Dr David Ryves
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography
PhD (University College London)
Tel: +44 (0)1509 228192
Location: Room NN.1.33, Martin Hall building, East Park
2004 – Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, Loughborough University
2004 – 2008 Lecturer in Physical Geography, Loughborough University
1998 – 2003 Project Researcher, Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
1995 – 1998 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London
Departmental Research Seminar Series co-ordinator, 2004 –
Learning and Teaching Committee (member), 2004–
Staff-Student Liaison Committee (Chair), 2006-
My main research interest lies in using sediment records from lakes and estuaries to explore the nature of past environmental change under changing climatic regimes and cultural influences. I am especially interested in a long-term perspective on the development and response of aquatic environments to both natural and anthropogenic impacts on inland and coastal systems. As a diatom palaeoecologist, I have worked in interdisciplinary and international projects, combining multiproxy datasets to reconstruct past environmental change at sites in North America, Italy, Denmark, Greenland, Siberia (Lake Baikal) and East Africa (Uganda). I am especially interested in the transformation of living diatom communities to fossil assemblages, using ecological monitoring, sediment traps and experimental study data to inform and improve palaeoenvironmental inferences.
Quantitative approaches in limnology and palaeolimnology
I have worked extensively with diatom-environmental datasets using multivariate approaches (e.g. direct and indirect ordination, variance partitioning, classification). I have been involved with the development of several diatom training sets for quantitative inference of environmental parameters, including the Northern Great Plains, West Greenland, Lake Baikal and coastal lakes and fjords in north Denmark. I am especially interested in the effects of variable sample preservation on the accuracy and reliability of diatom-based transfer functions, in an effort to improve their application in saline and marine sedimentary environments where diatom preservation is often a problem.
Palaeolimnology of crater lakes in west Uganda
Recent research in west Ugandan crater lakes (associated with the western arm of the East African Rift System) used lake sediment sequences to reconstruct late Holocene environmental change, in collaboration with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Department of Geology, Makerere University. Analyses of several biological proxies (pollen, chironomids, macrofossils, diatoms) and sedimentary physical parameters were combined to infer lake and landscape change over the last millennium. Ongoing research, supported by a NERC award, is attempting to link palaeolimnological data (e.g. pollen, diatoms and stable isotope analysis of authigenic carbonates and sedimentary organic matter) to observed climate and disease records over the 20th century and unpublished documents from missionaries and early explorers from the 19th century. We aim to assess the extent to which diseases with an environmental dependence on climate and/or vegetation through their vectors or animal reservoirs (e.g. sleeping sickness carried by tsetse flies) can be linked to palaeoenvironmental data from lake sediments. Connecting the history of epidemic disease, through their hosts, to lake sediments is a novel approach for both palaeolimnology and epidemiology. This research is supported by Loughborough University and linked to a PhD project (Keely Mills), and involves collaboration with researchers at Makerere University, the British Geological Survey, the University of Nottingham and the University of Guelph, Canada.
Linking sea and society: Environmental change in Danish coastal waters over the Holocene
The history of human exploitation of coastal resources in the Danish Baltic Sea reflects the interplay of cultural development (including technological innovation and societal custom) and response to fluctuations in the natural environment. In the absence of long-term environmental data, changes in coastal archaeological deposits or marine historical records are difficult to interpret in unequivocally environmental terms. Knowledge of past fluctuations in marine environments is important, not only for understanding past societal responses, but can inform our understanding of the relationship between people and environment in contemporary coastal systems. A series of linked projects is investigating environmental change in Danish coasts, using long-term natural sediment archives from locations close to important archaeological sites, with the aim to provide quantitative reconstructions of key parameters including salinity, productivity and oxygen conditions, using a range of proxies (including diatoms, pigments, forams, pollen and molluscs). This work is in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, and involves co-workers at Århus University, the British Geological Survey (NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory), University of Saskatchewan and University of Alberta. Research is supported by the Carlsberg Foundation, the Danish Research Councils for Science and the Humanities, and is linked to a PhD (Jon Lewis).
