Frazer Bird

Bird-Photo croppedPhD student



I'm a PhD Student (2011-Present) in the Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems and hold a NERC Open Case Studentship with the Natural History Museum.

My work to date has focused on the development of proxy data sets in order to reconstruct environmental conditions back beyond the time of instrumental records.

I am currently interested in Chironomids as palaeotemperature proxies. Chironomids have been extensively used throughout Europe and North America to reconstruct Holocene and late-glacial summer air temperatures with a high temporal resolution and low error bars. The focus of my work is to extend the methodology to the Tropics and in doing so improve our knowledge of past climate change over the Andes. The project will develop the first chironomid-based inference model for the region. Longer climatic records can ultimately help to develop our understanding of inter-hemispherical climatic linkages and help validate any global climate models. The chironomid-inference model will be developed from surface sediment samples taken from Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Bolivian lakes covering an altitudinal gradient from 200–4000m.


BSc Physical Geography, University of Liverpool

MSc Environmental Change, University of Liverpool


Dr William Gosling, Dr Stephen J. Brooks (NHM) and Dr Angela L. Coe


Journal articles

  • Sayer, Emma J.; Featherstone, Helen C.; Gosling, William D.; [Bird, Frazer]; [Fawdon, Peter]; [Gunn, Leanne];[Salmon, Kate]; [Dixon, Sophie] and BES Roadies, (2014). Sex & Bugs & Rock 'n Roll: getting creative about public engagement. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29(2) pp. 65–67.


  • Quantifying Quaternary climate change in the Tropical Andes using non-biting midges (Chironomidae). International Biogeography Society sixth Biennial, Miami, Florida 2013.
  • Understanding the modern distributions and ecological tolerances of the Neotropical Chironomidae fauna. INTECOL 2013, London.

Honours & awards

  • Highly commended presentation, CEPSAR student conference
  • Highly commended presentation at The British Ecological Society INTECOL 2013
  • Award for Public Engagement in recognition of the holders contribution to the public engagement agenda of the centenary celebrations of The British Ecological Society.