Department of Biological Sciences
My work concerns the global terrestrial biosphere and its dynamic interactions with the atmosphere and climate. Much of my research centres on the modelling of ecosystem processes and scaling up from processes at the level of plants and soil micro-organisms to describe the large-scale exchanges of water, carbon dioxide and trace gases between the atmosphere and land. I have pioneered the development of global plant geography models (as the leader of the team that developed the BIOMEn family of models) and, since then, the development of global models to represent vegetation dynamics (the LPJ and LPX models). My present research focuses on the "next generation" of ecosystem and land surface models, incorporating new developments in ecology and ecophysiology including optimal allocation theory and plant hydraulics, and on developing tools for model evaluation and improvement using a variety of data sources ranging from eddy flux and atmospheric trace gas concentration measurements to isotopic measurements, remote sensing and palaeodata. I am also working on the quantification and analysis of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and reactive trace gases, and biogeochemical cycles and feedbacks to climate.
National and international Service
I am Director of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network facility e-MAST (ecosystem Modelling and Scaling infrasTructure) and a member of the executive advisory committee of TERN. I was Leader of the UK's QUEST (Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System) research programme until its completion in September 2010, and now, senior editor of the forthcoming book "Earth System Science for Application" emerging from QUEST. I was co-chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES) project and a member of the IGBP Scientific Committee up to 2010, and chaired the AIMES Open Science Conference in May 2010. I have been a subject editor of Global Change Biology and am on the editorial boards of Climate Dynamics and Environmental Science and Policy. I am co-chair of the US National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis Working Group on "Benchmarking ecosystem response models with experimental data from long-term CO2 enrichment experiments". I was co-ordinating lead author of the chapter "Carbon cycle and atmospheric carbon dioxide" in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and am a reviewer for Working Groups 1 and 2 of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
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