Involvement in international research projects
Calibrating lake sediment records as proxies of environmental change in East Africa: integrating lacustrine, climatic and epidemiological archivesNERC and BGS-NIGL
Denmark's coastal environment over the last 9000 years: connections between cultural and coastal environmental change Danish Natural Science Research Council (SNF), Danish Research Council for the Humanities (SHF) and the Carlsberg Foundation (Denmark)
Assessing the potential to reconstruct the history of disease from lake sediments in East Africa: a pilot study in Uganda Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA)
Climatically induced changes in biological interactions during the past 1000 years in lakes across the North Atlantic Danish Natural Science Research Council (SNF)
The influence of climate change on past and present biological structure in Greenland lakes Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland
European Diatom Database Initiative (EDDI) EU 4th Framework
Holocene Environmental Reconstruction in Lake Baikal NERC-GEOPASS
Palaeoenvironmental Analyses of Italian Crater Lake and Adriatic Sediments (PALICLAS) EU 3rd Framework
Climate and Salinity Project (CASPIA) NERC
Environmental change in western Uganda during the late Holocene from multiproxy palaeolimnological archives: application for AMS 14C dating to NERC-RCL, April 2007 (6 dates awarded)
Environmental change in western Uganda during the late Holocene from multiproxy palaeolimnological archives: application for AMS 14C dating to NERC-RCL, October 2007 (up to 10 dates awarded)
Relationships between coastal environments and culture during the Stone Age in Denmark: additional award to attend the 4th Biennial Estuarine Research Federation conference, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, November 4th - 8th 2007 (Carlsberg Foundation: 15,000 DKK = £1400)
Calibrating lake sediment records as proxies of environmental change in East Africa: integrating lacustrine, climatic and epidemiological archives, January 2006 – January 2009, in collaboration with Dr. Immaculate Ssemmanda, Department of Geology, Makerere University, Kampala; Dr. Georgina Endfield, Department of Geography, University of Nottingham; Dr. Angela Lamb, NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, and Keely Mills, PhD Student, Department of Geography, Loughborough University (NERC New Investigators’ Competition Award: £40,430)
Environmental change in western Uganda during the last 1200 years from multiproxy palaeolimnological archives, January 2006 – October 2007 (NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities Steering Committee: equivalent of £22,550)
Relationships between changes in the coastal environment and cultural strategies of resource exploitation during the Stone Age in eastern Jutland, Denmark, April 2004 – July 2006 (Carlsberg Foundation: 421,008 DKK = £38,000)
Denmark's coastal environment over the last 9000 years: connections between cultural and coastal environmental change , January 2004 – May 2006, with Dr. Peter Rasmussen, Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark (Danish Natural Science Research Council (SNF) and Danish Research Council for the Humanities (SHF): 1,469,000 DKK = £132,000)
Assessing the potential to reconstruct the history of disease from lake sediments in East Africa: a pilot study in Uganda , January 2000 – February 2002 (project leader), in collaboration with the Department of Geology, Makerere University, Kampala and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA): 693,000 DKK = £62,000)
Jonathan Lewis, October 2006 – September 2009: Holocene climatic and environmental change in coastal Denmark; linking hydrographic and cultural change. Co-supervisors: Prof. N.J. Anderson (LU), Dr. Peter Rasmussen (Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland, Copenhagen). Funding body: Loughborough University Development Fund.
Jon is assessing the nature and extent of environmental change in coastal Danish waters over the Holocene and the extent to which these can be linked to the rich archaeological and historical records of maritime Denmark. This project focuses on diatom analysis from several coastal sequences to provide both a qualitative and quantitative reconstruction of key environmental parameters (especially salinity and total nitrogen), but will also involve analysis of foraminifera for both ecological and isotopic information to corroborate the diatom records.
Keely Mills, October 2005 – September 2008: Palaeolimnology of Ugandan crater lakes. Co-supervisor: Prof. N.J. Anderson (LU). Funding body: Loughborough University Development Fund.
Keely is investigating environmental change using high-resolution palaeolimnological analyses of lake sediment sequences from crater lakes in western Uganda, focussing on diatoms and stable isotopes of sedimentary authigenic carbonates and organic matter (δ18O, δ13C). The methodology will be applied to sediment records from several crater lake to improve our understanding of local and regional-scale environmental change (both natural and anthropogenic) in the late Holocene at these low-latitude sites.
GYA001/101 Physical Geography
GYA006 Practising Geography
GYC305 Environmental Change and Ecological Response
GYC401 Independent Geographical Essay
GYC903 Alpine Studies Fieldcourse
GYP023 Lake Monitoring and Management
Anderson, N. J., K. P. Brodersen, D. B. Ryves, S. McGowan, L. S. Johansson, E. Jeppesen, and M. J. Leng. (Accepted) Climate versus in-lake processes as controls on community structure in an arctic lake (south-west Greenland). Ecosystems.
Rasmussen, P., K. S. Petersen, and D. B. Ryves. (2007) Environmental change in Danish marine waters during the Roman Warm Period inferred from mollusc data. Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland Bulletin: Review of Survey Activities 2006 13: 21-24. Available online.
Mackay, A. W., D. B. Ryves, D. W. Morley, D. H. Jewson, and P. Rioual.(2006) Assessing the vulnerability of endemic diatom species in Lake Baikal to predicted future climate change: a multivariate approach. Global Change Biology12: 2297-2315.
Ryves, D.B., Battarbee, R.W., Juggins, S., Fritz, S.C. & Anderson, N.J.(2006) Physical and chemical predictors of diatom dissolution in freshwater and saline lake sediments in North America and West Greenland, Limnology & Oceanography, 51, 1355-1368. Download paper in pdf format.
