Madeline Gee, postgraduate researcher, CDT SuMMeR: Cohort 1

Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (CDT SuMMeR)

<p>Madeline Gee, CDT Summer<br></p>

Background

My undergraduate degree was in Biochemistry, with projects investigating gene expression - piRNAs in C. elegans, histone variant H3.3 and alternative splicing. I’ve changed direction since then, and after an internship with conservation NGO A Rocha, Ghana in Kumasi, I applied for MSc Marine Conservation at the University of Plymouth. My dissertation project explored the potential of transplantation as a method to restore intertidal Zostera noltii seagrass beds.

Research interests/experience 

During my time with A Rocha, Ghana, I participated in community outreach engagements with stakeholders including traditional chiefs and school students and also a reptile survey with another NGO, Save the Frogs, Ghana. I loved every minute of my time in Ghana, including a visit to mangroves at the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site. 
I have also worked as a Field Assistant for GVI on their Sea Turtle Programme in Greece, conducting daily surveys of Loggerhead nesting and hatching activities. 

PhD research: Shifting Seas - a gene to landscape approach to understanding saltmarsh vulnerability and resilience to sea-level rise

Saltmarshes provide us with a range of ecosystem services, including coastal protection and carbon sequestration. This project will use a gene to landscape scale approach to understand how saltmarshes and their component species will response to rising sea levels, working across evolutionary ecology, plant biodiversity, coastal change and adaption. 
The project objectives are to:
1) predict how saltmarshes at the landscape scale respond to SLR;
2) elucidate how genetic variation in coastal plants might facilitate or hinder saltmarsh response to SLR;
3) model species elevation niches to predict marsh adaptive potential;
4) deliver a spatially explicit mapping tool to inform a better understanding of the accommodation space needed to apply resilient NbS for long term saltmarsh management

Why I applied for the CDT SuMMeR: 

The big global issues are transdisciplinary in nature, in order for research to have the most impact I believe it is important for the next generation of researchers to have transdisciplinary training.
I am also really excited for this project to bring together my genetic and conservation backgrounds to investigate this really interesting topic.