Professional summary

Research Interests

My research focuses on soil and vegetation change, particularly in response to nitrogen (N) pollution. Plant productivity is correlated with crop, livestock and timber yields and with carbon influx to ecosystems, but more productive habitats are often suitable for a narrower range of species. I am interested in what limits plant production and soil carbon accumulation across a variety of ecosystems.

I design and apply dynamic models of soil and vegetation processes, such as the MADOC model which predicts the result of feedbacks between dissolved-organic-carbon leaching and soil pH, and consequences for greenhouse gas exchange, acidification and water quality. Aeration is a key control on decomposition, and I am investigating simple mechanistic treatments of macro- and micro-scale anaerobiosis in soil models, and the application of simple measurement methods such as rusting-bars.

I also work on dynamic niche occupancy models that predict habitat suitability for plant species in response to environmental changes. My work informs UK responses to the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), and I am head of the UK National Focal Centre for critical loads mapping and modelling. A key uncertainty is in the interpretation of changes in species composition, and I have used a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques to help define biodiversity targets on the basis of habitat specialists’ views.

Here is a link to me talking about nitrogen pollution on my brother's vlog... Too much fertility

Selected Publications

Janes-Bassett V, Davies J, Rowe EC and Tipping E (2020) Simulating long-term carbon nitrogen and phosphorus biogeochemical cycling in agricultural environments. Science of the Total Environment 714: 136599.

Anderson TR, Rowe EC et al (2019) Unified concepts for understanding and modelling turnover of dissolved organic matter from freshwaters to the ocean: The UniDOM model. Biogeochemistry 146: 105-123. View in NORA

Tipping E & Rowe EC (2019) Modelling the physical states, element stoichiometries, and residence times of topsoil organic matter. European Journal of Soil Science 70: 321–337. View in NORA

Dirnböck T et al. (2018) Currently legislated decreases in nitrogen deposition will yield only limited plant species recovery in European forests. Environmental Research Letters 13: 125010. View in Journal

Williamson J, Rowe E, Reed D, Ruffino L, Jones P, Dolan R, Buckingham H, Norris D, Astbury S & Evans CD (2017) Historical peat loss explains limited response of drained blanket bogs to rewetting. Journal of Environmental Management 188: 278-286. View in NORA

Rowe EC, Ford AES, Smart S, Henrys P & Ashmore M (2016) Using qualitative and quantitative methods to choose a habitat quality metric for air pollution policy evaluation. PLOS-ONE 11(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161085. View in Journal

Vereecken H et. al. (2016) Modeling soil processes: review, key challenges, and new perspectives. Vadose Zone Journal 15(5): 1-57. View in NORA

Davies JAC, Tipping E, Rowe EC, Boyle JF, Graf-Pannatier E, Martinsena V (2016) Long-term P weathering and recent N deposition control contemporary plant-soil C, N and P. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 30: 231-249. View in NORA

Oulehle F, Rowe EC, Myska O & Evans CD (2016) Plant functional type affects nitrogen use efficiency in High-Arctic tundra. Soil Biology and Biogeochemistry 94: 19-28. View in Journal

Rowe EC, Tipping E, Posch M, Oulehle F, Cooper DM, Jones TG, Burden A, Hall J & Evans CD (2014) Predicting nitrogen and acidity effects on long-term dynamics of dissolved organic matter. Environmental Pollution 184: 271-282. View in Journal

Rowe EC, Smart SM, Kennedy VH, Emmett BA & Evans CD (2008) Nitrogen deposition increases the acquisition of phosphorus and potassium by heather Calluna vulgaris. Environmental Pollution 155: 201-207. View in Journal

Rowe EC, van Wijk M, de Ridder N & Giller KE (2006) Nutrient allocation strategies across a simplified heterogeneous African smallholder farm. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 116: 60-71. View in ResearchGate

Rowe EC, van Noordwijk M, Suprayogo D & Cadisch G (2005) Nitrogen use efficiency of monoculture and hedgerow intercropping in the humid tropics. Plant and Soil 268: 61-74. View in ResearchGate

Brief CV

2004-present, Biogeochemical modeller, CEH Bangor
2002-04, Scientist, Plant Production Systems group, Wageningen University
2000-02, Restoration ecologist, Bangor University
1994-95, Visiting researcher, Universidad Autonoma de Chiapas, Mexico
1993-94, Botanical surveyor, Aberystwyth University and English Nature


1996-99, PhD: The safety-net role of tree roots, Wye College, London.
1991-92, MSc Biological Computation, York.
1986-89, BA Pure and Applied Biology, Oxford.