1993, Recent sedimentary rate and the influence of disturbance in Lake Honghu, Wuhan. China Environmental Science and Technology. 4: 11-13.



  • YANG, H. 1992, Environmental chemistry of the ecosystem of Lake Donghu. Annales Geophysicae. 11(Supplement).
  • YANG, H. 1992, Geochemistry of interstitial water in Lake Donghu, Wuhan. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica. 16(2): 144-152.



  • Cai, S.; Guang,;Z., Zhou, P.; Zhang, X.; Yi, Z.; and YANG, H., 1987, Effects of the Three Gorge Project on Lake Environmental Evolution and Possible Gleization and Gleization of Marshes in the North and South of Jingjiang River. Science Press, Beijing.



  • Zhao, Z., Cai, X., Li, P. and YANG, H., 1986, polargraphic determination of trace  amounts of thorium. Talanta. 33(7): 623-625.

Radiometric dating

The Environmental Radiometric Facility at UCL was set up in 2003, and I have managed running it ever since. More than 350 lake sediment, peat bog and soil cores from different regions around the world have been dated.

Environmental isotope geochemistry

Use of unstable isotopes as tracers in environmental research. I have set up step forward method in environmental monitoring.

Trace metal pollution and cycling

Early research involves trace metal and N and P cycling in human directly disturbed lake ecosystems in China, and revealing pollution history by using lake sediments. In recent years, research has been mainly focused on lake pollution derived through atmospheric deposition, including: catchment secondary pollution to the lake; using Pb isotope ratios as indicators to trace pollutant Pb in lake ecosystem (NERC ICP Facility); trace metal budgets in lake ecosystems; trace metal (especially Hg and Pb) pollution history recorded by lake sediments in Europe, China, Uganda and other regions, and their implications in trace metal cycling in atmosphere (Defra, EU, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, Royal Geographical Society).

Lake sedimentation processes

Use of chemical parameters such as trace metal profiles and other sediment features in lake sediments to study lake sedimentation processes.