Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Dates: Oct 2008-Sep 2013
Summary: I work to try to develop solutions to climate change in agriculture and soils in general. This means looking at the impacts of climate change, but mainly involves finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, known as climate change mitigation. I work in this area as I believe that the evidence shows that climate change is one of the biggest threats to face the planet, and I wish to make a contribution to solving this problem. For me, this is also one of the most interesting areas of science at present, with many important questions remaining unanswered.
I lead efforts in the UK science community to include a better description of soils into the land surface component of the climate models (in a model called JULES) and I use a variety of models to examine how changed land management can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage. For society in general, my work has an influence on policy makers, since it provide outputs useful for devolved, UK and European governments, as well as informing international policy-relevant scientific bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for which I have served as a Lead Author and Convening Lead Author. The Stern Report, commissioned by the UK government and published in 2006, warned that climate change is one of the greatest threats to our way of life. Helping to better assess the magnitude of climate change and to plan strategies for its mitigation, is one of the most direct ways to enhance the future quality of life in the UK, so in my own small way, I am trying to make the world a better place for our children and their children. It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but I am trying to do my bit.