Dr Helen Shaw

Geography, ICARUS

Rhetoric House
Top Floor
13
(01) 474 7574

Biography

I am a lecturer in biogeography in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University and a member of the ICARUS research centre, a post I have held since moving to Ireland from Wales in 2017.

I graduated with a PhD from Stirling University, which explored the palaeoecological history of the fantastic Glen Affric pine woods in Scotland. This research was applied to the management planning for the future of the pine woods, an area which forms an exemplar of rewilding for future forest sustainability.

I then worked as a researcher at the International Centre for the Uplands in Cumbria, where I gained interdisciplinary experience and developed my interest in social-ecological systems and resilience. The work was focused on the sustainable management of upland systems via information flow between research and land managers. Whilst working at the centre I developed conferences on sustainable upland management, resilience in the uplands and adaptation to climate change as well as workshops on various themes including barriers to innovative planning in national parks.

I then developed a research project, with Professor Ian Whyte at Lancaster University and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, investigating upland landscape change in the North West of England. In this project we examined post-medieval landscape change via palaeoecology and history and applied this to ideas of sustainable landscape management for the future. It is important to realise that traditional land management was always shifting and the layers of history still impact on the present ecology.

This was followed by teaching posts at Liverpool John Moores University and in Wales, where I enjoyed developing and teaching a range of modules across conservation and environmental science. I love to get out in the field and teach practical sessions.
I teach palaeoecological and ecological modules in geography, and try to use our wonderful Green Campus as much as possible for outdoor teaching.

I am currently working on several research projects in two themes:

1.    
To develop understanding of the representation of biodiversity in pollen diagrams. This work focuses on pollen representation of herbaceous species and the grazing signal of coprophilous fungal spores. 


2.    
To develop site histories for peat bogs in Ireland for community education and development

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Helen_Shaw2




 

Research Interests

My research explores long-term ecological and landscape change using palaeoecology. I use knowledge from the past to analyse the potential for sustainable and resilient social-ecological futures. I am interested in how a temporal perspective can contribute to conservation in natural landscapes and using knowledge of past ecological dynamics to inform futures.

My research so far has focused on upland environments, both forest and pastoral. My interests span cultural historical landscapes, relict landscapes and rewilding.


Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2019 'Relating dung fungal spore influx rates to animal density in a temperate environment: Implications for palaeoecological studies'
Eline N van Asperen; Jason R Kirby, Helen E Shaw (2019) 'Relating dung fungal spore influx rates to animal density in a temperate environment: Implications for palaeoecological studies'. Holocene, [DOI] [Details]
2014 'Looking forward through the past: identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology'
Seddon, A.W., Mackay, A.W., Baker, A.G., Birks, H.J., Breman, E. , Buck, C.E., Ellis, E.C., Froyd, C.A., Gill, J.L., Gillson, L. , Johnson, E.A., Jones, V.J., Juggins, S. , Macias‐Fauria, M. , Mills, K., Morris, J.L., Nogués‐Bravo, D., Punyasena, S.W., Roland, T.P., Tanentzap, A.J., Willis, K.J., Aberhan, M. , Asperen, E.N., Austin, W.E., Battarbee, R.W., Bhagwat, S., Belanger, C.L., Bennett, K.D., Birks, H.H., Bronk Ramsey, C., Brooks, S.J., Bruyn, M. , Butler, P.G., Chambers, F.M., Clarke, S.J., Davies, A.L., Dearing, J.A., Ezard, T.H., Feurdean, A., Flower, R.J., Gell, P., Hausmann, S., Hogan, E.J., Hopkins, M.J., Jeffers, E.S., Korhola, A.A., Marchant, R. , Kiefer, T., Lamentowicz, M., Larocque‐Tobler, I., López‐Merino, L., Liow, L.H., McGowan, S., Miller, J.H., Montoya, E., Morton, O., Nogué, S., Onoufriou, C., Boush, L.P., Rodriguez‐Sanchez, F., Rose, N.L., Sayer, C.D., Shaw, H.E., Payne, R., Simpson, G., Sohar, K., Whitehouse, N.J., Williams, J.W. and Witkowski, A. (2014) 'Looking forward through the past: identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology'. Journal of Ecology, 102 (1):256-267 [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2013 'Palynological perspectives on vegetation survey: a critical step for model-based reconstruction of Quaternary land cover'
Bunting, M.J., Farrell, M., Broström, A,. Hjelle, K.L., Mazier, F., Middleton, R., Nielsen, A.B., Rushton, E., Shaw, H., Twiddle, C.L. (2013) 'Palynological perspectives on vegetation survey: a critical step for model-based reconstruction of Quaternary land cover'. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 82 :41-55 [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2013 'The Holocene vegetation cover of Britain and Ireland: overcoming problems of scale and discerning patterns of openness'
Ralph M Fyfe, Claire Twiddle, Shinya Sugita, Marie-José Gaillard, Philip Barratt, Christopher J Caseldine, John Dodson, Kevin J Edwards, Michelle Farrell, Cynthia Froyd, Michael J Grant, Elizabeth Huckerby, James B Innes, Helen Shaw, Martyn Waller (2013) 'The Holocene vegetation cover of Britain and Ireland: overcoming problems of scale and discerning patterns of openness'. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 73 :132-148 [DOI] [Details]
2013 'The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) project'
Basil AS Davis, Marco Zanon, Pamella Collins, Achille Mauri, Johan Bakker, Doris Barboni, Alexandra Barthelmes, Celia Beaudouin, Anne E Bjune, Elissaveta Bozilova, Richard HW Bradshaw, Barbara A Brayshay, Simon Brewer, Elisabetta Brugiapaglia, Jane Bunting, Simon E Connor, Jacques-Louis de Beaulieu, Kevin Edwards, Ana Ejarque, Patricia Fall, Assunta Florenzano, Ralph Fyfe, Didier Galop, Marco Giardini, Thomas Giesecke, Michael J Grant, Jöel Guiot, Susanne Jahns, Vlasta Jankovská, Stephen Juggins, Marina Kahrmann, Monika Karpińska-Kołaczek, Piotr Kołaczek, Norbert Kühl, Petr Kuneš, Elena G Lapteva, Suzanne AG Leroy, Michelle Leydet, José Guiot, José Antonio López Sáez, Alessia Masi, Isabelle Matthias, Florence Mazier, Vivika Meltsov, Anna Maria Mercuri, Yannick Miras, Fraser JG Mitchell, Jesse L Morris, Filipa Naughton, Anne Birgitte Nielsen, Elena Novenko, Bent Odgaard, Elena Ortu, Mette Venås Overballe-Petersen, Heather S Pardoe, Silvia M Peglar, Irena A Pidek, Laura Sadori, Heikki Seppä, Elena Severova, Helen Shaw, Joanna Święta-Musznicka, Martin Theuerkauf, Spassimir Tonkov, Siim Veski, WO van der Knaap, Jacqueline FN van Leeuwen, Jessie Woodbridge, Marcelina Zimny, Jed O Kaplan (2013) 'The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) project'. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 22 (6):521-530 [DOI] [Details]
2010 'Mainstreaming LEADER delivery of the RDR in Cumbria: an interpretative phenomenological analysis'
Ian Convery, Ian Soane, Tom Dutson, Helen Shaw (2010) 'Mainstreaming LEADER delivery of the RDR in Cumbria: an interpretative phenomenological analysis'. Sociologia Ruralis, 50 (4):370-391 [DOI] [Details]
2008 'The use of modelling and simulation approach in reconstructing past landscapes from fossil pollen data: a review and results from the POLLANDCAL network'
Marie-José Gaillard, Shinya Sugita, M Jane Bunting, Richard Middleton, Anna Broström, Christopher Caseldine, Thomas Giesecke, Sophie EV Hellman, Sheila Hicks, Kari Hjelle, Catherine Langdon, Anne-Birgitte Nielsen, Anneli Poska, Henrik von Stedingk, Sim Veski (2008) 'The use of modelling and simulation approach in reconstructing past landscapes from fossil pollen data: a review and results from the POLLANDCAL network'. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 17 (5):419-443 [DOI] [Details]
2006 'Recent pine woodland dynamics in east Glen Affric, northern Scotland, from highly resolved palaeoecological analyses'
Helen Shaw, Richard Tipping (2006) 'Recent pine woodland dynamics in east Glen Affric, northern Scotland, from highly resolved palaeoecological analyses'. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 79 (3):340-340 [DOI] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2013 'Land Management and Biodiversity Through Time in Upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK: Understanding the Impact of Traditional Management'
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2013) 'Land Management and Biodiversity Through Time in Upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK: Understanding the Impact of Traditional Management' In: I Rotherham (eds). Cultural Severance and the Environment: The Ending of Traditional and Customary Practice on Commons and Landscapes Managed in Common. Netherlands: Springer. [DOI] [Details]
