Meet the Editors

Dr. Mark Brenner
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Mark is a limnologist/paleolimnologist with special interests in tropical and subtropical lakes and watersheds. He is a Professor in the University of Florida (UF) Department of Geological Sciences and serves as UF’s Director of the Land Use and Environmental Change Institute (LUECI).  Mark’s research addresses interactions among climate, environment, and humans.   He has worked on: 1) recent human-mediated changes in Florida lakes, 2) the historical ecology of the Lowland Maya region, 3) Pleistocene/Holocene paleoclimate of the circum-Caribbean, 4) environmental history of the Bolivian Altiplano, 5) paleoecology of Yunnan Province, China, 5) the history of El Niño events, 6) 210Pb dating, and 7) biological accumulation of 226Ra.  Mark has conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Haiti, Dominican Republic, China, Cambodia, Madagascar, and Florida. He has taught/co-taught courses in Paleolimnology, Limnology, Florida Lake Management, Indigenous Values, Tropical Field Ecology, and Humans and the Environment of the Yucatan Peninsula, the latter two in Yucatan, Mexico.  For more detailed information, see:

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Contact Details:

Mark Brenner
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
Phone: 352-392-7226/2231
Fax: (352) 392-9294

Dr. Thomas J. Whitmore

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Tom received a B.S. from the University of Connecticut in 1977 where he studied geology, paleoecology, and evolutionary biology. His M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1991) degrees were from the University of Florida, where he studied for 8 years with the late Edward S. Deevey, Jr. Tom developed diatom-based transfer functions for assessing past trophic-state changes in Florida lakes for his M.S. thesis. His doctoral research focused on diatoms as indicators of past macrophyte presence, and on historical relationships between macrophytes and limnetic nutrient concentrations. From 1991 to 2003, Tom held post-doctoral and research positions in the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida, where he worked in the laboratory of Claire L. Schelske. 

Tom is currently Associate Professor of Biology at the University of South Florida. He has conducted paleolimnological research on lakes in Florida, Mexico, Yunnan Province, and Guatemala. His research has addressed human-mediated soil erosion in watersheds of southwest China, sediment distribution in shallow wind-stressed lakes, mixing and redox in stratified warm-monomictic lakes, water quality and sediment geochemistry in Yunnan lakes, anthropogenic alkalization of Florida lakes, and contaminants in lake and estuarine sediments. His recent work has focused on water-quality reconstructions for restoration of Florida lakes, and historical changes in associated wetlands and their contributions of colored-dissolved organic carbon. Tom's recent work also has addressed diatom and cyanobacterial community dynamics during eutrophication of shallow lakes, historical changes in aquatic plant communities, and paleohydrological changes in headwater lakes of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system of Florida.  

Contact Details:
Thomas J. Whitmore
Department of Integrative Biology
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus
Phone: (727) 873-4008 

Dr.  Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore   

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Melanie is a paleolimnologist and limnologist who studies algal community ecology in temperate, subtropical, and tropical lakes.  She is a Professor of Biology in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida, and Campus Chair for the St. Petersburg campus.  She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Northern Kentucky University in 1983, and her Ph.D. in Zoology from the Ohio State University in 1993.  Her dissertation work described late Holocene fossil diatom assemblages from Andean and Amazonian lakes in Ecuador, where she examined diatom assemblage and intraspecific morphological change in response to water-level fluctuations.  She documented ENSO paleoecological and paleoclimate records from lakes in the Galapagos Islands and the Inter-Andean Plateau of Ecuador using fossil diatoms, sediment geochemistry, and stratigraphic changes.  Melanie has conducted field work on freshwater lakes in Ecuador, Ohio, Indiana, and in Florida, and on hypersaline and freshwater lakes in the Galapagos Islands.  Since ~2000, her research has focused on the paleoecology/paleolimnology of lakes and wetlands in Florida, where she examines diatom/cyanobacterial community dynamics.  She uses algal and cyanobacterial pigments to track historical changes in cyanobacterial abundance in lakes that are nutrient impaired.  Melanie has worked on paleolimnological records from Florida lakes that have experienced arsenic contamination, water quality degradation, and water-level fluctuations.  She has studied tree island cores from the Florida Everglades. Her current research utilizes NIR calibration models for algal/cyanobacterial pigments.  Other research interests include conservation paleoecology, and lake and wetland restoration.  She teaches graduate courses in Restoration Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Biodiversity, and undergraduate courses in Phycology, Principles of Ecology, Stream Ecology, and Disease Ecology. 

