School of Geography

Dr Clementine Chirol

Clementine

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: c.chirol@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2745
Room Number: Bancroft Building, Room 2.11

Profile

Twitter: @Clem_Chirol

My research interests are in geomorphology, sedimentology, geodata analysis and their applications to coastal habitat functioning and restoration. I am interested in building links between computer and environmental scientists to develop ecological indicators based on complex 3D datasets.

I joined Queen Mary in June 2018 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Physical Geography, working with Professor Kate Spencer. We are part of the wider UK-RESIST project, a NERC-funded collaboration of coastal scientists from Queen Mary, University of Cambridge, and the British Geological Survey. UK-RESIST aims to improve our understanding of what makes a marsh healthy and resistant to eroding forces. My involvement focuses on the visualisation and interpretation of the 3D belowground structure of saltmarshes using Computed Tomography and image analysis suites such as Matlab, ImageJ and Drishti.

Before joining Queen Mary, I was a Doctoral Researcher in Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton. I did my PhD in collaboration with consultants in coastal planning and engineering at Jacobs. Our aim was to analyse the morphological evolution of managed realignment schemes across the UK to provide design recommendations for future schemes. I developed innovative methods to interpret the evolution of complex features such as creek networks within saltmarshes using freely available lidar dataset and semi-automated Matlab scripts.

Former Erasmus, I completed my Msc in Geosciences at Pierre et Marie Curie University Paris 6 while specialising in coastal sediment and processes at the University of Southampton. My Msc research project developed new mapping techniques and studied the influence of bed roughness on turbulence in Cabras Lagoon, Sardinia.

I am also involved in outreach projects such as the NERC-funded public outreach project “Engaging with contemporary issues in coastal management” in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University in 2017. Our UK-RESIST outreach video “Determining the resistance of coastal salt marshes to extreme storms” produced by Cambridge Filmworks, won the video category award at the Royal Geographical Society’s Earth Photo Competition 2019.

Research

Research Interests:

3D belowground structure and properties of saltmarshes (June 2018 – September 2020)

UK-RESIST aims to improve our understanding of what makes a marsh healthy and resistant to eroding forces, in order to improve future conservation efforts. The NERC-funded project is a collaboration of coastal scientists from Queen Mary, University of Cambridge, and the British Geological Survey. My role as Postdoctoral Research Associate is to assess how the belowground structural properties (volume, structure, geometry, connectivity of roots and pore space) influence marsh resistance using X-Ray Computed Tomography.

My responsibilities include:

  • planning and delivering joint field campaigns between QMUL and Cambridge university in coastal wetlands to collect undisturbed sediment cores
  • acquisition and processing of X-Ray Computed Tomography images
  • 3D sediment structure mapping and quantification using image processing softwares such as Matlab, ImageJ and Drishti

Morphological evolution of creek networks in restored coastal wetlands (September 2014 – September 2018)

My PhD was done in Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton in collaboration with consultants in coastal planning and engineering at Jacobs. Our aim was to analyse the morphological evolution of managed realignment schemes across the UK to provide design recommendations for future schemes.

My responsibilities included:

  • Planning and leading bimonthly field surveys at the Steart Marshes Managed Realignment scheme, Somerset, UK.
  • Engagement and onsite training of field helpers, collaboration with project managers from Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and volunteers
  • RTK GPS surveying, Multiparameter CTD deployment, accretion rates monitoring using measuring stakes, coulter sizing of core sediment samples.
  • Development of semi-automated algorithms to map the evolution of 3D coastal wetland morphological features (creek systems)
  • Application of statistical procedures such as PCA to relate evolution rates to design choices and to morphological, hydrological and ecological parameters
  • Generating impact by providing wetland restoration advice and automated monitoring tools to stakeholders

Influence of bed roughness on turbulence: Cabras lagoon, Sardinia (January – June 2014)

My Msc project aimed to map the effect of vegetation canopy and topographical bed roughness on turbulence in Cabras lagoon, Sardinia, to test the reliability of hydrodynamic models in shallow coastal areas characterised by complex microtopography.

Publications

  • Chirol, C., Haigh, I.D., Pontee, N., Thompson, C. and Gallop, S. (2018). Parameterizing tidal creek morphology in mature saltmarshes using semi-automated extraction from LiDAR, Remote Sensing of the Environment [Impact Factor 6.3], 209, 291-311. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2017.11.012
  • Chirol, C., Amos, C.L., Kassem. H., Lefebvre, A., Umgiesser, G. and Cucco, A. (2015). The Influence of Bed Roughness on Turbulence: Cabras Lagoon, Sardinia, Italy. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering [Impact Factor 1.7], 3(3), 935-956. DOI: 10.3390/jmse3030935