Hannah Sellers

Postgraduate research student

School/Department: School of Geography, Geology and the Environment



I am a PhD student studying woodland change in Leicestershire and Rutland using an interdisciplinary approach (palaeoecological, historical, archaeological and ecological). Prior to my PhD, I received a BSc in Biological Sciences (Zoology) at the University of Leicester. I completed a Living Lab dissertation project about the impacts of native and introduced tree species on insect communities on University sites and the findings were included in the University's biodiversity policies and practices. Previously I worked in the University of Leicester's Social Impact Team where my role involved coordinating Education for Sustainable Development initiatives and implementing a collaborative research ‘Living Lab’ approach to deliver positive change in the university.


Woodlands in the British landscape have been reduced to fragments and continue to decline in species diversity. My PhD investigates landscape change in Leicestershire and Rutland, particularly woodlands, using an interdisciplinary approach. I integrate a range of datasets from palaeoecological (fossil pollen), historical (place-names), archaeological and modern ecological (botanical surveys) to test whether this methodology can be used to examine resilient, biodiverse woodlands through the Holocene to present. This aims to create a replicable spatiotemporal framework to provide insights for future woodlands in the Anthropocene. I also focus on identifying whether an Anthropocene signature is present in the Leicestershire physical record, using spheroidal carbonaceous particles and radiogenic isotopes, and examine if any impact can be seen in the biosphere.


Geography PGR student representative (2022-23)

Coordinator for the Centre for Palaeobiology and Biosphere Evolution lab group meetings (2022-23)


Advance HE Associate Fellowship (AFHEA)

Green Gown Award 2018 - "Research with Impact - Student" for dissertation project examining the impact of native and introduced tree species on insect communities on University sites.


Talk presentations: European Geosciences Union General Assembly (2024); The Anthropocene: from Boundaries to Bonds Conference (2023)

Poster presentations: The Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting (2023); International Union for Quaternary Research Congress (2023); British Ecological Science Annual Meeting (2022); The Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting (2022)

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