This is a significant work area with importance for both reducing emissions and how we adapt to the changes we see in our climate. For example: Scotland’s peatlands and forests are important carbon sinks, through the soil and vegetation. Managing and expanding forests, and restoring peatland sites, are important to increase the carbon storage capacity and also to manage increased flood risk.

Locking carbon into the soil and vegetation is also an important aspect of developing climate friendly agriculture practices. We also provide research on:

  • using energy and fuels efficiently;
  • developing renewable energy;
  • optimising the application of fertiliser and manures; and
  • optimising livestock management and storage of waste.


Meet our land use, agriculture, forestry and peatlands researchers

Rebekka Artz

Principal Investigator
Research topic: Peatlands
Email Rebekka Website

Rebekka, who has expertise in the ecological functioning of peatlands, has been involved with CXC from the beginning and sits on our Directorate. She was instrumental in the development of the WISE tool, and has translated the complex requirements of the IPCC Inventory for a wider policy audience. More recently, she has led research into remote sensing of peatland drainage, and explored the science of restoration and its practical application.

Rebekka was also closely involved in the development of the adaptation indicators for the natural environment, with particular reference to peatland, and oversees our work at the James Hutton Institute.

Kate Beauchamp

Research Fellow
Research topic: Adaptive Forest Management
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Kate is a Project Manager in the Climate Change Research Group within the Forest Research sector of the Forestry Commission. Currently, she maintains a position as a Climate Change researcher and her research allows the forest sector to adapt to climate change. Her research also features assessing risk across the forest supply chain and the role of contingency planning in adaptation and risk management.

Working closely with forest practitioners and policy teams to develop research and knowledge exchange resources that support adaptation, Kate has developed a variety of Climate Change Indicators within the forestry sector to help create, and adapt, policies.

Marta Dondini

Principal Investigator
Research topic: Soil carbon sequestration
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Marta has a degree in Forestry and Environmental Science and holds a PhD in Soil Science, the latter obtained at the Trinity College of Dublin in Ireland. In 2010 she joined the Environmental Modelling Group at the University of Aberdeen as a Research Fellow.

She is an expert in soil carbon sequestration with a strong background in both modelling and measuring techniques. Her main areas of expertise are in modelling greenhouse gas / carbon mitigation and mechanisms regulating soil carbon sequestration. Her main research interests involve investigating the effects of land use change and land management under future climate scenarios.

Vera Eory

Research topic: Agriculture emissions
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Vera's expertise in the economic and environmental implications of greenhouse gas reduction practices in agriculture has been particularly useful to CXC. She has contributed to a range of studies including theoretical economic modelling, and its application to improved farm practice. 

Tom Locatelli

Research Fellow
Research topic: Adaptive Forest Management
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Tom is a Climate Change Researcher at the Northern Research Station of Forest Research in Scotland. His research includes the exploration of parallels between risk management in finance and in forestry to inform policy and operations in the Scottish forestry sector, and the monitoring of environmental variables in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, the adaptation demonstration research forest of Forestry Commission Scotland.

Tom is liaising with other forestry associations in Scotland towards the development of a database of adaptation demonstration sites. His current research focusses on the development of the wind risk model ForestGALES to allow for the management of broadleaved trees and complex stand structure within an open-source GIS framework.

James Morison

Principal Investigator
Research topic: Adaptation, mitigation and the impact of climate change on forests
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James currently leads the work of the Climate Change Research Group in Forest Research (FR), which spans research and knowledge exchange on climate change impacts on trees, woodlands and forests, adaptation measures and forestry’s mitigation contributions. He was involved in FR’s contribution to the ClimateXChange project for the first phase from 2010- 2015, and coordinates the FR input into the second phase which is set to span until 2021. He has also contributed to the UK Climate Change Risk Assessments in 2012 and 2017, and co-chaired the LWEC Report Card on the Climate Change Impacts on UK Agriculture and Forestry (2017).

His research includes forest carbon and GHG balances, climate change risks and adaptation measures. He works on linking climate change research and policy needs for Scottish Government and agencies.

Joseph Oyesiku-Blakemore

Research Fellow
Research topic: Soil carbon sequestration
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Joe is based at the University of Aberdeen in the Environmental modelling group, part of the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences. His project will model the impact of management practices and climate change on the sequestration of soil organic carbon. The aim is to provide guidance to policymakers on suitable practices to best meet a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target.

Before joining starting his fellowship Joe worked on the NERC-funded “MIDST CZO” and “Red Soil Critical Zone Observatory” projects (2016-2019), evaluating and developing decision support tools for use in Chinese agriculture with a particular focus on the influence of land use practices on soil carbon sequestration. 

Emmanuel Udugbezi

Research Fellow
Research topic: Land Capability
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Emmanuel is based at The James Hutton Institute Aberdeen working on the Land Capability for Agriculture (LCA) and land Capability for Forestry (LCF). The project is focused on creating a digital platform of the LCA and LCF to enable future climate change impact assessment to inform subsequent land use adaptation policy.

He has previously worked on the EU-funded LIFE SMART WASTE project, developing and testing innovative and intelligence-led approaches to tackling waste crime using remote sensing techniques.