My interests fall broadly under the following themes:
– Peatland ecology and biogeochemical cycles (impact of land-use and climate change from species to process, from sites to landscapes, from paleo- to modelling approaches)
– Ecological restoration from theoretical frameworks to practical solutions
– Numerical Ecology (statistical analyses of large ecological datasets)
All my projects are multi-disciplinary and most involve industrial or multi-stakeholder partnerships.
I graduated from a PhD in plant sciences in 2009 from Université Laval in Canada, where I was studying biogeochemical cycles and microbial community in boreal peatlands following restoration.
I worked as a PDRA at the James Hutton Institute until 2011, looking at responses of peatland microbial communities to disturbances, before joining the University of Waterloo also as a PDRA to look at microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in peatlands in the Oil Sands regions of Canada, as part of a large NSERC consortium.
I moved to the Environmental Research Institute, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands in 2012 as a research fellow, where I developed and launched the Flow Country Research Hub, the network of researchers and stakeholders working in the Flow Country peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland. In 2014, I was promoted to Senior Research Fellow and was appointed as the ERI’s theme leader for our "Carbon, Water and Climate" research. My role is primarily research-focus and doesn’t include a large teaching contribution.
Within the UHI, I sit on the Research Degree Committee which oversees the delivery of our post-graduate programmes, on the Athena Swan Self-Assessment team which evaluates the UHI’s progress on diversity and equality issues and on the SUPER DTP panel.
Since 2012, I have been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the International Peatland Society. In 2016, I was also invited to join Sctoland’s National Peatland Research and Monitoring Group, which I now chair. I also sit on the management board for Plantlife’s Munsary Peatland.
Active research projects:
• Creating Sustainable forested peatlands. NERC NE/P008925/1. PhD Studentship. Co-I. (2017-2021)
• InSAR as a Tool for Assessing Peatland Sensitivity to Global Change. NERC NE/P014100/1 Co-I. £290K. (2017-2019)
• Synthesizing evidence of forest-to-bog restoration impacts on carbon emissions. CarbonXChange. PI £35K (2018-2019)
• Developing a method to characterise UK peatland condition from radar to better constrain the UK greenhouse gas inventory TRN 1370/10/2017. BEIS. Co-I £94K (2018-2020)
• Assessing the condition of the Flow Country peatlands to support their future protection. European Structural and Investment Fund Programme PhD studentship. PI. (2017-2021)
• Assessing the viability of long-term peat storage for future peatland restoration in a Shetland onshore E&P development. European Structural and Investment Fund Programme PhD Studentship. PI (2017-2021)
• Quantifying carbon accumulation and loss in afforested peatlands, Large Research Grant, Leverhulme Trust. Co-I. £107K. (2015-2019).
1. Ratcliffe, J.L., Payne, R.J., Sloan, T.J., Smith, B., Waldron, S., Mauquoy, D., Newton, A., Anderson, A.R., Henderson, A. & Andersen, R. (2018): Holocene carbon accumulation in the peatlands of northern Scotland. Mires and Peat, 23(03), 1-30.
2. Andersen, R., Taylor, R., Cowie, N.R., Svobodova, D. & Youngson, A. (2018): Assessing the effects of forest-to-bog restoration in the hyporheic zone at known Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) spawning sites. Mires and Peat, 23(04), 1-11.
3. Alshammari, L., Large, DJ, Boyd, DS, Sowter, A, Anderson, R, Andersen, R, Marsh, S. (2018) Long term peatland condition assessment via surface motion monitoring using the ISBAS DInSAR technique over the Flow Country, Scotland. Remote Sensing,10(7), 1103; doi:10.3390/rs10071103
4. Hancock, MH, Klein, D., Andersen, R., Cowie, NR., (2018) Vegetation response to restoration management of a blanket bog damaged by drainage and afforestation. Applied Vegetation Science, 21: 167-178
5. Gaffney, P., Hancock, MH, Taggart, MA, Andersen, R. (2018) Measuring restoration progress using pore- and surface-water chemistry across a chronosequence of formerly afforested blanket bogs. Journal of Environmental Management, 219: 239-251