Meet the Student Team

Postgraduate Team:-

Aboli Vavle

Aboli is investing the preservation of textiles in the archaeological environment.

Twitter: abolivavle

Amy Burgess

My PhD focuses on invasive species and the pathogenic/parasitic organisms that might be hitch hiking with them. Using the demon shrimp (Dikerogammarus haemobaphes) as an invasion model we will assess the genetic diversity of Mininucleoviridae, a novel viral family across the UK and invasion zones across Europe. The outcome will hopefully provide a greater understanding of viral evolution in biological invasions, as well as a further understanding of the demon shrimp and its own pathobiome.


Fatai Ilesanmi

I am a PhD student in Environmental Science at Teesside University, studying under Dr Lisa Baldini. The working title of my thesis is “Reconstructing West African palaeoclimate using stalagmites”. My research will focus on how to generate stalagmite palaeoclimate records during my PhD, These records will be used to test the sensitivity of past rainfall in the region to natural (Pre-Industrial Era) and manmade (Industrial Era) climate drivers and constrain the frequency and intensity of past extremes such as droughts and flooding. Stalagmites are excellent recorders of past temperature, rainfall, and vegetation cover. With state-of-the-art laboratory techniques, we can extract this information at monthly to seasonal timescales up to 600,000 years into the past. Under a recently funded National Geographic Explorer Grant, my supervisor, Dr Lisa Baldini, and I are working with West African collaborators in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon to explore limestone terrains across the region for stalagmites suitable to reconstruct past climate

Freya Pellie

I’m a PhD student investigating the population recovery of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Tees Estuary – an area which experienced heavy industrialisation in the 1800s and 1900s. Despite being named for its resident seals, for nearly 100 years seals were absent from the polluted mudflats of Seal Sands, believed to be gone for good. The return of a breeding seal population to this area gives hope that other sites degraded by anthropogenic activity may also become sites of recovery.

Nnamdi Ejekwunadu

My research focuses on understanding the population dynamics of microbial communities involved in anaerobic digestion as a step towards optimization. I aim to unravel the secrets of higher biogas volumes from a microbiome perspective.