Matthew Amesbury


Curriculum Vitae

I joined ECRU in August 2018 to work with Minna Väliranta, Hui Zhang and Sanna Piilo on the Academy of Finland funded project: ‘Response of high-latitude peatlands to past and recent warming – predictions for future climate feedbacks’, focussing on the use of testate amoeba as a proxy for palaeohydrological change. The project aims to investigate whether northern permafrost peatlands will become a sink or source of carbon under future climate change. I will also lead a Masters-level course on testate amoeba analysis in October – December 2018.

More broadly, my research takes place across different timescales (modern, Anthropocene, Holocene) and locations (northern high latitudes, Antarctic Peninsula and sub-Antarctic islands, New Zealand) and uses different proxy (principally testate amoebae and stable isotopes) and statistical methods to investigate the long-term evolution of climate systems, peatland ecosystems and their interactions, with relevance to better understanding the future response of both to climate change.

I completed my PhD on the potential time resolution of peatland palaeoclimate analysis in 2008 (University of Southampton, UK) and as a postdoctoral researcher (University of Exeter, UK, 2010-2018) have contributed to a range of projects using peatlands as an archive to investigate Holocene climate and biological change. I co-founded the popular science website Bogology that explains my own and my colleagues’ research in accessible terms. I have recently led community-driven efforts to compile continental-scale databases of modern peatland testate amoeba data for both Europe and North America, developing standardised transfer functions for both regions. In 2017, I published a paper on work investigating the biological response to recent rapid warming on the Antarctic Peninsula that was ranked 5th for climate change in terms of global media coverage.


Latest publications

  1. Towards a Holarctic synthesis of peatland testate amoeba ecology: Development of a new continental-scale palaeohydrological transfer function for North America and comparison to European data

    Amesbury, M. J., Booth, R. K., Roland, T. P., Bunbury, J., Clifford, M. J., Charman, D. J., Elliot, S., Finkelstein, S., Garneau, M., Hughes, P. D. M., Lamarre, A., Loisel, J., Mackay, H., Magnan, G., Markel, E. R., Mitchell, E. A. D., Payne, R. J., Pelletier, N., Roe, H., Sullivan, M. E. & 4 othersSwindles, G. T., Talbot, J., van Bellen, S. & Warner, B. G., 1 Dec 2018, In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 201, p. 483-500 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  2. Spatially coherent late Holocene Antarctic Peninsula surface air temperature variability

    Charman, D. J., Amesbury, M. J., Roland, T. P., Royles, J., Hodgson, D. A., Convey, P. & Griffiths, H., Dec 2018, In : Geology. 46, 12, p. 1071-1074 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  3. Inconsistent Response of Arctic Permafrost Peatland Carbon Accumulation to Warm Climate Phases

    Zhang, H., Gallego-Sala, A. V., Amesbury, M. J., Charman, D. J., Piilo, S. R. & Väliranta, M. M., Oct 2018, In : Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 32, 10, p. 1605-1620 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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