2010 'Land management and biodiversity through time in upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK: Understanding the impact of traditional management'
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2010) 'Land management and biodiversity through time in upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK: Understanding the impact of traditional management' In: Rotherham, ID; Agnoletti, M; Handley, C (eds). The End of Tradition? Landscape Archaeology and Ecology Series 8. Sheffield: Wildtrack Publishing. [Details]
2013 'Palaeoecological Records of Woodland History During Recent Centuries of Grazing and Management Examples from Glen Affric, Scotland and Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire'
Shaw, H and Whyte, I (2013) 'Palaeoecological Records of Woodland History During Recent Centuries of Grazing and Management Examples from Glen Affric, Scotland and Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire' In: Rotherham, Ian D (eds). Trees, Forested Landscapes and Grazing Animals A European Perspective on Woodlands and Grazed Treescapes. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. [DOI] [Details]
2003 'Recent woodland history from pollen analysis'
Shaw, H and Tipping, R (2003) 'Recent woodland history from pollen analysis' In: Tipping R (eds). The Quaternary of Glen Affric and Kintail. Field Guide. London: Quaternary Research Association. [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
2008 'Shifting ecosystem services through time in the North West uplands'
H Shaw, I Whyte (2008) 'Shifting ecosystem services through time in the North West uplands' Aspects of Applied Biology, 85 :99-106. [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
2011 The history of woodland dynamics in relict east Glen Affric pinewoods: A lack of human impact?
Shaw, H (2011) The history of woodland dynamics in relict east Glen Affric pinewoods: A lack of human impact? . In: Mills, Coralie M eds. Woods as Working and Cultural Landscapes, Past and Present Dunkeld, Perthshire, , pp.22-28 [Details]
2010 Palaeoecology and landscape history in upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2010) Palaeoecology and landscape history in upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK . In: Pickles A eds. Managing the Future: building on the past, Proceedings of the 2009 Malham Tarn Research Seminar Malham, Yorkshire, [Details]
2006 Conclusions and Conference Outcomes
Soane, I. and Shaw, H. (2006) Conclusions and Conference Outcomes . In: Soane, I. and Shaw, H eds. The future of the Uplands: Sustainable scenarios for people, the environment and landscape Kendal, Cumbria, , 30-MAY-06 - 01-JUN-06 , pp.287-292 [DOI] [Details]
2006 Introduction and Overview of Papers
Soane, I. and Shaw, H. (2006) Introduction and Overview of Papers . In: Soane, I. and Shaw, H eds. The future of the Uplands: Sustainable scenarios for people, the environment and landscape , pp.117-122 [DOI] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2019 INQUA.
Shaw, H. (2019) INQUA. [Poster Presentation], Understanding pollen representation of rare herb taxa at the local scale, Dublin , 24-JUL-19 - 31-JUL-19 [Details]
2019 INQUA.
Shaw, H. (2019) INQUA. [Oral Presentation], Beyond the bog: the importance and value of small-scale stratigraphic deposits in the landscape as archives for applied palaeoecology, Dublin , 24-JUL-19 - 31-JUL-19 [Details]
2019 EUGEO CIG.
Shaw, H. (2019) EUGEO CIG. [Oral Presentation], Forest sustainability and rewilding, Galway , 15-MAY-19 - 18-MAY-19 [Details]
2019 EUGEO CIG.
Shaw, H. (2019) EUGEO CIG. [Oral Presentation], Dung fungus: how does it represent the grazing record?, Galway , 15-MAY-19 - 18-MAY-19 [Details]
2018 Conference of Irish Geographers 2018.
Maynooth University, Department of Geography (2018) Conference of Irish Geographers 2018. [Conference Organising Committee Member], n/a, Maynooth University, Ireland , 10-MAY-18 - 12-MAY-18 [Details]
2016 Quaternary Research Association Short Discussion Meeting — New Approaches, New Insights.
Shaw, H. (2016) Quaternary Research Association Short Discussion Meeting — New Approaches, New Insights. [Oral Presentation], Palaeoecology and Community Ecology: Potential for close linkages?, Cardiff Museum, Wales , 06-SEP-16 - 07-SEP-16 [Details]
2017 Conference of Irish Geographers 2017.
Shaw, H. (2017) Conference of Irish Geographers 2017. [Oral Presentation], Palaeoecology and landscape history in Ribblesdale,, University College Cork , 04-MAY-17 - 06-MAY-17 [Details]
2018 Conference of Irish Geographers 2018.
Shaw, H. and Lawton, P. (2018) Conference of Irish Geographers 2018. [Chaired Session], 50 Questions for Irish Geography research, Maynooth, Ireland , 10-MAY-18 - 12-MAY-18 [Details]
2018 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting.
Shaw, H. (2018) British Ecological Society Annual Meeting. [Oral Presentation], Palaeoecology and community ecology, potential for close linkages: testing the ability to detect diversity and herbaceous pastoral species in pollen diagrams, Birmingham , 16-DEC-18 - 19-DEC-18 [Details]
2018 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting.
Shaw, H. (2018) British Ecological Society Annual Meeting. [Chaired Session], S56: Conservation Science & Policy (Species & Diversity, Birmingham , 16-DEC-18 - 19-DEC-18 [Details]
2013 Landscape-scale palaeoecology: towards quantitative reconstruction of landscape-scale vegetation mosaics from pollen data.
Shaw, H. (2013) Landscape-scale palaeoecology: towards quantitative reconstruction of landscape-scale vegetation mosaics from pollen data. [Invited Lecture], Extended spatial calculations of Indices of Association: assessing the interpretive value of rare pollen types in pollen diagrams, University of Hull , 05-SEP-14 - 09-SEP-14 [Details]
