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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Tahir Khanzada

Tahir Khanzada


PhD project title: Palaeoecological Approach to Assist Conservation at the Catchment Scale

London NERC DTP funded PhD student.

Institutions: UCL & Queen Mary

Supervisors:  Helen Bennion (Geography, UCL), Geraldene Wharton (Geography, QMUL), Carl Sayer (Geography, UCL)


Twitter: @tahirkhanzada


Title: Palaeoecological Approach to Assist Conservation at the Catchment Scale

Abstract: Aquatic landscapes have changed dramatically due to threats posed by anthropogenic activity, and most systems are in decline. Combating this necessitates the use of aquatic restoration and conservation techniques. In order to understand system decline and establish baseline conditions, palaeoecology is an often-used technique as past species assemblages can be used to infer past environment and ecosystem conditions. Traditionally palaeoecology has set conservation goals based on records from a single lake or river, whereas modern conservation focusses on the catchment scale; therefore, in order to bring palaeoecology in line with current conservation trends research should be performed at the catchment scale. This can be achieved by taking multiple samples from palaeochannels, lakes and ponds across a catchment, analysing indicators such as macrofossils and diatoms to build a holistic spatial and temporal picture of ecosystem change over time. This approach allows a range of unique questions to be asked and would better inform conservation and management decisions. The study site used to test the approach will be the River Glaven catchment, north Norfolk, where which has a wealth of contemporary species distribution information and a complex network of streams, ponds and lakes that provide many potential investigation sites.


Academic qualifications

2019 – Present, University College London
London NERC DTP PhD Candidate

2018 – 2019, University College London
MSc Climate Change (Merit)
MSc Dissertation: ‘The Palaeolimnology of Lake Matatiele, Eastern Cape, South Africa’. Supervisor: Neil Rose

2014-2018, University College London
BSc (Hons) Geography (First Class Honours)
BSc Dissertation: ‘The response of diatoms and the aquatic ecosystem at Bølling Sø to Late-Glacial and Early Holocene climate changes’. Supervisor: Viv Jones