Professional summary

Jeanette Whitaker obtained a BSc in Applied Biology from Liverpool John Moores University (1994) and a PhD in Plant and Soil Science from University of Leeds (1997). Following a NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship she took a research post in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology — now UKCEH — where she has worked for 25 years building a research portfolio in soil ecology and biogeochemistry. Her expertise includes the impacts of climate change and land use on soil carbon storage; the sustainability of perennial bioenergy crops; and, greenhouse gas removals technologies such as biochar.

Jeanette leads and manages £12M of research and demonstration projects for NERC, BBSRC and the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, including the £5M Biomass Connect Innovation and Information Platform. Research on soil carbon sequestration has demonstrated the important role of dead microbes in the formation of stable soil carbon — NERC Locked Up — while research on perennial biomass crops is informing the expansion of sustainable biomass production in the UK, through reducing uncertainty around the carbon balance of perennial crops.

She is Executive Editor of SOIL a journal of the European Geosciences Union.

Selected publications