2012 Trees Beyond the Wood An exploration of concepts of woods, forests and trees.
Shaw, H. (2012) Trees Beyond the Wood An exploration of concepts of woods, forests and trees. [Oral Presentation], Palaeoecological History around Windermere, Sheffield Hallam University , 05-SEP-12 - 05-SEP-12 [Details]
2010 Landclim 10000 workshop.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2010) Landclim 10000 workshop. [Oral Presentation], Land management and biodiversity through time in upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK, Lund, Sweden , 01-AUG-10 - 01-AUG-10 [Details]
2009 Landclim 10000 workshop.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2009) Landclim 10000 workshop. [Oral Presentation], An introduction to palaeoecological and historical research in Ribblesdale North Yorkshire, Tallinn, Estonia , 01-OCT-09 - 01-OCT-09 [Details]
2004 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting: Ecology Without Frontiers: Environmental Challenges Across Europe. Ecology Without Frontiers: Environmental Challenges Across Europe.
Shaw, H. (2004) British Ecological Society Annual Meeting: Ecology Without Frontiers: Environmental Challenges Across Europe. Ecology Without Frontiers: Environmental Challenges Across Europe. [Oral Presentation], Long term ecology of Glen Affric, Lancaster University [Details]
2014 Open PAGES Focus 4 Workshop, Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions. Towards a more accurate quantification of human-environment interactions in the past.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2014) Open PAGES Focus 4 Workshop, Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions. Towards a more accurate quantification of human-environment interactions in the past. [Oral Presentation], Human impact on the vegetation of pastoral uplands: recent centuries of change in the Yorkshire Dales, UK, University of Leuven, Belgium , 03-FEB-14 - 07-FEB-14 [Details]
2013 BES/Intecol Annual meeting: BES Centenary.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2013) BES/Intecol Annual meeting: BES Centenary. [Oral Presentation], The contribution of palaeo-historical studies to understanding biodiversity and ecosystem services in traditional multifunctional landscapes, London , 18-AUG-13 - 23-AUG-13 [Details]
2012 Planet under pressure: new knowledge towards solutions.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2012) Planet under pressure: new knowledge towards solutions. [Poster Presentation], Land management and biodiversity through time in upper Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, UK: understanding the impact of traditional management, London , 26-MAR-12 - 29-MAR-12 [Details]
2012 QRA ADM.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2012) QRA ADM. [Oral Presentation], The impact of traditional pastoral management palaeoecological and historical contributions to understanding sustainability, resilience and ecosystem services, Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK , 04-JAN-12 - 06-JAN-12 [Details]
2011 INQUA.
Shaw, H and Whyte, I (2011) INQUA. [Oral Presentation], Interpreting the pollen signal to determine recent ecological change for nature conservation in the UK uplands, Bern, Switzerland , 21-JUL-11 - 27-JUL-11 [Details]
2011 Resilience 2011.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2011) Resilience 2011. [Oral Presentation], Post Medieval land use and vegetation change in upland Ribblesdale, Yorkshire Dales, UK, Arizona State University, Phoenix Arizona , 11-MAR-11 - 16-MAR-11 [Details]
2011 British Ecological Society Annual meeting.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2011) British Ecological Society Annual meeting. [Oral Presentation], Understanding the spatial extent and taxonomic detail from pollen analyses in open land in Ribblesdale, Sheffield , 12-SEP-12 - 14-SEP-12 [Details]
2010 Climate Change in the Yorkshire Dales.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2010) Climate Change in the Yorkshire Dales. [Oral Presentation], The little Ice age and upland farming in the Yorkshire Dales: Recent research in Ribblesdale, Grassington, Yorkshire , 09-OCT-10 - 09-OCT-10 [Details]
2010 Global change and the worlds mountains.
Shaw, H. and Whyte, I. (2010) Global change and the worlds mountains. [Oral Presentation], Post Medieval land use and vegetation change in upland Ribblesdale, Yorkshire Dales, UK, Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth, Scotland , 26-SEP-10 - 30-SEP-10 [Details]
2010 Empirical estimates of relative pollen productivity, Training Workshop.
Shaw, H. (2010) Empirical estimates of relative pollen productivity, Training Workshop. [Oral Presentation], Modern pollen analogues in Scotland and Yorkshire, University of Hull [Details]
2010 The Native Woodland Discussion Group Annual Conference.
Shaw, H. (2010) The Native Woodland Discussion Group Annual Conference. [Invited Oral Presentation], Woodland history in Glen Affric, Birnam Institute, Dunkeld, Scotland , 27-OCT-10 - 27-OCT-10 [Details]
2008 RICS North Rural Conference.
Shaw, H. (2008) RICS North Rural Conference. [Invited Oral Presentation], Shifting ecosystem services through time in the North West uplands: implications for valuing and for planning future adaptation, Kendal, Cumbria , 25-SEP-08 - 25-SEP-08 [Details]
2007 Global Warming, What do I care?.
Shaw, H. (2007) Global Warming, What do I care?. [Other], Global Warming, What do I care?, Penrith, Cumbria , 31-MAR-07 - 31-MAR-07 [Details]
2005 Open Science Conference on Global Change in Mountain Regions.
Shaw, H. (2005) Open Science Conference on Global Change in Mountain Regions. [Oral Presentation], Determining detailed woodland history from pollen analysis in Glen Affric, Scotland: spatial resolutions and pollen vegetation representation in a patchy pinewood ecosystem, Perth, Scotland , 02-OCT-05 - 06-OCT-05 [Details]

