Professional summary

Research Interests

My research focuses on the impacts of climate change and land-use change on terrestrial biogeochemical cycles and soil carbon storage, including use of 13C and 15N stable isotopes in studies of soil carbon dynamics.  I also conduct applied research and knowledge exchange activities focused on the environmental costs and benefits of sustainable biomass for energy.

Current projects:

DIVINE: Diurrnal variation in soil nitrous oxide emissions: drivers and mechanisms, NERC Discovery Science grant, 2021-2024.

Locked Up: The role of biotic and abiotic interactions in the stabilisation and persistence of soil organic carbon.  Principal Investigator. 
NERC Highlight Topic grant, £1.9M; 2019-2023

Recently completed projects:

NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship.  KE4BE: Engaging the bioenergy sector to address soil sustainability challenges of bioenergy and land-use change (2014-2017)

U-GRASS: Understanding and enhancing soil ecosystem services and resilience in UK grass and croplands (collaborators including Imperial College, Rothamsted Research and Aberdeen University). NERC Soil Security Programme (2015-2018)

MAGLUE: Measurement and Analysis of bioenergy greenhouse gases: Integrating GHGs into LCAs and the UK Bioenergy Value Chain Modelling Environment. Collaborating with Southampton, Imperial College, IBERS-Aberystwyth, Aberdeen and Forest Research. EPSRC Supergen Bioenergy Challenge II.

Microclimates: Impacts of spatio-climatic variability on environment-hosted land-based renewables. NERC Land based renewables programme (2010-2014)

Recent publications

For complete list of publications click here: Researchgate   

Links to selected publications are included below


Dr Jeanette Whitakers Blog

Can we increase sustainable bioenergy in the UK?

Sustainable Bioenergy: Managing and understanding the environmental risks and benefits
Stakeholder workshop on Bioenergy and Land-use change
Website of the Ecosystem Land-use Modelling and Soil carbon flux trial (ELUM)


Brief CV

2019-present:   Ecologist (Band 4), UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster
2013-present:   Ecologist (Band 5), Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Lancaster.
2001-2013:      Ecologist (Band 6), Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster.
1998-2001:      NERC Postdoctoral Fellowship: "Biochemical biomarkers of heavy metal stress in plants"


PhD in Ecology, University of Leeds and Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, 1997 
"Effects of heavy metal pollution on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and its ectomycorrhizal symbionts".

BSc (Hons) Applied Biology, Liverpool John Moores University, 1994.

Panels, committees and memberships

  • UKRI Energy Programme Science Advisory Committee (2018-present)
  • RCUK Bioenergy Strategic Coordination Group (2015-2019)
  • Member of British Ecological Society