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Michael Peacock

Michael Peacock
I am a researcher in the Geochemistry and Hydrology Section, with an interest in the biogeochemistry of peatlands, wetlands and inland waters.


Much of my past research has focused on peatland management and associated effects on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and aquatic carbon dynamics. This has included work in the UK uplands and lowlands to address questions such as:

·         How does upland blanket bog rewetting affect GHG emissions and drinking water quality?

·         Can lowland agricultural fens be restored into functioning wetlands that begin to sequester carbon?

·         What contribution do drainage ditches make to the GHG balance of peatlands on a landscape scale?

Currently I am involved in researching lakes, streams and ponds. In particular, I am interested in GHG emissions from inland waters, particularly small artificial waterbodies such as ditches and ponds. I also study how dissolved organic matter (DOM) is transformed as it moves through catchments, and have an interest in methods to quantify the composition of DOM.

Selected publications

Evans, C., Peacock, M., Baird, A., Artz, R., Craig., E, Burden, A., Callaghan, N., Chapman, P., Cooper, H., Coyle, M., Cumming, A., Dixon, S., Helfter, C., Heppell, C., Holden, J., Gauci, V., Grayson, R., Jones, D., Kaduk, J., Levy, P.E., Matthews, R., McNamara, N., Misselbrook, T., Oakley, S., Page, S., Rayment, M., Ridley, L., Stanley, K., Williamson, J., Worrall, F., Morrison, R. 2021. Overriding water table control on managed peatland greenhouse gas emissions. Nature, 

Peacock, M., Audet, J., Bastviken, D., Futter, M.N., Gauci, V., Grinham, A.R., Harrison, J.A., Kent, M.S., Kosten, S., Lovelock, C.E. Veraart, A.J., and Evans, C.D. 2021. Global importance of methane emissions from drainage ditches and canals. Environmental Research Letters, 16, 044010.

Wallin, M.B., Audet, J., Peacock, M., Sahlée, E. and Winterdahl, M., 2020. Carbon dioxide dynamics in an agricultural headwater stream driven by hydrology and primary production. Biogeosciences, 17, 2487-2498.

Audet, J., Bastviken, D., Bundschuh, M., Buffam, I., Feckler, A., Klemedtsson, L., Laudon, H., Löfgren, S., Natchimuthu, S., Öquist, M. and Peacock, M., Wallin, M.B. 2020. Forest streams are important sources for nitrous oxide emissions. Global Change Biology, 26, 629-641.

Baird, A.J., Evans, C.D., Mills, R., Morris, P.J., Page, S.E., Peacock, M., Reed, M., Robroek, B.J.M., Stoneman, R., Swindles, G.T. and Thom, T., Waddington, J.M., Young, D.M. 2019. Validity of managing peatlands with fire. Nature Geoscience, 12(11), pp.884-885.

Peacock, M., Audet, J., Jordan, S., Smeds, J. and Wallin, M.B., 2019. Greenhouse gas emissions from urban ponds are driven by nutrient status and hydrology. Ecosphere, 10(3), p.e02643.

Evans, C.D., Baird, A.J., Green, S.M., Page, S.E., Peacock, M., Reed, M.S., Rose, N.L., Stoneman, R., Thom, T.J., Young, D.M. and Garnett, M.H., 2019. Comment on:“Peatland carbon stocks and burn history: Blanket bog peat core evidence highlights charcoal impacts on peat physical properties and long‐term carbon storage,” Geo: Geography and Environment, 6(1), p.e00075.

Peacock, M., Gauci, V., Baird, A.J., Burden, A., Chapman, P.J., Cumming, A., Evans, J.G., Grayson, R.P., Holden, J., Kaduk, J. Morrison, R., Page, S., Pan, G., Ridley, L.M., Williamson, J., Worrall, F., and Evans, C.D 2019. The full carbon balance of a rewetted cropland fen and a conservation-managed fen. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 269, 1-12.

Peacock, M., Materic, D., Kothawala, D.N., Holzinger, R. and Futter, M.N., 2018. Understanding dissolved organic matter reactivity and composition in lakes and streams using proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 5, 739-744.

Peacock, M., Jones, T.G., Futter, M.N., Freeman, C., Gough, R., Baird, A.J., Green, S.M., Chapman, P.J., Holden, J. and Evans, C.D., 2018. Peatland ditch blocking has no effect on dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality. Hydrological Processes, 32, 3891-3906.

Cook, S., Whelan, M.J., Evans, C.D., Gauci, V., Peacock, M., Garnett, M.H., Kho, L.K., Teh, Y.A. and Page, S.E., 2018. Fluvial organic carbon fluxes from oil palm plantations on tropical peatland. Biogeosciences, 15, 7435-7450.

Sjögersten, S., Aplin, P., Gauci, V., Peacock, M., Siegenthaler, A. and Turner, B.L., 2018. Temperature response of ex-situ greenhouse gas emissions from tropical peatlands: Interactions between forest type and peat moisture conditions. Geoderma, 324, 47-55.

