Dr Karen Taylor

MA, MLitt, PhD

Contact Details

Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher
Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit
Discipline of Geography
E: karen.taylor@universityofgalway.ie
www.linkedin.com/in/karen-taylor-9a7375207
 
researcher
 

Biography

Karen is a palaeolimnologist, who studies lake sediment records to reconstruct past climatic and environmental changes, working in the fields of Geography, Environmental Archaeology and Environmental Science. Karen completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Galway in 2017, funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship and the Hardiman Research Scholarship. Her doctoral research explored the utility of chironomid autecology combined with pollen and geochemical indicators, in the investigation of prehistoric farming impacts on freshwater lake systems. Her control site was then used to develop the first mid to late Holocene chironomid-inferred temperature record for Ireland as part of her doctoral research.

Since completion of her PhD, Karen has held several academic positions, as a Lecturer and Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher at University College Cork. Karen has taught a broad range of Physical Geography, communication and research competence modules during her time as a full-time Lecturer in the Department of Geography. In 2022, she joined the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Science (BEES) as a Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher. Karen was involved in a collaborative research project, entitled 'Addressing Projected Climate Change Risk to Water Quality in Ireland'. The research position involved an extensive scientific literature review on the impact of climate change on water quality in Ireland and a detailed analysis of European legislation and Irish policy documents (funded by An Fóram Uisce). More recently, Karen joined the United Nations Environmental Programme, GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre housed within the School of BEES, as a Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher. This role involved updating, designing and developing taught and open-access online training material for data handling, statistical analysis and presentation for freshwater quality monitoring programmes.

Karen's research interests also include innovative pedagogical developments to enhance learning and improve accessibility and staff-student engagement. In particular, the application of a flipped classroom approach which arose from the transition to online teaching during the pandemic, as a means of creating a dynamic, interactive learning environment for students.

In 2023, Karen re-joined the Discipline of Geography at the University of Galway and is currently working as a Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher and PI for the CORE project. 
Karen was awarded an SFI-IRC Pathway research grant, which is co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Met Éireann. The CORE project aims to establish a long-term record of natural climate variability to inform future climate predictions for Ireland. The four-year project is hosted by the Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit (PRU) within the School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies, in collaboration with Dr Aaron Potito, Dr Karen Molloy and Jacob Nguyen. 

Follow our progress on our educational Instagram page (@core_project23)

Research Interests

  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Human-environmental interactions 
  • Chironomid analysis 
  • Lake sediment geochemistry 
  • Water quality
  • Climate change
  • Hydrology
  • Innovative pedagogy 
  • Accessibility 

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2023) 'A hidden benefit in the COVID-19 pandemic: Rethinking physical geography pedagogy in higher education using a flipped classroom approach'
Taylor, Karen Jan (2023) 'A hidden benefit in the COVID-19 pandemic: Rethinking physical geography pedagogy in higher education using a flipped classroom approach'. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 7 (1) [DOI] [Details]
(2023) 'Ecological impacts of N-deposition in a remote, high-elevation lake in the Three River Headwaters Region, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau'
Luo, Yuxin,Taylor, Karen J.,Potito, Aaron P.,Molloy, Karen,Beilman, David W.,Tang, Ya (2023) 'Ecological impacts of N-deposition in a remote, high-elevation lake in the Three River Headwaters Region, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau'. Journal of Paleolimnology, 69 (2):141-160 [Details]
(2020) 'A global database of Holocene paleotemperature records'
Kaufman, Darrell,McKay, Nicholas,Routson, Cody,Erb, Michael,Davis, Basil,Heiri, Oliver,Jaccard, Samuel,Tierney, Jessica,Dätwyler, Christoph,Axford, Yarrow,Brussel, Thomas,Cartapanis, Olivier,Chase, Brian,Dawson, Andria,de Vernal, Anne,Engels, Stefan,Jonkers, Lukas,Marsicek, Jeremiah,Moffa-Sánchez, Paola,Morrill, Carrie,Orsi, Anais,Rehfeld, Kira,Saunders, Krystyna,Sommer, Philipp S.,Thomas, Elizabeth,Tonello, Marcela,Tóth, Mónika,Vachula, Richard,Andreev, Andrei,Bertrand, Sebastien,Biskaborn, Boris,Bringué, Manuel,Brooks, Stephen,Caniupán, Magaly,Chevalier, Manuel,Cwynar, Les,Emile-Geay, Julien,Fegyveresi, John,Feurdean, Angelica,Finsinger, Walter,Fortin, Marie-Claude,Foster, Louise,Fox, Mathew,Gajewski, Konrad,Grosjean, Martin,Hausmann, Sonja,Heinrichs, Markus,Holmes, Naomi,Ilyashuk, Boris,Ilyashuk, Elena,Juggins, Steve,Khider, Deborah,Koinig, Karin,Langdon, Peter,Larocque-Tobler, Isabelle,Li, Jianyong,Lotter, André,Luoto, Tomi,Mackay, Anson,Magyari, Eniko,Malevich, Steven (2020) 'A global database of Holocene paleotemperature records'. Scientific Data, 7 (1) [Details]
(2018) 'A mid to late Holocene chironomid-inferred temperature record from northwest Ireland'
Karen J. Taylor and Seamus McGinley and Aaron P. Potito and Karen Molloy and David W. Beilman (2018) 'A mid to late Holocene chironomid-inferred temperature record from northwest Ireland'. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 505 :274-286 [DOI] [Details]
(2017) 'Impact of early prehistoric farming on chironomid communities in northwest Ireland'
Taylor, Karen J.,Potito, Aaron P.,Beilman, David W.,Ghilardi, Beatrice,O’Connell, Michael (2017) 'Impact of early prehistoric farming on chironomid communities in northwest Ireland'. Journal of Paleolimnology, 57 (3):227-244 [Details]
(2017) 'Response of chironomids to Neolithic land-use change in north-west Ireland'
Karen J Taylor and Susann Stolze and David W Beilman and Aaron P Potito (2017) 'Response of chironomids to Neolithic land-use change in north-west Ireland'. The Holocene, 27 (6):879-889 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Palaeolimnological impacts of early prehistoric farming at Lough Dargan, County Sligo, Ireland'
Karen J. Taylor and Aaron P. Potito and David W. Beilman and Beatrice Ghilardi and Michael O'Connell (2013) 'Palaeolimnological impacts of early prehistoric farming at Lough Dargan, County Sligo, Ireland'. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40 (8):3212-3221 [DOI] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2022) 'Chironomid response to prehistoric farming in County Sligo'
Taylor KJ and Potito AP (2022) 'Chironomid response to prehistoric farming in County Sligo' In: County Sligo Field Guide (Revised). Dublin: Irish Quaternary Association. [Details]
(2019) 'Introduction to human impact on lake environments with particular focus on chironomid studies'
Taylor KJ (2019) 'Introduction to human impact on lake environments with particular focus on chironomid studies' In: Archaeology and Landscape History of Neolithic Co. Sligo. IQUA Field Guide. Dublin: Irish Quaternary Association. [Details]
(2017) 'Insights into past environmental and cultural change in Glencolmcille'
McGinley S, Taylor KJ (2017) 'Insights into past environmental and cultural change in Glencolmcille' In: South West Donegal, Field Guide No. 34. Dublin: Irish Quaternary Association. [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2023 SFI-IRC Pathway Programme Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council, Environmental Protection Agency and Met Éireann
2015 Hardiman Research Scholarship University of Galway
2012 Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities and Social Sciences (declined) Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences
2012 Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, The EMBARK Initiative Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Irish Quaternary Association (IQUA) Member /
Irish Freshwater Sciences Association Member /

