Delphine Deryng

Delphine Deryng's picture

Staff Profiles

e-mail address
First Name
University of East Anglia
Postal Address

Tyndall Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Current Position
Research Interests

I study the interactions between human activities and the environment combining scientific knowledge from multiple disciplines. I’m particularly interested in providing policy relevant research on the impact of climate change, land use and land use change on global food production and food security. I use primarily quantitative methods involving numerical models, statistical analyses and geographic representations of biophysical and socio-economic phenomena.
I completed my doctorate in 2014 focusing on climate change impacts and uncertainties on global crop yield and the role of adaptation. This work used primarily global gridded crop models such as the PEGASUS model, which I have used and developed since 2007 (see publications). During my PhD, I also led the first global crop modelling intercomparison study as part of the joint AgMIP/ISI-MIP fast-track process in 2012-2013. I continue to participate in ongoing global gridded crop modelling intercomparison activities (Ag-GRID and GGCMI) led by AgMIP and currently lead narrative work to develop representative agricultural pathways and scenarios to explore farming adaptation capacity with global crop models.
Prior to joining the Tyndall Centre, I worked as a research scientist for the Global Land and Water lab at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), where I completed a Master’s degree in Geography in 2009. I also hold a Master’s degree in Cosmology and High-energy physics and a qualification in scientific communication from the University Denis Diderot - Paris 7 (France, 2006). Throughout this unusual education pathway, I developed strong quantitative skills, a broad interest in science and philosophy, and critical thinking about scientific knowledge and performing scientific research, essential for pursuing interdisciplinary research on climate change.

Deryng, D., Conway, D., Ramankutty, N., et al. (2014) “Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures”, Environmental Research Letters, 9, 034011.


Elliott, J., Müller,C., Deryng, D., et al. (2014) "The Global Gridded Crop Model intercomparison: data and modeling protocols for Phase 1 (v1.0)", Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 7, 4383-4427, doi:10.5194/gmdd-7-4383-2014.


Rosenzweig, C., Elliott, J., Deryng, D., et al. (2014) “Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(9), pp.3268–3273. doi:10.1073/pnas.1222463110.


Elliott J., Deryng, D., Müller, C., et al. (2014) “Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(9), pp.3239–3244. doi:10.1073/pnas.1222474110.


Piontek, F, Müller, C., Pugh, T.A.M., Clark, D.B., Deryng, D., et al. (2014) “Leaving the world as we know it: Hotspots of global climate change impacts”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(9), pp.3233–3238. doi:10.1073/pnas.1222471110.


Nelson, G.C., Valin, H., Sands, R.D., Havlik, P., Ahammad, H., Deryng, D., et al. (2014) “Climate change effects on agriculture: Economic responses to biophysical shocks”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(9), pp.3274–3279. doi:10.1073/pnas.1222465110.


Bassu, S., Brisson, N., Durand, J-L., Boote, K., Lizaso, J., Jones, J.W., Rosenzweig, C., Ruane, A.C., Adam, M., Baron, C., Basso, B., Biernath, C., Boogaard, H., Conijn, S., Corbeels, M., Deryng, D., et al. (2014) “Do various maize crop models give the same responses to climate change factors”, Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12520.


Deryng, D., Sacks, W., Ramankutty, N., et al. (2011) “Simulating the effects of climate and land management practices on global crop yield”, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25(2), doi:10.1029/2009GB003765.


Sacks, W., Deryng, D., Foley, J., et al. (2010) “Crop planting dates: An analysis of global patterns”, Global Ecology Biogeography, 19(5), pp.607–620, doi:10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00551.x.
More about Water and Land Use

Research Themes


PhD Researchers Profile

Tyndall Research Theme
Water and Landuse
Duration of your PhD
My Thesis' Abstract

As global mean temperature continues to rise steadily, agricultural systems are projected to face unprecedented challenges to cope with climate change. However, understanding of climate change impacts on global crop yield, and of farmers’ adaptive capacity, remains incomplete as previous global assessments: (1) inadequately evaluated the role of extreme weather events; (2) focused on a small subset of the full range of climate change predictions; (3) overlooked uncertainties related to the choice of crop modelling approach and; (4) simplified the representation of farming adaptation strategies. This research aimed to assess climate change impacts on global crop yield that accounts for the knowledge gaps listed above, based on the further development and application of the global crop model PEGASUS. Four main research topics are presented. First, I investigated the roles of extreme heat stress at anthesis on crop yield and uncertainties related to the use of seventy-two climate change scenarios. I showed large disparities in impacts across regions as extreme temperatures adversely affects major areas of crop production and lower income countries, the latter appear likely to face larger reduction in crop yields. Second, I coordinated the first global gridded crop model intercomparison study, comparing simulations of crop yield and water use under climate change. I found modelled global average crop water productivity increases by up to 17±20.3% when including carbon fertilisation effects, but decreases to –28±13.9% when excluding them; and identified fundamental uncertainties and gaps in our understanding of crop response to elevated carbon dioxide. Third, to link climate impacts with adaptation, I introduced the recently developed concept of representative agricultural pathways and examined their potential use in models to explore farming adaptation options within biophysical and socio-economic constraints. Finally, I explored tradeoffs between increasing nitrogen fertiliser use to close the global maize yield gap and the resulting nitrous oxide emissions. I found global maize production increases by 62% based on current harvested area using intensive rates of nitrogen fertiliser. This raises the share of nitrous oxide emissions associated with maize production from 20 to 32% of global cereal related emissions. Finally, these results demonstrated that in some regions increasing nitrogen fertiliser application, without addressing other limiting factors such as soil nutrient imbalance and water scarcity, could raise nitrous oxide emissions without enhancing crop yield.


Adaptation Theory and Practice
Emissions Scenarios


Member for
6 years 17 weeks
View recent blog entries

Related content

News item