Michelle McKeown

Palaeoecologist. Analyses long-term environmental and climate change over the Holocene using biological proxies, which include chironomid subfossils, pollen, and charcoal, sourced from lakes, bogs and rock-pools.

Role at Landcare Research


Research Interests

My primary research goals are directed towards understanding landscape and climate change across various timescales in mid-latitude and tropical regions through the use of biological indicators. My current projects involve:

  • Reconstructing long-term environmental change and ecological evolution over the Holocene.
  • Developing temperature inference models for Holocene palaeoclimate reconstruction using chironomid (Diptera) subfossils.
  • Disentangling climate and human disturbance signals from biological proxies over twentieth and early twenty-first century.
  • Reconstructing palaeotempest records in the Tropical South Pacific.
  • Developing wetland assessment and monitoring tools.
  • Exploring human settlement patterns.

Research Areas

  • Palaeoecology
  • Palaeoclimatology/palaeolimnology
  • Wetland palaeoecology
  • Human-environment interactions on wetland ecosystems
  • Palaeotempestology
  • Natural and anthropogenic climate change

Selected Publications

McKeown, M. and Potito, A. P. (2016) Assessing recent climatic and human influences on chironomid communities from two moderately impacted lakes in western Ireland. Hydrobiologia, Vol. 765(1), pp 245-263.

Potito, A. P., Woodward, C. A., McKeown, M. and Beilman, D. W. (2014) Modern influences on chironomid distribution in western Ireland lakes: potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Journal of Paleolimnology, Vol. 52(4), pp 385-404.

McKeown, M., Potito, A. P. and Hickey, K. R (2012) The long-term temperature record from Markree Observatory, County Sligo from 1842-2011. Irish Geography, Vol. 45(3), pp 257-282.