Thesis

  Year Publication
2006 A palaeoecological investigation of long-term stand-scale ecological dynamics in semi-open native pine woods: contributing to conservation management in east Glen Affric.
H Shaw (2006) A palaeoecological investigation of long-term stand-scale ecological dynamics in semi-open native pine woods: contributing to conservation management in east Glen Affric. Stirling, UK: Thesis [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Quaternary Research Association Member /
British Ecological Society Member /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Irish Ecological Association Committee Member 2019 /

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
University of Wales Trinity Saint David Senior Lecturer and Programme Manager 01-SEP-15 / 31-DEC-16
Liverpool John Moores University Lecturer in Conservation Ecology 01-JAN-14 / 30-JUL-15
Lancaster University, Centre for Northwest Regional Studies Lecturer in Ecology 01-FEB-12 / 31-AUG-13
Lancaster University, Lancaster Environment Centre Senior Research Associate 01-MAR-09 / 30-MAR-13
Oxford Archaeology North Project Palynologist 01-OCT-13 / 28-FEB-14
University of Cumbria International Centre for the Uplands Project Officer 01-FEB-07 / 01-SEP-09
Lancaster University, International Centre for the Uplands Project Officer 01-SEP-04 / 31-AUG-07

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2006 University of Stirling PhD A palaeoecological investigation of long-term stand-scale ecological dynamics in semi-open native pine woods: contributing to conservation management in east Glen Affric
1997 University of Southampton BSc (Hons) Biology
1998 The Open University BSc (Hons) Science

Teaching Interests

I currently coordinate, and teach the following modules
GY217 Biogeography
GY317 Global ecosystems and sustainability
GY367 Palaeoecology

In these modules I make use of our university Green Campus to enhance student learning. 

I also contribute to GY671 Field Course for MSc in Climate Change (with Dr Conor Murphy)
And I supervise a GY310B Geography research workshops group.

I have supervised a range of UG thesis projects in ecological/palaeoecological and environmental science subject areas.

I am always happy to speak to students about support for summer projects or thesis supervisions as well as PhD applications. 

External Collaborators

  Name Role / Description Country
Dr Eline van Asperen/Durham University UNITED KINGDOM
Dr Eileen Tisdall/Stirling University Lecturer SCOTLAND
Dr Jason Kirby/Liverpool John Moores University UNITED KINGDOM