Katrien Van Landeghem
CAMS Role: Academic Associate
Room: 312 Craig MairTelephone: 01248 38 8161
My passion for marine geology was sparked by my lecturers at Ghent University, Belgium. After studying the Gollum submarine channel system in the Porcupine Basin, I started studying and mapping the seafloor of the Irish Sea during my PhD at University College Cork (Ireland) and Cardiff University (UK). After 1 year of lecturing at Bangor University (UK), I continued to study changing seafloor morphology during a research fellowship in the University of Liverpool. Being back in Bangor University as a lecturer from July 2012, I aspire to combine geomorphological and sedimentary research, benefitting from the marine geophysical equipment on the RV Prince Madog, the sediment lab and a bridge of expertise across the various disciplines in the School of Ocean Sciences.
The marine environment is fundamentally defined by its climatic and hydrodynamic history. The NW European shelf sea in particular is an environment I intend to focus on for in the next few years to study fundamental glacial, hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes on the shelf and the shelf margin from the Late Quaternary up until -and including- the present-day. Tidally induced sediment transport and associated sediment wave formation and migration are still the subjects of intense scrutiny despite many decades of research. Such changes in hydrographic and seabed properties alter habitat patterns in the coastal and marine environments. These constitute a primary input to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), important procedures for ensuring that the likely long-term effects of sea-level change on the marine and coastal sedimentary environments are fully understood. Additionally, sediment displacement poses challenges regarding renewable energy, aggregate extraction, fishing, habitat mapping etc. Tidal variability in shelf seas has recently gained interest in other aspects of science as it influences CO2 uptake while providing a vital part of the energy needed for the Meridional Overturning. The NW European Shelf is also a palaeo-glaciated terrain with glacial bedforms still preserved on the seabed and in the subsurface. This provides an opportunity to reconstruct the nature of glacial advance and retreat in lower latitudes, and in particular the palaeo-reconstruction in time and space of Irish Sea Ice retreat and subsequent marine transgression. The approach of combining 3D geomorphology (on land, on the seabed and in the subsurface) with faunal and sedimentological data from shallow and deeper samples can then be applied to further gain understanding on the nature and extent of the polar glacial advances and retreat mechanisms today in response to climate change and internal glacial feedback mechanisms.