Prof. Helen Bennion

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Helen is an aquatic ecologist and palaeoecologist with a particular focus on freshwater diatoms and macrophytes. Her research concerns the impact of multiple stressors on lake ecosystems and she works closely with government agencies and conservation organisations to inform lake management strategies especially with regard to establishing restoration targets. Helen studied for her PhD at University College London, UK,  which examined sediment records of eutrophic ponds in south-east England. She was awarded a post-doctoral Royal Society Research Fellowship and spent a year at the Institute of Limnology, Mondsee in Austria. She returned to the Department of Geography at UCL in 1995 to take up a post as Research Fellow with the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) and was promoted to Professor in Environmental Change in 2017.

Over the last twenty-five years Helen has undertaken numerous national and international research projects examining the impacts of eutrophication on standing fresh waters over a range of time scales and employing lake sediment records to assess environmental change, reference conditions and restoration targets. Since 1996, she has been involved in EU collaborative research on five large multi-partner projects (BIOMASS, EDDI, Euro-LIMPACS, WISER and REFRESH), the most recent of which examined climate-nutrient interactions in aquatic ecosystems. She is currently working on a large NERC HIghlight Topic project 'Hydroscape' that explores how stressors and connectivity interact to influence biodiversity and ecosystem function in freshwaters across Britain.

Helen is interested in the application of science to lake management and conservation, particularly the EU Water Framework Directive. Until 2018, much of Helen’s applied research was carried out via ENSIS Ltd, the consultancy affiliated to the ECRC, of which she was appointed Director in 2006. ENSIS closed for business in March 2018.

Her publications include around 80 academic articles and over 80 research  eports and she is a peer reviewer for numerous international scientific journals and funding bodies. Helen was appointed as an Associate Editor of Journal of Paleolimnology in 2017. She has supervised more than 20 Masters and PhD students and teaches on undergraduate and masters courses including topics of lake eutrophication, palaeoecological methods, water policy, lake management and conservation.

Helen was elected Chair of the International Paleolimnology Association in 2018.

Dr. Guangjie Chen

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Guangjie is a limnologist/paleolimnologist working on subtropical, temperate and alpine lakes. He obtained BSc and MSc in Lanzhou University (China), PhD in University of Limerick (Ireland) and conducted Postdoctoral work in McGill University (Canada). He has served as an Associate Editor of JOPL since May 2014. His research has focused on quantifying limnological and ecological responses to anthropogenic and climate forcing during the Anthropocene and Holocene, with a geographic coverage of west coast of North America, western Europe and western China. He has employed multiple biotic indicators (i.e. diatoms, Cladocera, Chironomidae, Ostracoda) with the combination of sediment records, limnological surveys and multivariate data analyses. 
His research interests and experiences include: 1) spatio-temporal changes of lake-catchment-atmosphere systems and nutrient/pollutant cycling; 2) Ecological consequences of aquatic environment stressors (i.e. atmospheric deposition, eutrophication, heavy metal pollution, damming, droughts); 3) Community structure, trophic interaction (algae-invertebrate-fish), and ecosystem stability over space and time.

Contact information:
Dr. Guangjie Chen
Yunnan Key Lab of Plateau Geographical Processes & Environmental Changes
Faculty of Geography, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, China 650500
Tel/Fax: +86-871-65951058
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Dr. Jaime Escobar

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I am an Associate Professor and researcher at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia. I am also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and have a courtesy appointment at the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida. I am an Associate Editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology. My research focuses on the environmental/climate history in tropical and sub-tropical watersheds. Several specific questions interest me. (1) What are the various forcing mechanisms of tropical environmental and climate change on different time scales? (2) What is the timing, rate, and structure of tropical climate and environmental change on different time scales? (3) How do tropical ecosystems and societies respond to natural and human-induced environmental and climate change?

