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Dr Liz Hurrell

School of Natural Sciences

Liz teaches across a range of subjects for our Environmental Science and Geography courses. With her varied and extensive teaching experience, Liz is recognised as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Liz’s expertise lies in Environmental Change, Biogeochemical Cycling and Palaeolimnology with research interests focused on diatom isotopes and environmental/sedimentary DNA from aquatic samples.

Liz has published work on using stable isotopes from diatom frustules to reconstruct past environments in East Africa. Her worked focused on a novel technique to use diatom carbon isotopes to reconstruct lake carbon cycling. Liz is currently working on analysing environmental and sedimentary DNA from lake environments. She is also working on techniques to extract microplastics from lake sediments. Liz is passionate about research-informed teaching and strived to bring her research into lectures and seminars.

Liz joined the University of Central Lancashire in June 2018 to take up her first lecturing post. Prior to this appointment Liz worked as a Learning Developer (LD) at Lancaster University. Within this role Liz worked with academic staff to embed academic skills development into university programmes. She also co-led a research project (funded by Lancaster University ALUMNI) to examine BTEC student transition into a research-intensive university with a view to improving widening participation, progression and retention. Liz also ran the Research Development Programme (RDP) for the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University. Through both roles Liz gained a passion for science communication and writing. In addition to her lecturing role at the University of Central Lancashire, Liz works as an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, tutoring on modules including: Science: concepts and practice and Level 2 Environmental Science. This has enabled Liz to become a highly adaptable educator and she has gained considerable experience supporting the delivery of online science courses. This experience, coupled with a keen interest in the role of technology-enabled learning, means Liz works to bring innovative teaching methods into her modules. In 2009, Liz completed her PhD entitled: ‘Climate change and biogeochemical cycles on East African Mountains revealed by stable isotope of diatom frustules’ from Lancaster University. The research formed part of the international CHALLACEA project (led by Prof. Dirk Verschuren) which focused on understanding East African climate change through the use of lake sediments.

  • PhD Physical Geography, Lancaster University, 2009
  • BSc Hons (1st class) Physical Geography, Lancaster University, 2006
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Lancaster University, 2018
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions
  • Diatoms isotopes
  • eDNA/sedaDNA
  • Pedagogy
  • Quaternary Research Association
  • Royal Geographical society