Tom's research investigates the interactions and feedbacks between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. His particular interests are:
- Interactions and feedbacks between climate change and forest mortality, including ecosystem disturbances
- CO2 fertilisation of vegetation and the global terrestrial carbon sink
- Effects of environmental change and pollution on crop yields
- How anthropogenic actions modify the structure and function of global forests
Tom is PI of the TreeMort project, which aims to improve our understanding of tree mortality across the globe
His primary tools for investigating these questions are computational models, particularly the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ-GUESS. In previous research he has used the Earth System Model EC-Earth, and outputs from ensembles of global climate models.
Tom has for several years been an active participant in the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison, attempting to answer questions relating to how crop yields and water usage will develop under future climates. His current efforts here are particularly focused on disentangling the response of different crop models to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
He has also worked calculations of carbon emissions from land-use change, including how these are influenced by agriculture, by interactions between climate and society, and by spatial heterogeneities below the spatial resolution of global modelling studies. He continues to work on these questions as part of the pan-European LUC4C project.
Tom's research is explained in more detail in his research lab website: bioatmo.wordpress.com