Mike Hinchliffe

Investigating the pathways and mechanisms of methane derived carbon in upland streams


PhD Aims:

  • The aim of the project is to better understand the phenomena of methane’s incorporation into freshwater food webs.
  • This will be through:
    1) the use of spatial data and stable isotope analysis on brown trout to identify characteristics driving methane derived carbon (MDC) within the trout,
    2) identifying vector organisms for MDC pathways,
    3) assessment of seasonal differences in stream methane concentrations and methanotroph/methanogen communities.


PhD Objectives:

  • Investigate the catchment characteristics driving heightened methane derived carbon levels in brown trout within the Tweed.
  • Identify the vectors to which MDC travels from source through the food web with the use of stable isotopes.
  • Quantify the importance of MDC as an energy source for upland stream organisms.
  • Understand the spatial and temporal differences in methane concentrations within upland streams.
  • Investigate the changes in the microbial community diversity associated with catchments whose organisms contain high levels of methane derived carbon.


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