In 2001, I joint Kaliningrad State Technical University to study ecology and environmental management. My undergraduate project focused on the challenges of drinking water supply and raw sewage in small towns in Kaliningrad. I then began postgraduate research overlooking aquatic chemistry indicators of lake and river eutrophication and enjoyed working with an incredible team of hydrologists, hydrobiologists, and ichthyologists in Kaliningrad, Russia.
Water chemistry can tell a story of aquatic ecosystem degradation or improvement, but it is missing a key part of the puzzle – living organisms, in particular planktonic communities. In 2014, I started a PhD studying plankton diversity and dynamics in the River Thames, UK at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the University of Reading. Surveys and experiments revealed that in the Thames, both phytoplankton and zooplankton are regulated mainly by their physical environment. For instance, water temperatures above certain thresholds can influence a rapid succession from diatoms to green algae and toxic cyanobacteria. This raised questions about the risks of global climate change to the catchment ecosystems.
How do we apply climate projections to estimate risks? In 2019, I was fortunate to join Prof. Nigel Arnell on a project estimating multisectoral climate risks to the UK using a recent set of climate projections. This is ongoing research, the results of which will be present in the coming months.