Dr Thomas Pugh

Dr Thomas Pugh

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Reader in Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tom Pugh is a scientist interested in interactions and feedbacks between the terrestrial biosphere and the global climate system, which he primarily investigates using computer models and big data synthesis. Read more about Tom's research at bioatmo.wordpress.com.


  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
  • PhD Environmental Science


Tom completed a PhD at Lancaster University studying the effects of tropical rainforests and oil palm plantations on tropospheric chemistry. He then carried out a postdoc at Lancaster investigating the interactions between plants and urban air pollution, before moving to IMK-IFU in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he broadened his horizons to work with global vegetation and climate models on questions of land-use change, forest mortality and food security. In 2016 he took up the position of Lecturer in GEES at Birmingham, where his work is closely linked with the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR). In 2018 he became Reader in Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange at the University of Birmingham. In 2020 he took up a new position at Lund University in Sweden and currently splits his time between Lund and Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Tom Pugh welcomes enquiries from students with interests in the interaction between terrestrial vegetation, biogeochemical cycles and climate. Please contact him if you are interested in working with him on the following core topics, or more generally within this theme.

> Interactions and feedbacks between climate change and forest mortality.
> CO2 fertilisation of vegetation and the global terrestrial carbon sink.
> Effects of biotic agents on forest vitality and biogeochemical cycling.
> How anthropogenic actions modify the structure and function of our forests.


Tom Pugh is a scientist interested in interactions and feedbacks between the terrestrial biosphere and the global climate system, which he primarily investigates using computer models and big data synthesis. Read more about Tom's research at bioatmo.wordpress.com.


Recent publications


Wayman, J, Sadler, J, Pugh, T, Martin, T, Tobias, J & Matthews, T 2021, 'Identifying the Drivers of Spatial Taxonomic and Functional Beta-Diversity of British Breeding Birds', Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Dalagnol, R, Wagner, FH, Galvão, LS, Streher, AS, Phillips, OL, Gloor, E, Pugh, TAM, Ometto, JPHB & Aragão, LEOC 2021, 'Large-scale variations in the dynamics of Amazon forest canopy gaps from airborne lidar data and opportunities for tree mortality estimates', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 1388, pp. 1388. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80809-w

Ruane, AC, Phillips, M, Müller, C, Elliott, J, Jägermeyr, J, Arneth, A, Balkovic, J, Deryng, D, Folberth, C, Iizumi, T, Izaurralde, RC, Khabarov, N, Lawrence, P, Liu, W, Olin, S, Pugh, TAM, Rosenzweig, C, Sakurai, G, Schmid, E, Sultan, B, Wang, X, de Wit, A & Yang, H 2021, 'Strong regional influence of climatic forcing datasets on global crop model ensembles', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol. 300, 108313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108313

Papastefanou, P, Zang, C, Pugh, T, Liu, D, Grams, T, Hickler, T & Rammig, A 2020, 'A dynamic model for strategies and dynamics of plant water-potential regulation under drought conditions', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 11, 373. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00373

Rabin, S, Alexander, P, Henry, R, Anthoni, P, Pugh, T, Rounsevell, M & Arneth, A 2020, 'Impacts of future agricultural change on ecosystem service indicators', Earth System Dynamics, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 357–376. https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-357-2020

Zohner, C, Mo, L, Pugh, T, Bastin, J-F & Crowther, T 2020, 'Interactive climate factors restrict future increases in spring productivity of temperate and boreal trees', Global Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 7, pp. 4042-4055. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15098

Toreti, A, Deryng, D, Tubiello, F, Müller, C, Kimball, B, Moser, G, Boote, K, Asseng, S, Pugh, T, Vanuytrecht, E, Pleijel, H, Webber, H, Durand, J-L, Dentener, F, Ceglar, A, Wang, X, Badeck, F, Lecerf, R, Wall, G, van den Berg, M, Hoegy, P, Lopez-Lozano, R, Zampieri, M, Galmarini, S, O'Leary, G, Manderscheid, R, Mencos Contreras, E & Rosenzweig, C 2020, 'Narrowing the uncertainties in the effects of elevated CO2 on crops', Nature Food, vol. 1, pp. 775–782 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-020-00195-4

McDowell, N, Allen, C, Anderson-Teixeira, K, Aukema, B, Bond-Lamberty, B, Chini, L, Clark, J, Dietze, M, Grossiord, C, Hanbury-Brown, A, Hurtt, G, Jackson, R, Johnson, D, Kueppers, L, Lichstein, J, Ogle, K, Poulter, B, Pugh, T, Seidl, R, Turner, M, Uriarte, M, Walker, A & Xu, C 2020, 'Pervasive shifts in forest dynamics in a changing world', Science, vol. 368, no. 6494, eaaz9463. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaz9463

Hopcroft, P, Ramstein, G, Pugh, T, Hunter, S, Murguia-Flores, F, Quiquet, A, Sun, Y, Tan, N & Valdes, PJ 2020, 'Polar amplification of Pliocene climate by elevated trace gas radiative forcing', National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, vol. 117, no. 38, pp. 23401-23407. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2002320117

Franke, J, Müller, C, Elliott, J, Ruane, A, Jagermayer, J, Snyder, A, Dury, M, Falloon, P, Folberth, C, François, L, Hank, T, Izaurralde, RC, Jacquemin, I, Jones, C, Li, M, Liu, W, Olin, S, Phillips, M, Pugh, T, Reddy, A, Williams, K, Wang, Z, Zabel, F & Moyer, EJ 2020, 'The GGCMI Phase 2 emulators: global gridded crop model responses to changes in CO2, temperature, water, and nitrogen (version 1.0)', Geoscientific Model Development.

Franke, J, Müller, C, Elliott, J, Ruane, A, Jagermayer, J & Pugh, T 2020, 'The GGCMI Phase 2 experiment: global gridded crop model simulations under uniform changes in CO2, temperature, water, and nitrogen levels (protocol version 1.0)', Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 2315–2336. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-13-2315-2020

ForestPlots, Esquivel-Muelbert, A & Pugh, TAM 2020, 'Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests', Nature Communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 5515. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18996-3

Pugh, T, Rademacher, T, Shafer, S, Steinkamp, J, Barichivich, J, Beckage, B, Haverd, V, Harper, A, Heinke, J, Nishina, K, Rammig, A, Sato, H, Arneth, A, Hantson, S, Hickler, T, Kautz, M, Quesada, B, Smith, B & Thonicke, K 2020, 'Understanding the uncertainty in global forest carbon turnover', Biogeosciences, vol. 17, no. 15, pp. 3961-3989. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-3961-2020

Minoli, S, Mueller, C, Elliott, J, Ruane, AC, Jägermeyr, J, Zabel, F, Dury, M, Folberth, C, François, L, Hank, T, Jacquemin, I, Liu, W, Olin, S & Pugh, T 2019, 'Global response patterns of major rainfed crops to adaptation by maintaining current growing periods and irrigation', Earth's Future, vol. 7, no. 12, pp. 1464-1480. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF001130

Pugh, T, Arneth, A, Kautz, M, Poulter, B & Smith, B 2019, 'Important role of forest disturbances in the global biomass turnover and carbon sinks', Nature Geoscience, vol. 12, pp. 730–735. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0427-2

View all publications in research portal


vegetation-climate interactions; terrestrial carbon cycle; tree mortality; climate impacts on forests/agriculture; carbon storage in ecosystems