The research I am currently undertaking is part of the Dŵr Uisce project, a cross boarder project between Bangor University and Trinity Collage Dublin, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme. The Dŵr Uisce project has the overall aim of improving the long-term sustainability of water supply, treatment and end use in Ireland and Wales. My research forms part of work package 7, Climate Change, a work package that cuts across the whole project, both the technological and environmental sides.
During the course of my research I aim to assess how future climate change will affect the quality and quantity of surface water in Wales, and the impacts this will have on water service providers in the region. In order to achieve this, I will first assess the current availability of water in the study area, as well as identifying long term trends in climate, river flows, and abstraction volumes. Subsequently, I shall, using the SWAT hydrological model, quantify future climate change induced alterations in river water quantity and quality under a worst case scenario in terms of future global emissions. The impact of these changes on water supply will then be assessed by quantifying the effect of changing water quality on water treatment systems.
I undertake a small amount of additional teaching alongside by PhD, mainly in the form of invited guest lectures to specific modules, on topics related to my research. A recent and recurring example is the third year Food Geographies module (DXX-3600) for which I deliver content on water use in the food and drink industry, covering concepts such as water footprints, virtual water trading and the bottled water industry.
A notable exception to this is the Barcelona Field Course module (DXX-3003) offered to third year geography students, with which I am heavily involved. For this module I cover the physical geography content of the course, both before the weeklong visit, and during, on topics such as landscape formation; fluvial systems & water use; volcanic landscapes; and resource exploitation. I also set and assess work for the module in the form of group presentations, short fieldwork tasks, and longer research reports.
I came to Bangor University in 2012 to study my undergraduate BSc Geography with International Experience degree. Through the course of this programme I undertook a variety of opportunities. Key among the roles undertaken was a three month internship with a local community owned hydroelectric development on the Afon Anafon above the village of Abergwyngregyn. During my time working on the Anafon Hydro I developed a passion for water, renewable energy and future sustainability; which lead to my dissertation topic, based on the catchment scale GIS identification of potential micro-hydroelectric run-of-river sites.
After a year of international experience, working on a farm in the Czech Republic, I continued research and data analysis work with a role at the north Wales based Meee Programme, who run workshops on education, employment and enterprise issues. Through the completion of meaningful research, data analysis and presentation I helped the company with funding bids and to improve the programme offer and workshop content in its key early development stages.
It is on the back of this research and data analysis role that I began my PhD position back at Bangor University, looking at the long term sustainability of water supply in Wales.
Office: Room F15c, Thoday Building