I am a final year PhD student at the department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems. I am also a member of biogeochemistry research group and MethaneNet (http://www.methanenet.org/), both led by my supervisor, Dr. Vincent Gauci. My PhD focusses on tree-mediated methane emissions from forested wetlands (details can be found under research section). The project is supervised by Dr. Vincent Gauci and Prof. David Gowing from the Open University and Dr. Edward Hornibrook from University of Bristol.
I was recently awarded a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) short-term fellowship. It will allow me to spend three months in Panama this summer to work on “Tree-mediated methane emissions from a Neotropical forested wetland”. Dr. Benjamin Turner and Dr. Omar Lopez (STRI staff scientists) will serve as my advisors.
Currently studying towards a PhD: 2009 – present
PhD thesis “Methane emissions from wetland trees: controls and variability” at the Open University.
MSc by research in Environmental Geosciences: 2007- 2008
Master’s thesis “Mitigation of methane emissions from constructed farm wetland” at the University of Edinburgh.
Bachelors in Environmental Engineering: 2000-2004
Final year thesis “Polluted water treatment using novel low cost indigenous filter media” at Visveswaraiah Technological University, Mysore, India.
Research interests: Biogeochemistry, methane dynamics in wetlands, autotrophic respiration in forests, carbon allocation in forests, land use change and greenhouse gas emissions, role of soil in forests, diffuse water pollution, water quality in catchments and treatment of waste water pollutants.
My PhD project:
Wetlands, of which ~60% are forested, are the single largest natural source of a powerful greenhouse gas, methane. With low dissolved oxygen and water submerged conditions, wetland presents themselves as an excellent environment for methane production. It is well studied and documented for over the past quarter of a century that methane in wetland soils is released to the atmosphere via/or a combination of three main pathways: diffusion of methane from soil-water and water-air interface, ebullition and plant mediated transfer. However, recent studies suggest a major shift in our understanding of how methane is emitted from wetlands. Woody tree-mediated methane emission pathways, a completely overlooked pathway may be important in forested wetlands in transporting methane produced in the soil to the atmosphere. Although, tree-mediated methane emissions from temperate trees was confirmed around 10 years ago, studies explaining the variability and controls on tree methane emissions are limited.
Our research addresses this knowledge gap. Using a range of experiments (mesocosm + in-situ) we aim to quantify methane emissions from tropical and temperate trees and identify some of the processes governing tree-mediated methane emissions. The data that we have collected so far highlights that this overlooked tree mediated methane emission pathways is important in forested wetlands and excluding these emissions will lead to gross underestimation in methane emissions from wetland ecosystems. The research findings have been submitted to international journals for publications. Please watch this space or please contact me for further details.
Pangala SR, Reay DS, Heal KV. 2010. Mitigation of methane emissions from constructed farm wetland. Chemosphere 78: 493-9
Pangala SR, Moore S, Hornibrook ERC, Gauci V. (accepted). Trees are major conduits for methane egress from tropical forested wetlands. New Phytologist.
Pangala SR, Gowing DJ, Hornibrook ERC, Gauci V. (under revision). Controls on methane emissions from Alnus glutinosa saplings. New Phytologist.
Pangala SR, Hornibrook ERC, Gowing DJ, Gauci V. (in prep). Tree stem methane emissions in a temperate forested wetland: controls and ecosystem contributions. Global Change biology.
Pangala SR, Gowing DJ, Gauci V. (in prep). Tree-mediated methane emissions: effects of water table depth and soil temperature. Plant and Soil.
Pangala SR, Hornibrook ERC, Gowing DJ, Gauci V. (in prep). Ecosystem contributions of tree-mediated methane emissions. Geophysical Research Letters.
Research findings presented at various conference/seminars:
"Methane emissions through trees in tropical and temperate forested wetlands", Oral presentation at INTECOL International Wetlands Conference. 3-8 June 2012, Florida, USA (The talk won SWS best presentation award).
"Tree-mediated methane emissions from tropical and temperate peatlands", Oral presentation at European Geosciences Union General Assembly. 24-29 April 2012, Vienna, Austria.
"Methane emissions from forested wetlands", Department seminar at Organic Geochemistry Unit Research Group, University of Bristol. 6 March 2012, Bristol, UK (Invited speaker).
"Methane emissions from tropical and temperate wetland trees",Oral presentation at the sixth international symposium on Non-CO2 greenhouse gases. 2-4 November 2011, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
"Methane emissions from tropical wetland trees", Oral presentation at British Ecological Society Annual Meeting. 12-14 September 2011, Sheffield, UK (The talk won Anne Keymer Prize).
"Methane emissions from tropical peat swamp forests", Oral presentation at The Open University science faculty conference. 10 May 2011, Milton Keynes, UK (The talk won best presentation award).
"Tropical trees emit methane", Poster presentation at The Open University followed by Midlands Hub Vitae poster competition at Nottingham University. 11 July 2011, Nottingham, UK (The poster won multiple awards, including faculty and overall finalist).
"Methane emission from trees", Poster presentation at the Open University followed by Midlands Hub Vitae poster competition at Nottingham University. 5 July 2010, Nottingham, UK (The poster won multiple awards, including 2nd prize at the Midlands competition).
last updated 30-Nov-2012