Evans, C.D., Peacock, M., Green, S.M., Holden, J., Chapman, P.J., Lebron, I., Callaghan, N., Grayson, R. and Baird, A.J., 2018. The impact of ditch‐blocking on fluvial carbon export from a UK blanket bog. Hydrological Processes, 32, 2141-2154.

Green, S.M., Baird, A.J., Evans, C.D., Peacock, M., Holden, J., Chapman, P.J. and Smart, R.P., 2018. Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from open and blocked ditches in a blanket bog. Plant and Soil, 1-2, 619-638.

Materić, D., Peacock, M., Kent, M., Cook, S., Gauci, V., Röckmann, T. and Holzinger, R., 2017. Characterisation of the semi-volatile component of dissolved organic matter by Thermal Desorption–Proton Transfer Reaction–Mass Spectrometry. Scientific reports, 7(1), p.15936.

Peacock, M., Ridley, L.M., Evans, C.D. and Gauci, V., 2017. Management effects on greenhouse gas dynamics in fen ditches. Science of the Total Environment, 578, 601-612.

Cook, S., Peacock, M., Evans, C.D., Page, S.E., Whelan, M.J., Gauci, V. and Kho, L.K., 2017. Quantifying tropical peatland dissolved organic carbon (DOC) using UV-visible spectroscopy. Water Research, 115, 229-235.

Holden, J., Green, S.M., Baird, A.J., Grayson, R.P., Dooling, G.P., Chapman, P.J., Evans, C.D., Peacock, M. and Swindles, G., 2017. The impact of ditch blocking on the hydrological functioning of blanket peatlands. Hydrological processes, 31, 525-539.

Cook, S., Peacock, M., Evans, C.D., Page, S.E., Whelan, M., Gauci, V. and Khoon, K.L., 2016. Cold storage as a method for the long-term preservation of tropical dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Mires and Peat 18 (25), 1-8

Swindles, G.T., Green, S.M., Brown, L., Holden, J., Raby, C.L., Turner, T.E., Smart, R., Peacock, M. and Baird, A.J., 2016. Evaluating the use of dominant microbial consumers (testate amoebae) as indicators of blanket peatland restoration. Ecological indicators, 69, 318-330.

Siegenthaler, A., Welch, B., Pangala, S.R., Peacock, M. and Gauci, V., 2016. Technical note: Semi-rigid chambers for methane gas flux measurements on tree stems. Biogeosciences, 13(4), 1197-1207.

Gough, R., Holliman, P.J., Fenner, N., Peacock, M. and Freeman, C., 2016. Influence of water table depth on pore water chemistry and trihalomethane formation potential in peatlands. Water Environment Research, 88, 107-117.

Peacock, M., Jones, T.G., Airey, B., Johncock, A., Evans, C.D., Lebron, I., Fenner, N. and Freeman, C., 2015. The effect of peatland drainage and rewetting (ditch blocking) on extracellular enzyme activities and water chemistry. Soil use and management. 31, 67-76.

Peacock, M., Freeman, C., Gauci, V., Lebron, I. and Evans, C.D., 2015. Investigations of freezing and cold storage for the analysis of peatland dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and absorbance properties. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 17, 1290-1301.

Cooper, M.D., Evans, C.D., Zielinski, P., Levy, P.E., Gray, A., Peacock, M., Norris, D., Fenner, N. and Freeman, C., 2014. Infilled ditches are hotspots of landscape methane flux following peatland re-wetting. Ecosystems, 17, 1227-1241.

Peacock, M., Evans, C.D., Fenner, N., Freeman, C., Gough, R., Jones, T.G. and Lebron, I., 2014. UV-visible absorbance spectroscopy as a proxy for peatland dissolved organic carbon (DOC) quantity and quality: considerations on wavelength and absorbance degradation. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 16, 1445-1461.

Peacock, M., Evans, C.D., Fenner, N. and Freeman, C., 2013. Natural revegetation of bog pools after peatland restoration involving ditch blocking—the influence of pool depth and implications for carbon cycling. Ecological engineering, 57, 297-301.

Peacock, M., Burden, A., Cooper, M., Dunn, C., Evans, C.D., Fenner, N., Freeman, C., Gough, R., Hughes, D., Hughes, S. Jones, T., Lebron, I., West, M., and Zielinski, P. 2013. Quantifying dissolved organic carbon concentrations in upland catchments using phenolic proxy measurements. Journal of hydrology, 477, 251-260.

Evans, C.D., Jones, T.G., Burden, A., Ostle, N., Zieliński, P., Cooper, M.D., Peacock, M., Clark, J.M., Oulehle, F., Cooper, D. and Freeman, C., 2012. Acidity controls on dissolved organic carbon mobility in organic soils. Global Change Biology, 18, 3317-3331.