The role of landslides in the Peruvian Andes in determining forest ecology and carbon transport

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Academic Profile

Kathryn is a DPhil student at the School of Geography and the Environment. She currently holds a Clarendon Fund scholarship, a UK Government Overseas Research Students scholarship, and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada scholarship. Prior to this she completed an MSc in Plant Science in the Neotropical Option at McGill University. Her MSc was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada scholarship. She completed an undergraduate degree with honours, majoring in Physical Geography with a minor in Chemistry in 2005 at University of Windsor, and was the recepient of a Canadian Millennium Excellence Award.

Kathryn is fluent in English, Spanish and also speaks French.

Current Research

Amazon / Andean tropical forests form a vital cog in the earth's system. They are one of the leading biodiversity hotspots, important for the global carbon cycle, and maintain local and influence global climate through recycling moisture and the distribution of energy. The eastern Andes are a major source of water, sediment and carbon to the Amazon River system. Landslides are a pervasive feature of this part of the Andes, and are likely to be important regulators of (1) sediment and carbon export from to the Amazon basin and (2) ecosystem structure, function and biomass in Andean montane forests. The aim of my research is to quantify the role of landslides in carbon cycling and ecosystem processes, through detailed work at a site on the eastern flank of the Peruvian Andes.

The aim is to investigate and quantify the role of landslides in ecological processes and carbon cycling in an Andean transect in Peru. This objective can be subdivided into three component parts:

  1. To determine the frequency, area, and magnitude of landslides in the study area;
  2. To estimate the carbon export to the Amazon fluvial system; and
  3. To evaluate the post-landslide ecological succession: species, structure, and biomass.

Kathryn's research interests include: remote sensing and landslides.

Publications

  • Clark, K.E. (2008) Marine chemical ecology: the search for sequestered and bioactive compounds in the sea hares Dolabrifera dolabrifera and Stylocheilus striatus and in their preferred food, the cyanobacterium, Lyngbya majuscula. M.Sc. Thesis. McGill University, Montreal.

Working Papers

  • Clark, K.E., Balunas, M.J., Capper, A., Almanza, A., Johns, T., Gerwick, W.H., Paul, V.J. and Capson, T.L. (2008) Dietary preference and compound sequestration from Lyngbya majuscula in the opisthobranch mollusc Dolabrifera dolabrifera.
  • Clark, K.E., Togna, G.D., Capper, A., Paul, V.J., Johns, T., Cubella Rios, L., Gerwick, W.H. and Capson, T.L. (2008). 5α,8α-Epidioxycholest-6-en-3β-ol isolated from the anaspidian mollusc D. dolabrifera shows significant activity towards Leishmania donovani.
  • Oestreicher, J.S., del Carmen Ruiz-Jaen, M., Benessaiah, K., Turner, K., Sloan, S., Pelletier, J., Guay, B., Roche, D., Clark, K.E., Meiners-Ochoa, M., Loaiza, J. and Potvin, C. (2008) Avoiding deforestation in Panamanian protected areas: An analysis of protection effectiveness and implications for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.