Profile of Caitlin Potter

Caitlin Potter
PhD Student
Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK

Research Summary

Peatlands are important reservoirs of sequestered carbon, containing 1/3 of soil carbon stocks in just 3% of global land area. However, climate change potentially poses a huge threat to peatland carbon stores. My research project (PI Dr Si Creer and funded by the HPC Wales Fujitsu collaboration) will look at how fungal and bacterial communities in fen and bog mesocosms respond to drought, and how this relates to the release of carbon dioxide and other biogeochemical changes known to occur during drought conditions. I hope to do this using a variety of metagenomic techniques (ARISA fingerprinting, Illumina sequencing of 16s rRNA/ITS taxonomic markers and shotgun sequencing of whole communities) combined with biogeochemical measures inclucing monitoring of enzyme activities, phenolic compounds, gas fluxes and inorganic compounds.