School of GeoSciences

Teaching staff

Expert teaching staff will meet with you virtually each week.

Teaching is delivered by a variety of experts in the area of Climate Change.

Prof Dave Reay

Dave Reay

Programme Director

Dave Reay is a Professor of Carbon Management, the Programme Director of the online MSc in Carbon Management and Education Assistant Principal. Dave's research interests are in climate change and its interaction with greenhouse gas fluxes in managed and natural ecosystems around the world. Much of his work focuses on how changing land use can either exacerbate or mitigate future climate change, and how land use can be made more resilient to the future impacts of climate change.

Dave studied Marine Biology at Liverpool University and graduated in 1994. He went on to gain a PhD with the British Antarctic Survey and Essex University studying the response of Southern Ocean algae and bacteria to global warming. After gaining his doctorate he continued working as a post-doc at Essex, investigating the impact of land-use on the soil methane sink. In 2001 he moved to Edinburgh University to investigate emissions of the greenhouse gas 'nitrous oxide' from agriculture, then carbon fluxes in forests, and went on to become a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Fellow examining greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands and agriculture. In 2008 Dave became the university's first lecturer in carbon management, became a senior lecturer in 2009 and a professor in 2014. He is designer and editor of the climate change science website Greenhouse Gas Online and of the Southern Ocean: Antarctic Seas and Wildlife website.

Dave enjoys running (on an annual basis), Test Match Special, and writing stories for his daughters.

Stephen Porter

Stephen Porter

University Teacher

Stephen Porter is a tree-hugging researcher-cum-investor. He worked in the institutional investment management industry for nearly 20 years at some of the leading global firms engaging with the senior executives of asset owners such as sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds and charitable foundations to create custom solutions to meet their specific requirements. To atone for such “sins”, in 2012 Stephen embarked upon a rather different path - enrolling in Edinburgh’s MSc in Carbon Management, on which he now teaches. And if his insanity were not already self-evident, Stephen has continued to flagellate himself, and terrorise his Masters supervisor, by undertaking PhD studies in the School of GeoSciences, exploring the links between inefficiencies across the food supply chain and climate change mitigation.

Stephen is also a husband and a father to three boys in primary school - so please excuse the ever-more-copious white hair!

Professor Gabi Hegerl

Professor of Climate System Science

Gabi Hegerl is a Professor of Climate System Science at the University of Edinburgh and member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Gabi's research interests include climate diagnostics; statistical climatology; variability and changes in temperature, precipitation and climatic extremes; and constraining future climate change by estimating the magnitude of observed radiative forced climate change.

Prior to 2007 Gabi held research positions at the University of Washington and at Duke University, during which time she was a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth and Fifth Assessment Report. Gabi gained her PhD in 1992 at Ludwig-Maximillians Universität München in Applied Mathematics.

Professor Paul van Gardingen

Professor of International Development

Paul van Gardingen is a Professor of International Development at the University of Edinburgh. Paul is also Director of the Edinburgh International Development Centre (EIDC) and UNESCO Chair of International Development. Paul's research interests include science, technology and development policy; global challenges; sustainable forest management; and conservation of biodiversity.

Paul gained a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in 1986. He originally joined the University of Edinburgh as a post doctoral research fellow in 1986, he became a lecturer in 1991 and a Professor in 2008. Paul is a member of various committees including the Scottish Government's International Development Advisory Group, the Africa Unit Partnerships Working Group, the University of Edinburgh's Sustainability and Environment Advisory Group, the University of Edinburgh's African Studies Committee and the Technical Advisory Group for DEFRA's Darwin Initiative Monitoring and Evaluation Project

Dr Ruth Doherty

Reader in Atmospheric Sciences

Ruth Doherty is a Reader in Atmospheric Sciences in the School of GeoSciences and a member of the contemporary climate research group. Ruth's research interests lie in the area of modelling climate-chemistry interactions and how these are influenced by Climate Change and year-to-year variations in climate.

Before coming to Edinburgh University, Ruth worked in the field of Climate Change research at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK and in the Institute for Study of the Environment at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA.

