Dr Karen Bacon

University of Galway

Dr Karen Bacon undertook her PhD in Professor McElwain’s Plant Ecology & Palaeoecology lab in University College Dublin from 2007 to 2011. She investigated how leaf physiognomy was influenced by atmospheric composition under experimental conditions and in the Triassic – Jurassic boundary fossil record of Astartekloft, East Greenland. She also investigated stable carbon isotope variations in leaf fossils across the same period. She returned to Prof. McElwain’s lab after a year in King’s College London to undertake a short postdoc and then moved on to a lecturing position at the University of Leeds, where she remained for six years. Dr Bacon returned to Ireland in late 2019 to take a lecturing position in plant ecology at the University of Galway, where she now leads a plant ecology & palaeoecology lab with interests spanning palaeobotany to invasive species control.

My experience in the lab:

I remember my time in Prof. McElwain’s lab incredibly fondly – lots of laughs, chats about science and the occasionally eaten fossil, but one out of thousands isn’t bad surely?