Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dana Druka

Research interests:

I am interested in using analytical techniques and omic approaches to monitor peatland health. This includes using sustainable proxies for peat organic matter to measure changes in decomposition at the molecular level. Particularly I am investigating the differences between degraded, near natural and rewetted sites.

Career history:

PhD (E4 DTP, NERC funded), University of Edinburgh (2021- Present)
Research Assistant, University of Warwick (2018 – 2021)
MChem Chemistry, University of Aberdeen (2013-2018)

Active research projects:

Developing a simple, cost-effective way to assess peatland health on the molecular level
Peatlands are globally important habitats which provide significant ecological services. Alongside homing unique biodiversity, they represent the Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon store, containing twice as much carbon as the entire forest biomass on this planet. Molecular level analysis may offer insight into the chemical processes that facilitate these essential ecosystem services, especially as it is believed that certain compounds are intrinsic to the carbon storage capabilities of the peat. However, as peat is a deeply complex mixture, studies of its chemical composition are very difficult. My project aims to offer a sustainable alternative: high resolution analysis of tea bags buried in peat, which act as a proxy for naturally occurring organic matter. The molecular changes of the tea would enable us to observe the natural processes occurring within the peat without the need to remove material from the landscape.


Recent publications:


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