Dr Andy Kerr

Director of Edinburgh Center for Carbon Innovation

Andy Kerr is Director of the Edinburgh Center for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). The ECCI is a centre for innovation and skills to support the development of resilient, low carbon societies. They foster collaborative working between policy, community and business leaders to support and deliver workable solutions for a low carbon future. They also provide a forum for solving "low carbon" problems and coordinate and deliver professional skills training, in the form of short courses (Executive Education; Continuing Professional Development) and Masters Courses. The ECCI works with businesses, national and local government, and civil society and is supported and hosted by the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot-Watt University.

Previously, Andy worked in the private sector in the emerging international carbon and biofuel markets, working with companies and organisations from a variety of sectors to develop both strategic and practical management responses to emerging opportunities and legislation. He managed and traded carbon instruments (credits / allowances) in a variety of emissions trading schemes, including the UK ETS; EU ETS; and Kyoto. His public policy work has focused on developing effective national and regional policy frameworks that support the reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Andy was also the Director of E3 International, an environmental company which works with major corporations and non-governmental organisations to support their responses to the shift in environmental regulation - from traditional command and control measures to market-based instruments and mechanisms. He has worked for Greenergy, a biofuels company, setting up a used-cooking oil biodiesel supply chain, and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management. Andy obtained his doctorate in climate change from the University of Edinburgh, examining the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet to climate change.

Professor Mark Rounsevell

Professor of Rural Economy and Sustainability

Mark Rounsevell is Professor of Rural Economy and Sustainability within the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the effects of environmental change on rural and urban landscapes with an emphasis on the development and application of agent-based, social simulation models.

Dr Annalisa Savaresi

Teaching Fellow in Global Environmental Law

Annalisa Savaresi is a Teaching Fellow in Global Environmental Law at the University of Edinburgh. She specialises in European, international and comparative environmental law. Her research interests include climate change, forestry, environmental liability and the relationship between human rights and the environment. She is member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and writer for the Earth Negotiation Bulletin, published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Since 2013, she has been Research Fellow to the BENELEX project, responsible for legal research in the areas of climate change and forest biodiversity.

Prior to joining the University Annalisa worked as a writer of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, Canada as well as a researcher at the International Centre for Climate Governance in Venice, Italy and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Annalisa also has legal experience working at the University of Cambridge, the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a solicitors office.

Annalisa studied law at the University of Brecia in Italy. She then specialised in European Law at the University of Durham. Annalisa completed her PhD studies at the University of Copenhagen in 2013 on an international framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

Dr Simon Shackley

Lecturer in Carbon Policy

Simon Shackley is a lecturer in Carbon Policy at the University of Edinburgh. His research initerests lie in two main areas:

- CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS): stakeholder and public perceptions and engagement; regulation and risk assessment; the concept and implications of technological lock-in as applied to CCS. Work is being supported by the EU (FP7 projects ECO2, SiteChar) and by the Global CCS Institute (Large-Group Process for Scotland) and the IEA GHG programme.

- biochar systems: Life Cycle Assessment of biochar; the socio-economic assessment of biochar; policy mechanisms for biochar deployment, and their interaction (if any) with policies for food production, land-use, rural diversification, waste, energy and climate change; monitoring, verification, accounting and reporting (MVAR) requirements and methodologies; risk assessment methods for biochar evaluation; the requirements for biochar carbon to be traded under the voluntary and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) markets and the distribution of carbon credits; developing screening methods to match good biochar supply with good 'sinks' all within favourable socio-political regimes. Much of the work is being delivered by the ERDF-funded Interreg Biochar: Climate Saving Soils project (with Jim Hammond and Sohel Ahmed) and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation supported Biochar Risk Assessment Framework (with Rodrigo Ibarrola).

Simon is also the chairperson of the British Biochar Foundation. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh Simon worked at Universities of Lancaster, UMIST and Manchester. He was a founding member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and ran one of the four research programmes ('Decarbonising Modern Socieites') from 2000 to 2005. Simon carried out his BSc in Botany at Durham University and his MSc and PhD in Enviromental Policy at the Unviersity of Essex.

Professor Gareth Harrison

Bert Whittington Chair of Power Engineering

Gareth Harrison is Bert Whittington Chair of Electrical Power Engineering and Deputy Head of the Institute for Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Doctorate from the same institution and was appointed to staff in 2000. He leads research activity across a wide area including grid integration of renewable energy, renewable resource assessment, climate change impacts on electricity systems; and carbon footprints of energy systems. Professor Harrison is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is an Affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

As well as various external experts from UK and international research institutes, charities and public and private sector companies.