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Kate Johnson

<p>Kate Johnson</p>

Kate Johnson


BSc (hons) in Environmental Science, Lancaster University (2008);
MSc in Geography/Dendroglaciology, University of Victoria, Canada (2010)




School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP)
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK



+44 (0)28 9097 5287

Current Research:

Environmental Change

Late-Glacial and Holocene environmental variability of southern South America


To predict future climate change and vegetation scenarios, one must first understand the processes and mechanisms that have driven past changes in a region. Climatic change within the Holocene (c. 20-10 k yr before present (BP)) is of particular interest due to the differences in climate scenarios in the Southern and Northern hemispheres.

Project Objective

This research aims to further our understanding vegetation change and fire history in southern South America – an area where previous research is sparse and often criticised. The research will utilise high-resolution analyses of sediment cores to investigate the timing and pattern of shifts in vegetation ecotones and the frequency and regimes of fire in the region. Phylogeography techniques will also be employed to investigate the post-glacier spread of Lomatia hirsuta and Araucaria araucana. Ancient DNA techniques will attempt to tie the two projects together, with a study of DNA from A. araucana pollen grains.

It is anticipated that this research will contribute to a wider understanding of the vegetation and fire history in the region and it will assess the extent to which climate has driven major changes in the environment.


Johnson, K., and Smith, D.J. Dendroglaciological reconstruction of late Holocene glacier activity at White and South Flat Glaciers, Boundary Range, northern British Columbia Coast Mountains, Canada. The Holocene. 22(9):984-992.

Posters & Presentations

Johnson, K. 2013. A preliminary investigation combining modern DNA and ancient DNA of the threatened Araucaria araucana (Pehuén) tree in central Argentina and Chile. Southern Connections Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. 21 – 25th January 2013.

Johnson, K. 2013. Lack of genetic structure in fragmented populations of the Monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). Ecological Genetics Group, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast. 2nd - 4th April 2013.

Johnson, K. 2012. Phylogeographic insights into the disjunct distribution of Lomatia hirsuta. Ecological Genetics Group, University of Edinburgh, 10th – 12th April 2012.

Johnson, K. (2011) Palaeoecological and Phylogenetic investigations in southern South America. QRA Postgraduate Symposium 2011, Durham, UK. August 31st - September 1st 2011.

Presentations also given at: AAG (2009, Las Vegas, NV), WDCAG (2009, Nanaimo, BC), CANQUA-CGRG (2009, Vancouver, BC), CAG (2010, Regina, BC) and WDCAG (2010, Edmonton, AB).