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
Discipline of Geography at University of Galway Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher 01-SEP-23 / 31-AUG-27
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science at University College Cork Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher 17-APR-23 / 31-AUG-23
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science at University College Cork Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher 02-AUG-22 / 31-OCT-22
Department of Geography at University College Cork Specific purpose full-time Lecturer 02-SEP-19 / 10-JUN-22
Department of Geography at University College Cork Assistant Lecturer 14-JAN-19 / 31-MAR-19
Discipline of Geography at University of Galway Teaching Assistant 01-SEP-18 / 21-DEC-18
Discipline of Geography at University of Galway Teaching Assistant 07-JAN-17 / 31-MAY-17

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2017 University of Galway Doctor of Philosophy (Structured) in Geography Article-based thesis: 'Chironomid response to prehistoric farming in northwest Ireland'
2011 University of Galway Master of Literature in Geography Thesis: 'Ecological impacts of early farming in Western Ireland: a palaeolimnological approach'
2008 University of Galway Bachelor of Arts, Honors Geography and Psychological Studies

Community Engagement

  Title Type From / To
Teaching (e.g. Service learning / comunity based learning) UNEP eLearning free online course on 'Data Handling and Presentation for Freshwater Quality Monitoring Programmes' 31-AUG-23 /

Reviews

  Journal Role
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Reviewer
Frontiers In Ecology And Evolution Reviewer
Quaternary Science Reviews Reviewer

Modules Taught

  Term/Year Module Title Module Code Subject / Desc
2023 Principles of Physical Geography TI151 Lecturer
2022 Palaeoceanography TI3128 Guest Lecturer
2019-2022 Quaternary Environments and Geomorphology GG2005 Course coordinator (UCC)
2019-2022 Coastal and Marine Geomorphology GG3007 Course coordinator (UCC)
2019-2022 Environmental Geography GG1013 Course coordinator (UCC)
2019-2022 Applied Geography (Academic writing workshop) GG1015 Group leader (UCC)
2019-2022 Research Methods and Dissertation (Geography BA) GG3006 Supervisor (UCC)
2019-2022 Geographical Research Methods GG2038 Guest lecturer (UCC)
2019-2022 Field trip (virtual and in-person) GG2022 Assignment leader (UCC)
2020-2021 Research Project GG4008 Supervisor (UCC)
2019-2022 Research Project ER4001 Supervisor (UCC)
2019-2022 Frontiers in Earth Science ER4005 Guest lecturer (UCC)
2019-2022 Literature review ER3052 Supervisor (UCC)
2018 Coastal Dynamics TI303 Course coordinator
2017 Earth Surface Processes and Landforms TI 225 Course coordinator