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Dr. Ana Carolina Ruiz-Fernández

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Dr. Ana Carolina Ruiz-Fernández is a researcher from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is an expert in 210Pb sediment dating and specializes in trace metal geochemistry and isotopic techniques to reconstruct the impacts of Global Change in freshwater and marine environments. Her research includes the reconstruction of recent contamination trends (e.g. trace elements, persistent organic pollutants, microplastics), sea level rise, blue carbon fluxes, and climate variability in aquatic ecosystems in Latin America, specially within the Wider Caribbean Region. She is the head of the Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology, and the Academic Service of Sediment Dating in UNAM. Her academic merits have been recognized with the UNAM medals “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz”, “Alfonso Caso” and “Gabino Barreda”, and the Sinaloa Prize for Science, Technology and Innovation (2018). She is a collaborator of the Center GEOTOP at the University of Quebec in Montreal, a member of the Executive Committee of REMARCO (Network of Marine and Coastal Research, and she served as a regular member of the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she chaired the chair of Working Group 39 “Global trends in pollution of coastal ecosystems: retrospective ecosystem assessment”. Ana Carolina was appointed as Associate Editor of Journal of Paleolimnology in 2018.


Ana Carolina Ruiz-Fernández
Unidad Académica Mazatlán
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Calz. Joel Montes Camarena s/n, Col. Playa Sur
82040 Mazatlán, Sin., México
Tel. +52 669 9852845 ext. 219

Dr. Irene Gregory-Eaves

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Dr Irene (Rene) Gregory-Eaves is an Associate Professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she is Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Global Change.  Rene is aquatic ecologist and paleolimnologist who has worked on lakes in many parts of the world, but much of her work has focused on North American ecosystems.  Her research broadly aims to advance our understanding of the structure and functioning of lakes, and how these variables become perturbed in the presence of multiple stressors.  Her lab team has worked on a variety of paleolimnological proxies including diatoms, cladocerans, chironomids, pigments, isotopes, geochemistry and sedDNA.  Currently, she is part of a large Canadian network (the NSERC LakePulse network) that has sampled over 600 lakes across the country and retrieved cores from each of these!  Rene has been an Associate Editor at J Paleolimnology since 2015. 
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Prof. Oliver Heiri

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Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland


Oliver is working at the interface between geosciences and biology with a focus on aquatic organisms and paleolimnology. He is interested in palaeoecology, biogeography, long term ecosystem development and methods for assessing environmental change based on biotic indicators. A major focus of his work has been on studying the remains of organisms preserved in lake sediments and on reconstructing past landscape and ecosystem change as well as variations in climatic conditions, in-lake oxygen concentrations and trophic state of lakes based on lake sediment records. Oliver leads the research group in Geoecology at the University of Basel, Switzerland after research at the University of Bergen (Norway), Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and the University of Bern (Switzerland).

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Prof. Melanie Leng

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Prof. Melanie Leng is the Chief Scientist for Environmental Change Adaptation and Resilience at the British Geological Survey and the Director of the Centre of Environmental Geochemistry based at the University of Nottingham. Melanie’s research focus is within the stable isotope facility, part of the National Environmental Isotope Facility, a role which involves a collaborative service role for the UK academic geosciences community. Her research focus is in climate and environmental change in the Antarctic Ocean, over Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and East Africa. She has a keen interest in developing research within the International Continental scientific Drilling Program and is currently involved with projects around deep drilling of Lake Ohrid, Lake Challa, Lake Tanganyika, and in the UK the early Jurassic, all associated with climate influences on the Earth and its inhabitants through geological time. 

For more detailed information see Prof. Leng’s homepage at:

Melanie Leng
British Geological Survey
Nottingham, UK

Dr. Neal Michelutti

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Neal is a senior research associate at Queen’s University, Canada. His research program centers on assessing environmental change in remote locations spanning from the Canadian High Arctic to the equatorial Andes. He works on multiple proxies including subfossil assemblages of diatoms and Chironomidae, stable isotopes, metals and contaminants, and visible near-infrared spectroscopy to infer sedimentary pigments and lake-water organic carbon concentrations. Present research themes include: 1) Climate change in Arctic and alpine regions over the timescales of centuries to millennia; 2) The ecological impacts of nutrients and contaminants transported by biological vectors (e.g., seabirds) across ecosystem boundaries; 3) Blended archaeological and paleolimnological investigations of early Arctic peoples throughout the Canadian North and pre-Hispanic populations in the Peruvian Andes. 

