My Research Team

Now Open for Applications: Competitively-funded PhD Projects

Climate change impacts on wildfire risk in seasonally dry forests

Interested in how climate change could affect the occurrence of lightning and the ignition of dangerous forest wildfires? This is the PhD for you!

Fighting fire with fire: global impacts of climate change on wildfire mitigation using prescribed burns

Interested in how climate change could impact regional windows of opportunity to conduct prescribed burns and prevent wildfires? This is the PhD for you!

Following the light: using ‘brightspots’ to avoid future Amazonian fires

Interested in what drives variability in the relationship between humans and fire in Amazonia, and how lessons from ‘success stories’ can be transferred into policies that prevent forest loss? This is the PhD for you!

Towards near real-time quantification of fossil fuel emissions

Interested in using novel tracers to track daily emissions of fossil CO2 and verify national reporting? This is the PhD for you!

Current Research Team

Adam Smith, Senior Research Associate working on synthesis of climate change impacts, wildfire analyses for the Mediterranean region and uncertainty in carbon-cycle modelling.

My interests lie in communicating the science of climate change to encourage meeting the ambition of the Paris Agreement. My work has focussed on climate change impacts and their interaction with the carbon cycle.

Following a career as a geoscientist working in industry, I completed the MSc Climate Change at UEA in 2019, where my dissertation described future projections of drought in the Anglian Region using Met Office projections (UKCP 2009 and 2018). 

My subsequent research work has focussed on synthesising emerging research on climate change impacts through and coordinating a series of ScienceBrief Reviews on topics such as wildfires, extreme rainfall, cyclones, marine heatwaves, carbon sinks and Arctic amplification. This work was funded by the EU H2020 project CRESCENDO and by the Heineken Prize awarded to Corinne Le Quéré. 

I have recently begun work on the EU Horizon 2020 Project VERIFY where I will undertake work to describe uncertainty in carbon cycle modelling and analyses of future wildfire projections in the Mediterranean region, using the Copernicus program Climate Data Store (CDS). 

When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my family, especially being outdoors for running, cycling, walking and camping. 

Sally Matson, Research Associate using deep learning to predict the terrestrial carbon sink.

My interests lie in using machine learning and deep learning to help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

I studied Math and Computer Science at Georgetown University, where I developed mathematical models of methane emissions over space and time for my senior thesis.

In 2019, I was awarded a prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which funded my MSc in Climate Change at UEA. My thesis focussed on using neural networks to predict the response of the terrestrial carbon sink to variability in CO2 concentrations, climate, and large-scale climate oscillations. I continue to explore this topic in my new role as a research associate, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Project VERIFY.

While I continue my research I am also pursuing a MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures at Imperial College London.

In my free time I enjoy running, cooking, and spending as much time outside as possible.

Matúš Seči, Research Associate working on the human drivers of wildfire and biodiversity loss in Amazonia

I am studying towards a degree in Ecological and Environmental Sciences and I am especially interested in using quantitative approaches and remote sensing to understand global change.

My research at the UEA focuses on disentangling the patterns of land management in the Brazilian Amazon using socioeconomic and agricultural data, land cover products, and machine learning, and my aim is to connect patterns of land management to changes in fire and biodiversity loss in the Amazon.

My work has been funded by a Research Experience Placement of the Natural Environment Research Council’s ARIES Doctoral Training Partnership and by the Heineken Prize awarded to co-supervisor Corinne Le Quéré.

After completing my undergraduate degree I plan to pursue PhD studies focused on researching environmental change in the tropical regions.

Outside my studies and research I like to dedicate my time to reading non-fiction, walking and listening to podcasts.

Jane Thurgood, Research Associate working on a global dataset of prescribed burns.

I am an Environmental Science student at UEA, currently working to understand the potential of prescribed burns to mitigate wildfire risks and emissions at the global scale.

I am working with land managers all over the world to collate a dataset of prescribed burns, using skills in geospatial analysis to understand how meteorology influences land management decisions. Monitoring these land management decisions at the global scale provides critical information to identify future opportunities to use prescribed burning to reduce wildfire emissions.

My work has been funded by the internship competition of the UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences and by the EU Horizon 2020 Project VERIFY.

In 2022, I will continue my research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and thereafter I aim to study for a PhD in a related field of environmental sciences in future.

Outside of my research I love sport, especially netball and MMA, and I like to travel at any opportunity.