University of East Anglia
Matt has a broad interest in the global carbon cycle and a particular focus on the roles of landscape fires and fossil fuel combustion in this cycle.
The Global Carbon Cycle
Matt contributes to international collaborative efforts to quantify the global carbon budget, which accounts for emissions of carbon from fossil fuel combusiton and land use change and the uptake of carbon by the terrestrial biosphere and by oceans.
Landscape Fire Emissions and Pyrogenic Carbon
Matt's work has focussed on the legacy effects of fire on the terrestrial carbon cycle. Historical landscape fires influence the modern carbon budget, while present-day fires will continue to influence this budget in the coming decades, centuries and even millennia. The legacy effects of fire include the long-term storage of carbon in combustion by-products such as charcoal and ash, which are stored in soils, sediments and oceans and typically referred to as "pyrogenic carbon" or "black carbon". Matt recently adapted a global fire-enabled carbon cycle model to quantify the global-scale production of pyrogenic carbon, finding that ~12% of burned vegetation is converted to pyrogenic carbon rather than emitted to the atmosphere (Jones et al., 2019, Nature Geoscience).
Matt is also leading improved understanding of the controls on the export of pyrogenic carbon to the global oceans by rivers, which impacts the residence time of pyrogenic carbon in the Earth system (Jones et al., 2019, Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles).
Fossil Fuel Emissions
Matt leads the development of a new fossil fuel emissions dataset that will be used in conjunction with atmospheric measurements of CO2 concentration, within an inverse modelling framework, to improve constraints on the regional distribution of the global carbon budget.
Matt recently joined the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research following a postdoctoral research role at Swansea University. Prior to this, Matt completed his PhD in Physical Geography at the University of Exeter.