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Prof. Dr. Steffen Mischke      

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Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland


Steffen is interested in Quaternary climate variability and landscape change in arid and alpine regions. He investigates climate records from Central Asia, the Near East and northern Africa using ostracod assemblage data and sedimentological and geochemical properties of lake and wetland sediments. He studies the ecology of Recent ostracods as tool for paleoecological inferences. He cooperates with archaeologists on the environmental conditions of hominins on their ways out of Africa. More recent materials are investigated to assess human impacts on aquatic environments. Steffen obtained his Diploma and PhD degrees from the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) where he also worked as Junior Professor for six years. He is at the University of Iceland since December 2014 following a one-year post-doctoral stay in Minneapolis (USA) and research work at the University of Potsdam (Germany) between 2010 and 2014. 

Steffen was appointed Associate Editor of Journal of Paleolimnology in October 2010.

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Dr. Euan Reavie

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Dr. Reavie is a Senior Research Associate. Euan and his research team pursue research in applied aquatic studies on freshwater ecosystems, evaluating water quality issues. Routine work focuses on the use of algae as indicators of environmental changes. Their laboratory is fully equipped for research on biological and chemical indicators of water quality, and paleolimnology, the study of environmental trends through the analysis of sediment profiles. Techniques include high-resolution microscopy, digital imaging, laboratory processing and field sampling.

Recent Studies
Development of environmental quality indicators in the Great Lakes using algal communities;
Tracking long–term pollution trends using fossil remains in sedimentary profiles from northern Minnesota;
Assessing the efficacy of potential ballast water treatments intended to prevent non–native species introductions to the Great Lakes; and,
Long–term monitoring of Great Lakes phytoplankton responses to stressors, including nutrient enrichment and climate change.

Postdoctoral, Geology, University of Toronto, 1998 - 2000
Ph.D., Biology, Queen's University, 1994 – 1997
M.S., Biology, Queen's University, 1992 – 1994
B.S., Biology, Queen's University, 1988 – 1992

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Dr. Maria Vélez

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Maria I. Velez is a geologist in the Department of Geology, University of Regina (Canada) interested in the evolution of environments and ecosystems; in particular, she is interested in understanding how lakes respond to extreme climatic events and anthropogenic stressors. For the reconstructions of past environments she uses fossil diatoms and sediments accumulated in the bottom of lakes. Most of her work is located in northern South America. Maria works mainly on the Holocene, but she is also interested in environmental change in the Late Cretaceous.

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Department of Geology
University of Regina

Dr. Maarten van Hardenbroek

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Dr Maarten van Hardenbroek is interested in freshwater invertebrate communities and their response to changes in climate and human disturbances. Most of his research takes place at the interface between modern limnology and palaeolimnology, using stable isotope techniques, sedimentary DNA and assemblage composition of living invertebrates and their remains in lake sediments. He works on different invertebrate groups such as Chironomidae, Cladocera, Bryozoa, Coleoptera, and several others to understand changes in lake food webs in the past and the present. His recent projects include work on methane-derived carbon fuelling lake food webs, the impact of prehistoric lake villages on lake ecosystems, and how changes in climate and vegetation affect carbon cycling in arctic lakes. His study sites are often in colder regions such as arctic lakes in Alaska, Fennoscandia, and Siberia, but you’ll also find him coring lakes in temperate zones. He is at Newcastle University (UK) since 2017, after six years as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern (Switzerland) and the University of Southampton (UK).

Dr. Jesse Vermaire 

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Dr. Jesse Vermaire is currently an Associate Professor with the Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and cross-appointed with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is a limnologist and a paleolimnologist interested in long-term changes in algal and macrophyte community composition and abundance and the impacts of human activities on freshwater resources. Jesse and his research team are active in the areas of human impacts on near-shore habitat in lake ecosystems, microplastic pollution of freshwater, and the environmental impact, recovery, and resilience of aquatic ecosystems exposed to legacy pollution.  

Prof. Cheng Zhao 

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Prof. Cheng Zhao is a paleolimnologist and paleoclimatologist from Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology (NIGLAS), Chinese Academy of Sciences. He got his bachelor and master degree in Geochemistry from University of Science and Technology of China, and Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Lehigh University, USA. Before joining NIGLAS, He worked as Postdoc in the Department of Earth Sciences at The University of Hong Kong and the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton University in UK. He has served as an Associate Editor of JOPL since the end of 2015. 

His research has been focusing on the application of biomarkers such as GDGTs and alkenones for quantitative paleotemperature reconstructions from lake sediments, and stable isotopes such as carbonate oxygen isotopes and compound-specific hydrogen isotopes for long-term hydroclimate changes in Asian monsoon region. He is also interested in studying the possible influences of climate change on human activities and lacustrine ecological variations over historical period.  

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