Battarbee, R.W., Mackay, A.W., Jewson, D., Ryves, D.B. & Sturm, M.(2005) Differential dissolution of Lake Baikal diatoms: correction factors and implications for palaeoclimatic reconstruction, Global and Planetary Change, 46, 75-86.
Mackay, A.W., Ryves, D.B., Battarbee, R.W., Flower, R.J., Jewson, D., Rioual, P.M.J. & Sturm, M. (2005) 1000 years of climate variability in central Asia: assessing the evidence using Lake Baikal diatom assemblages and the application of a diatom-inferred model of snow thickness, Global and Planetary Change, 46, 281-297.
Stager, J.C., Ryves, D.B., Cumming, B.F., Meeker, L.D. & Beer, J. (2005) Solar variability and the level of Lake Victoria, East Africa, during the last millennium, Journal of Paleolimnology, 33, 243-251.
Ssemmanda, I., Ryves, D.B., Bennike, O. & Appleby, P.G. (2005) Vegetation history in west Uganda during the last 1200 years: a sediment-based reconstruction from two crater lakes, The Holocene, 15, 119-132.
Ryves, D.B., Amsinck, S.L., Anderson, N.J., Appleby, P.G., Clarke, A.L., Jeppesen, E. & Landkildehus, F. (2004) Reconstructing the salinity and environment of the Limfjord and Vejlerne Nature Reserve, Denmark, using a diatom model for brackish lakes and fjords, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 61, 1988-2006.http://hdl.handle.net/2134/5278
Ryves, D.B., Jewson, D.H., Sturm, M., Battarbee, R.W., Flower, R.J., Mackay, A.W. & Granin, N.G. (2003). Quantitative and qualitative relationships between planktonic diatom communities and diatom assemblages in sedimenting material and surface sediments in Lake Baikal, Siberia, Limnology & Oceanography, 48, 1643-1661. Download paper in pdf format.
Mackay, A.W., Battarbee, R.W., Flower, R.J., Jewson, D.H., Ryves, D.B. & Sturm M. (2003). Assessing the potential for developing internal diatom-based transfer functions for Lake Baikal, Limnology & Oceanography, 48, 1183-1192.Download paper in pdf format.
Amsinck, S.L., Jeppesen, E. & Ryves, D.B. (2003). Cladoceran stratigraphy in two brackish lakes with special focus on changes in salinity, macrophyte abundance and fish predation pressure, Journal of Paleolimnology, 29, 495-507.
McGowan, S., Ryves, D.B. & Anderson, N.J. (2003). Holocene records of past effective precipitation in West Greenland, The Holocene, 13, 239-249.
Ryves, D.B., McGowan, S. & Anderson, N.J. (2002) Development and evaluation of a diatom-conductivity model from lakes in West Greenland,Freshwater Biology, 47, 995-1014.
Anderson, N.J, Harriman, R., Ryves, D.B., Patrick, S.T. (2001) Dominant factors controlling variability in the ionic composition of West Greenland lakes,Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 33, 418-425.
Ryves, D.B., Juggins, S., Fritz, S.C. & Battarbee, R.W. (2001) Experimental diatom dissolution and the quantification of microfossil preservation in sediments,Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 172, 99-113.
Guilizzoni, P., Marchetto, A., Lami, A., Oldfield, F., Manca, M., Belis, C.A., Nocentini, A.M., Comoli, P., Jones, V.J., Juggins, S., Chondrogianni, C., Ariztegui, D., Lowe, J.J., Ryves, D.B., Battarbee, R.W., Rolph, T.C. & Masaferro, J. (2000) Evidence for short-lived oscillations in the biological records from the sediments of Lago Albano (Central Italy) spanning the period ca. 28 to 17 K YR BP, Journal of Paleolimnology, 23, 117-127.
Anderson, N.J., Ryves, D.B., Grauert, M. & McGowan, S. (2004), "Holocene palaeolimnology of Greenland and the northern North Atlantic Islands", in Long-term environmental change in Arctic and Antarctic lakes (eds. Pienitz, R., Douglas, M.S.V. & Smol, J.P.), Kluwer, 319-347.
Amsinck, S.L., Johansson L.S., Bjerring, R., Jeppesen, E., Søndergaard, M., Jensen, J.P., Jensen, K., Bradshaw, E., Anderson, N.J., Bennike, O., Nielsen, A.B., Rasmussen, P., Ryves, D.B., Stavngaard, B., Brodersen, K., McGowan, S., Odgaard, B.V. & Wolin, J. (2003) Vandrammedirektivet og Danske søer. Del 2: Palæoøkologiske undersøgelser . Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser Rapport no. 476 (120 pp.) (in Danish).
Jeppesen, E., Søndergaard, M., Amsinck, S., Jensen, J.P., Lauridsen, T.L., Pedersen, L.K., Landkildehus, F., Nielsen, K., Ryves, D., Bennike, O., Krog, G., Schriver, P. & Christensen, I. (2002) Søerne i De Østlige Vejler . Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser Rapport no. 394 (92 pp.) (in Danish).