Dr. Kathryn Hargan

Assistant Professor

Department of Biology

Memorial University of Newfoundland

232 Elizabeth Ave.

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9

Office Telephone: 1-709-864-4754

Email: khargan[at]mun[dot]ca

Education and experience:

2017-2019: EnviroLab Asia PDF, Claremont McKenna College, Williams Marine Environmental Change Lab 

2015-2017: W. Garfield Weston PDF, University of Ottawa, Blais Environmental Tracers and Contaminants Lab

2010-2015: PhD, Queen's University, Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory

2008-2010: MSc, Trent University with Dr. Peter Dillon, Professor Emeritus 

Current Graduate Opportunities

I am currently considering potential MSc or PhD students for Fall 2020 (and beyond, start dates are generally flexible) interested in:


(1) reconstructing lake and peatland ecosystem responses to human settlements across Newfoundland over millennia, investigating how changes in climate and European arrival influenced land use by Indigenous Beothuk;


(2) understanding how climate variability and human pressures are linked to the long-term population dynamics of nesting seabirds;


(3) examining how seabird guano subsidies influence coastal ecosystem biodiversity and organismal chemistry.


These positions will depend on funding (yours and mine) and I encourage perspective students to please contact Kathryn directly for additional details.

I anticipate that our research lab will be diverse with students from many backgrounds. Paleolimnology professors can be found in geology, geography, environmental science, earth science, and biology departments due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, so please do not hesitate to inquire about an opportunity with me even if your undergraduate degree or MSc is not in Biology. Students will have access to state-of-the-art scientific equipment (e.g., GC-MS, ICP-MS) through the CREAIT facilities at MUN, and the opportunity to learn many established and emerging tools and proxies for inferring long-term environmental change. To answer large research questions, many of our projects are indeed collaborative across departments, institutions, and with Environment and Climate Change Canada. Our lab is an open environment that recognizes the benefits of building trusting collaborations among students and researchers.

Past Students & Lab Members

Jahnavi Kocha (CMC'19)

Thesis title: "A spatial and temporal analysis of Uranium concentrations around the abandoned New Hope Method mine in the Mohave Desert"

Jahnavi and Kathryn also traveled together to Pitzer College's Firestone Field Station in Costa Rica to study environmental changes across a gradient of land use (banana and bamboo plantations, primary and secondary forest). 

Alison Hong (CMC'19) 

Thesis title: "Tracking the role of trophic position on copper, zinc, manganese and arsenic accumulation in Thai mangrove molluscs"

Alison has submitted a manuscript for review to the journal Ecological Indicators.

Mudit Murarka (Pomona College'19)

Mudit is applying his knowledge and experience with ArcPro to create spatial heat and krigging maps of our stable isotope data from sediments across the shrimp farm-mangrove-marine transition in Khung Krabaen Bay, Thailand. Additionally, he will be examining drone footage to extract tree height data for understanding mangrove reforestation efforts and whether they relate to gradients in mangrove tree carbon and nitrogen isotopes. 

Alison at the Keck Science thesis poster day, Dec 2018

Jahnavi and Kathryn at the Firestone Field Station in March 2019