Roseanne McDonald


My research focuses on understanding greenhouse gas release from UK reservoirs by combining field measurements with lab experiments, ranging from catchment-scale assessments of aquatic carbon and nitrogen fluxes to carbon sequestration in sediments.


  • PhD Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, University of Stirling (2014–)
  • MSc Environmental Protection and Management, University of Edinburgh (2013–2014)
    • Funded by a Highly Skilled Workforce Scholarship supported by the Scottish Funding Council.
    • Dissertation: Effects of hydromorphology on in-stream ecology in the Pow Burn: recommendations for improvement from a flood-risk perspective, in partnership with and part-funded by Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust.
    • Received award for Best Student Contribution to the Programme.
  • BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Aberdeen (2009–2013)
    • Dissertation: Effectiveness of SRDP funding on the management and restoration of Grampian lowland raised bogs: a carbon and conservation perspective, in partnership with the James Hutton Institute.




  • Aquatic carbon and nitrogen dynamics from reservoir catchments in Scotland. Invited speaker, Scottish Water Catchment Science Conference, Edinburgh (September 2018)
  • The Role of Water Level Fluctuation on GHG Dynamics in a Temperate UK Reservoir. Physical Processes in Natural Waters (PPNW), Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, Finland (August 2017)
  • Water level fluctuations in a temperate Scottish reservoir. IAPETUS Student Conference, University of St Andrews (May 2017)
  • The Role of Water Level Fluctuation on GHG Dynamics in a Temperate UK Reservoir. ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI (March 2017)
  • Aquatic carbon fluxes from a temperate reservoir. CEH Student Seminar Day, Edinburgh (November 2016)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from two Scottish reservoir catchments. 33rd SIL Congress, Turin (August 2016)
  • Aquatic Carbon from UK Reservoirs. IAPETUS Student Conference, IMEDEA, Majorca (May 2016)
  • The Role of Reservoirs in the Aquatic C Cycle. Winter Symposium, University of Stirling (December 2015)
  • Greenhouse Gas Release from UK Reservoirs. International Global GHG Summer School, University of Edinburgh (August 2015)
  • Greenhouse Gas Release from Scottish Reservoirs. IAPETUS Student Conference, University of Stirling (April 2015)


  • Aquatic Carbon from UK Reservoirs. IAPETUS Isotope Workshop, SUERC, University of Glasgow (November 2016)
  • GHG Release from UK Reservoirs. SAGES Relaunch Event, The Royal Society of Edinburgh (November 2015)
  • Aquatic Carbon from UK Reservoirs. Flow Country Conference III, UHI Thurso (October 2015)
  • Greenhouse Gas Release from UK Reservoirs. SAGES Graduate School Retreat, The Burn, Edzell, Scotland (November 2014)


Training courses

  • IAPETUS Advanced R Statistics. Isle of Cumbrae (October 2017)
  • Using Gas Cylinders Safely within Universities. Gas Safe (online) (March 2017)
  • IAPETUS Matlab. SCENE, University of Glasgow (January 2017)
  • IAPETUS Isotope Workshop. SUERC, University of Glasgow (November 2016)
  • Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph training. CEH, Edinburgh (May 2016)
  • IAPETUS Scientific Paper Writing. SCENE, University of Glasgow (January 2016)
  • R4All Getting Started with R. CEH, Edinburgh (January 2016)
  • SAGES Knowledge Exchange and Impact. SAGES Graduate School Retreat, The Burn, Edzell, Scotland (November 2015)
  • NERC Advanced Training Course in Environmental Statistics. University of Glasgow (August 2015)
  • International Global GHG Summer School. University of Edinburgh (August 2015)
  • BORDA Professional 4×4 Off Road Driving (Standard Level). Scottish Off Road Driving Centre (August 2015)
  • First Aid for Fieldwork (level 2). CEH, Edinburgh (May 2015, April 2018)
  • IAPETUS Enterprise School. University of Durham (March 2015).
    • Received awards for best poster and best business plan.
  • IAPETUS Field and statistical training. SCENE, University of Glasgow (January 2015)
  • Foundations of Data Analysis. University of Texas at Austin (online) (November 2014–February 2015)

Outreach & impact

  • NERC Unearthed demonstrator with Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Royal Society of Chemistry on topics of freshwater, oceans, and atmosphere (November 2017)
  • Soapbox Science assistant in Edinburgh (July 2017)
  • IAPETUS 'Science in the Movies' event for 180 Year 8 pupils of Framewell Gate School in Durham (half-day, July 2017)
  • Hosted four work experience students at CEH (2015–2017)
  • Hosted undergraduate field volunteer for 1 day/week (April–August 2016)
  • High school placement student mentor for Midlothian Council MY-JET scheme (September 2015–April 2016)
  • 'Mission: Climate Science' with the University of Edinburgh and FAAM at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (2 days, February 2016)
  • 'Science in the Sky' with the MAMM project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (3 days, October 2015)
  • STEM careers event at Newbattle High School near Edinburgh (February 2015)
  • Geoscience Demonstrator and Events Assistant with the University of Edinburgh at the Edinburgh International Science Festival (April 2014)


Scottish Freshwater Group meeting

Last week, I attended the Scottish Freshwater Group (SFG) Meeting held at the University of Stirling. The meeting was co-hosted with CREW and aimed to give freshwater scientists the opportunity to identify important knowledge gaps and research needs to support the development and implementation of River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) in Scotland.

Winter Symposium

Earlier this week I presented my first poster as a PhD student at the Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) Winter Symposium. Each 2nd and 3rd year student presented a 15 minute talk, whilst 1st years presented a poster to introduce themselves and to discuss PhD plans. Current professors and past alumni also talked about their research.

SAGES Graduate Retreat

I’m just back from a fantastic couple days at the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES) annual Graduate School Retreat! SAGES is a Scottish Funding Council pooling initiative which builds on five interrelated reach groupings of Earth System Sciences: landscape dynamics; carbon cycle; oceans, atmosphere and climate; modelling; and society/knowledge transfer.

Getting started...

I spent a few days last month attending induction events to gain further insight into what a PhD is about, institutional deadlines and common issues researchers face. This involved a day at Stirling University and two nights in Oxfordshire – first time visiting both! I’ll also be heading to Durham University later this month for a cohort induction event.

First IAPETUS cohort event: the PhD process

Last week, myself and thirteen other IAPETUS-funded students attended the first cohort training event at the University of Durham. This NERC-funded course provided a comprehensive introduction to PhD research, with guest speakers delivering presentations on time- and project management, reviewing literature, effective reading, presentation skills, getting the most out of conferences, and career planning.

Measuring aquatic carbon fluxes

I spent the day at Loch Katrine with a second-year student who demonstrated a method of measuring aquatic carbon flux, which will be heavily used throughout my PhD. There are many forms of carbon in freshwaters: organic from soil, leaves and oil; inorganic from weathering, in-stream respiration of organic matter, and soil carbon dioxide inputs. One way of measuring dissolved greenhouse gases is via the Headspace method (Hope et al., 1995):

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, and welcome to my blog!