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Postgraduate research project

Quantifying the response and sensitivity of tropical forest carbon sinks to various drivers

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in the climate system and the global carbon cycle. For example, terrestrial vegetation acts as a carbon sink by absorbing up to 15-30% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions through photosynthesis. This absorption regulates the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere, which in turn influences the levels of global warming and associated climate change.

However, climate change and anthropogenic activities are threatening the role of terrestrial vegetation to act as carbon sink. Several factors (e.g. CO2 fertilization, climate, nitrogen deposition, land use and land cover change, extreme climatic events etc.) have been identified as key variables that influence the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to act as carbon sink.

However, there is currently uncertainty on the response of terrestrial ecosystem carbon sinks to the dynamics of these drivers. Identifying factors that affect the capacity of the terrestrial vegetation to absorb carbon and quantifying the magnitude of their sensitivity to driving factors is important in accurately projecting future coupled carbon cycle and climate system.

Therefore, this study aims to quantify the dynamics of tropical forest carbon sinks and their response and sensitivity to various environmental drivers.

For full project details visit the Inspire project page.


  • Dr Booker Ogutu (University of Southampton)
  • Professor Jadu Dash (University of Southampton)