Research Fellows Directory
Professor Thomas Wagner
My research covers a wide range of aspects addressing the role and functioning of carbon and nutrients in the atmosphere-land-ocean system as primary drivers of environmental and climate change and energy resource under modern and past greenhouse conditions. These research activities are closely tied to large international research programmes and address both, global and regional effects to short-term climate perturbations and human intervention (e.g. land use change in tropical rainforests, environmental impact of cities). Time intervals of interest include ambient environmental/climate conditions, the glacial-interglacial cycles of the past few million years (the Quaternary) and the dynamics of oceans without oxygen (`ocean anoxia`) in during past greenhouse worlds. Closely linked to these activities are new research directions that I have initiated over the last years at Newcastle. These include the role of tropical rainforest as research hotspots for Climate Change and Ecosystem Services, the development of a carbon footprint to provide guidance towards a low-carbon economy and new livelihoods for the city of Newcastle, and integrated research into unconventional petroleum (oil shale).
Overall my research aims to identify the mechanisms and feedbacks how climate signals are transferred from the atmosphere to the land surface and further into the deep ocean, and vice versa, across all temporal and spatial scales and how humans interact at the local scale. This broad research agenda has various impacts, from fundamental understanding of Earth Surface processes and feedback mechanisms through time to securing energy demand for the future and provision of practical procedures and recommendations to policy makers and communities. In combination this research agenda contributes to the grand challenge of transforming natural capital into human and economic benefit through environmentally sustainable mechanisms, leading the way to ‘Sustainable Science’.