Name: Ellen MacDonald27901205_10156046094333350_259747088_o

Project Title: Oceans on Acid: using historic ocean acidification to understand marine ecosystem function under global change

Cohort: 2017/18

Institution: University of Glasgow



I studied palaeontology and evolution at the University of Bristol where I completed an MSci degree. For my masters thesis I used imaging flow cytometry to automatically identify diatoms in sediment from East Antarctica. As part of the Bristol Oceans Past and Present (BOPP) I became more interested in palaeoclimatology and stable isotope geochemistry. After my degree I worked as a research technician for BOPP group identifying diatoms for a project investigating Si cycling the West Antarctic Peninsula.

My PhD focuses on reconstructing historic climate change in the ocean, in particular ocean acidification changes. Ocean acidification is the decrease in ocean pH and changes to seawater carbonate chemistry, caused by an increased CO2 added to seawater. Coralline algae are long-lived and record changes in seawater chemistry in their skeletons. I’m hoping to reconstruct these changes using isotope geochemistry (B, Mg/Ca, C) in samples from Scotland, Greenland and Australia.


Publications/Conference talks/Posters:

Mears, E.M., Rossi, V., MacDonald, E., Coleman, G., Davies, T.G., Arias-Riesgo, C., Hildebrandt, C., Thiel, H., Duffin, C.J., Whiteside, D.I. and Benton, M.J., 2016. The Rhaetian (Late Triassic) vertebrates of Hampstead Farm Quarry, Gloucestershire, UKProceedings of the Geologists’ Association127(4), pp.478-505.


Get in touch:


Twitter: @ellenmaccydee

Department webpage: