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Jessie Gardner

Jessie GardnerJessie Gardner


OrcID: 0000-0003-1730-023X

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I am fascinated by ecological responses in the face of environmental change. My research interests are interdisciplinary, ranging from sedimentology and geology to parasitology and oceanography. I strive to integrate numerous fields and perspectives for a more holistic approach to natural research.

I completed an integrated Master’s in Natural Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2014 with first class honours. My Master’s dissertation investigated small scale habitat selection by U.K. insectivorous bats within an agricultural region under Dr Iain Barr. This was part-funded by Conservation Grade and was in collaboration with Pensthorpe Natural Park and the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group. I am experienced with radio-tracking and acoustic identification of bats using a range of equipment. This has allowed me to map species abundances using a geographical information system to indicate which habitats are valuable to these elusive organisms.

During my academic career, I have been enthusiastic in designing and taking part in outreach activities. These have included extensive work in setting up the UEA wildlife trails and nature walks for the general public and school groups. Additionally I have run and taken part in workshops based on aquatic bio-indicators, moth trapping, agricultural soils and skills for Uni.

Current research

Despite its isolation from the human world, Antarctica is experiencing rapid environmental change as a result of fossil fuel emissions. The impact of these changes remains relatively unknown, especially for pteropods. Pteropods are planktonic gastropods that swim through the surface ocean using wing-like structures. Their thin shells, made of aragonite, make them extremely sensitive to ocean acidification and they could perhaps be thought of as ‘canaries of the coal mine’ for detecting oceanic change. They are also vital to the Antarctic food web and are significant contributors to carbon export. I aim to carry out a comparative analysis of Antarctic pteropod distribution, life cycle and perhaps even existence within a high CO2 world. I will take part on several expeditions to the Southern Ocean to capture these fragile sea snails and examine their sensitivity to oceanic conditions predicted in 100 years. In addition, I will compare modern day pteropods to historic plankton net samples, including those collected in the 1930s by the RSS Discovery

This PhD is a collaboration between the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) as part of the EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership, which is funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC).


  • Faculty of Science prize for distinguished performance in the Final Assessment (University of East Anglia, 2014)
  • Four UEA Open Scholarships, University of East Anglia 2010-14
  • Gold volunteering award for exceptional contributions
  • UEA Eliahou Dangoor Scholarship, University of East Anglia 2010
  • Bruce Halsey prize foundation scholar for the highest A-Level results (East Norfolk Sixth Form College, 2011)


  • Jul. 2015 Climate research: ‘Big Data Day’, (Tyndall centre/University of East Anglia, Attended)
  • Jul. 2015 CEFAS MKEN ‘Marine evidence conference’ (University of East Anglia, Attended)
  • Jun. 2015 ‘The survival of pteropod larvae in a changing world’ International pteropod workshop, (British Antarctic survey, poster)
  • Jun. 2015 ‘Ocean Acidification: What’s it all about’ (The Royal Society, Attended)
  • Mar. 2015 ‘Sea butterflies’ EnvExpo, University of East Anglia (University of East Anglia, Infographic poster)
  • Mar. 2015 ‘MSL AGM and Planktic Gastropod Meeting’ (Natural History Museum, Attended)
  • Mar. 2014 ‘Microhabitat use of Soprano pipstrelles’ Annual Norfolk Barbastelle study group meeting (Invited speaker)


  • Introduction to Metabolomics for Environmental Scientists (NERC advanced training course, University of Birmingham)
  • Freshwater bio-assessment and its application in catchment management (NERC advanced training course, University of Stirling)
  • Advanced environmental data analysis using GIS (NERC advanced training course, University of Newcastle)
  • Infographics and Science communication  (University of East Anglia/MADE)
  • Introduction to Multivariate Statistics (NERC advanced training course, University of Oxford)
  • An introduction to R (University of Kent)
  • Public engagement training (NERC advanced training course, Stirling)
  • Spatial analysis of ecological data using R (PR Statistics, University of Glasgow)
  • Seagliders and Ocean Acoustics (University of East Anglia)
  • THINKBig innovation training (Hethal, British Antarctic Survey)
  • Wildlife film making for conservation filming (Thetford, Wildeye)
  • Bioimaging (University of East Anglia)
  • EnvEast Summer School (University of East Anglia)
  • EnvEast Summer Workshop (Flatford Mill, University of East Anglia)
  • Health and Safety in Science (University of East Anglia)
  • Fire and Safety Training (British Antarctic Survey)


Research groups

Supervisory team

Primary supervisor: Dr Clara Manno (BAS)

Other supervisors: Dr Dorothee Bakker (UEA), Dr Geraint Tarling (BAS), Dr Victoria Peck (BAS)

Other activities

  • Treasurer (formerly president) of the E3i innovation club
  • Project co-ordinator of two team biochemical research cruises in Oban
  • Former Conferences assistant at the University of East Anglia
  • Moth trapping and recording
  • Amateur wildlife photographer
  • Company owner: ‘Jessie’s Jewels’