Mike Hinchliffe

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

PhD Aims:

  • 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; and
    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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