Dr Joanne Egan

Qualifications

  • PGCTHE Edge Hill University, in progress
  • PhD Geography, University of Manchester, 2016
  • MSc Environmental monitoring, modelling and reconstruction, University of Manchester, 2011
  • BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Manchester, 2010

Research

My research interests are in the area of Environmental Change:

  • Past climates and climate drivers (recent, Holocene and Quaternary)
  • Palaeo-hazards such as volcanic impacts and tsunamis
  • Tephrochronology

My central research theme is Quaternary environmental change, with particular focus on impacts and evidence of palaeo-hazards (volcanic eruptions and tsunami) and tephrochronology. I use a multi-proxy approach including diatoms, pollen, fungal spores and charcoal. I am also interested in improving American tephrochronology, and have implemented Bayesian modelling to infer accurate and precise timings of major volcanic eruptions (Egan et al., 2015). I am also reconstructing Holocene climate change in the Pacific Northwest of America using both pollen and diatoms, and applying time-series analyses to infer various climate oscillations (Egan et al., 2016).


Recent Publications

Egan, J., Allott, T.E.H., and Blackford, J.J. (under review), Diatom inferred aquatic impacts of the mid-Holocene eruption of Mount Mazama, Oregon. Submitted to Quaternary Research.

Payne, R., and Egan, J. (in press), Using palaeoecological techniques to understand the impacts of past volcanic eruptions. Quaternary International.

Egan, J., Fletcher, W.J., Blackford, J.J., Lane, C.S., Allott, T.E.H. and Clark, D.H. (2016), The impact and significance of tephra deposition on a Holocene forest environment in the North Cascades, Washington, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews, 137, 135-155, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.02.013

Egan, J., Staff, R. and Blackford, J. (2015), A revised age estimate of the Holocene Plinian eruption of Mount Mazama, Oregon using Bayesian statistical modelling. The Holocene, 25 (7), 1054-1067, doi: 10.1177/0959683615576230


Projects

My current project assesses the environmental impacts and significance of distal tephra deposition. Volcanic eruptions have direct and indirect impacts on the environment. The direct impacts, such as the burial and killing of plant life due to pyroclastic flows are well known and well understood. However, indirect impacts are much more ambiguous and are a result of the distal effects of tephra, volcanic gases and aerosols. Volcanic activity may, indirectly, be a major driver of climate change. Tephra deposition has ecological impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems causing a depression of vegetation growth, and physical and chemical limnological changes in lakes, primarily pH and nutrient status, and habitat availability. However, the impact of distal tephra deposition is very much in its infancy with no clear consensus. This project aims to enhance our knowledge about the impacts of volcanoes on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, concentrating on distal tephra deposition from the Plinian eruption of Mount Mazama (now Crater Lake) in Oregon, northwest North America. The project also reconstructs Holocene climate change in the region, and assesses the significance of any volcanic impact observed compared with the long-term environmental changes. This project has been funded by The School of Environment, Education and Development (University of Manchester). Fieldwork funding has been obtained from The Royal Geographical Society. Radiocarbon dates have been funded and carried out by the NERC radiocarbon facility in East Kilbride, Glasgow.


Supervision

Emma Readitt: Palaeotempestology and environmental change- A study to reconstruct hurricanes from the Holocene period, analysing the frequency and environmental impacts of the identified events.


Teaching

GEO1045 Introducing Physical Geographies
GEO1046 Environmental Issues
GEO1047 Practical Skills for Geography and Environmental Science
GEO1048 Introduction to Geographical and Environmental Science Research
GEO2071 Research Methods for Physical Geography and Environmental Science
GEO2073 Environmental Research in Practice
GEO2075 Geomorphology
GEO3071 Natural Hazards
GEO3073 Environmental Change
GEO3140 Environmental Monitoring and Management
GEO3081/3082 Dissertation

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Conference Papers

(*denotes poster presentation)

Egan, J., Allott, T.E.H. and Fletcher, W.J  (October, 2016), Postglacial diatom-climate responses in a small lake in the Pacific Northwest of North America. British Diatom Meeting 2016, Shrewsbury.

Egan, J., Allott, T.E.H. and Fletcher, W.J  (September, 2016), Postglacial diatom-climate responses in a small lake in the Pacific Northwest of North America. INQUA Early Career Researchers conference and summer school, The University of Reading.

*Egan, J, Staff, R. and Blackford, J (July/August 2015). A revised age estimate of the Holocene Plinian eruption of Mount Mazama, Oregon using Bayesian statistical modelling. XIX INQUA 2015, Nagoya, Japan.

*Egan, J, Fletcher, W., Allot, TEH., Blackford, J., Lane, C and Clark, D (July/August 2015). Aquatic and terrestrial impacts of the mid-Holocene Mount Mazama Eruption, NW North America. XIX INQUA 2015, Nagoya, Japan. – Winner of the student poster prize.

Egan, J., Allott, T and Fletcher, W (2014). Diatom-inferred aquatic impacts of the mid-Holocene eruption of Mount Mazama. British Diatom Meeting, Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

*Egan, J., Staff, R and Blackford, J (2014). A high-precision age estimate of the Holocene Plinian eruption of Mount Mazama, Oregon. Tephra 2014 – Maximizing the potential of tephra for multidisciplinary science, Portland, Oregon.

Egan, J., Staff, R and Blackford, J (2014). A high-precision age estimate of the Holocene Plinian eruption of Mount Mazama, Oregon. SEED PGR Conference, University of Manchester.

*Egan, J., Blackford, J and Allott, T (2013). Diatoms as indicators of the impacts of the Mazama tephra. British Diatom Meeting, Keswick, Lake District.

*Egan, J., Blackford, J and Allott, T (2013). The impacts of volcanic eruptions: Mt. Mazama and the lakes and bogs of north-west North America. SEED PGR Conference, University of Manchester.

*Egan, J., Blackford, J and Allott, T (2012). The impacts of volcanic eruptions: Mt. Mazama and the lakes and bogs of north-west North America. SEAES PGR Conference, University of Manchester.

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