Professional summary

Research Interests

  • Forest regeneration and restoration
  • Terrestrial carbon storage potential
  • Forest hydrology and water stress 
  • Land management for ecosystem services
  • Effect of climate change on forest ecosystem services

Brief CV

Summary of Expertise:

I am currently a spatial and environmental scientist involved in multiple projects that focus on the monitoring and modelling of UK ecosystem services and environmental processes as part of ERAMMP and SOC-D. Across these projects, my research seeks to understand how management strategies for forest, grassland and agricultural land will impact cabon storage potential and freshwater resources. This work requires an advanced spatial and statistical analysis skill set, including the use of GIS, and the ability to work flexibly and effectively within multiple team structures. 

Prior to UKCEH I completed my PhD studying Mediterranean forest ecology and spontaneous forest regeneration at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Spanish National Research Council. My research focused on the long term consequences of forest regeneration for catchment river flow in the context of a changing climate, and the responses of forest growth to novel environmental conditions following agricultural land abandonment. 

I am passionate about the role of science in effectively informing policy and its accessibility to the public, and am the co-creator of an educational, open-access board game (2050: A new world) that gives participants the opportunity to implement creative city policies to shape resource use and resilience to climate change. 


Software: R, Python, ArcGIS Pro, Google Earth Engine (javascript), QGIS, Whitebox GAT, lastools, GRASS GIS.

Analytical Skills: Time series analysis, spatial data analysis, mixed effect modelling, systematic review, 3D structure mapping, satellite data analysis, land cover classification, random forest classification, hydrological modelling, forest carbon mapping, management of large spatial and non-spatial datasets.

Other relevant: Full UK Driving Licence, graduate of rising stars academic public engagement course. Taught and supervised multiple academic courses at the University of Cambridge.


Bentley, L., & Coomes, D. A. (2020). Partial river flow recovery with forest age is rare in the decades following establishment. Global Change Biology, 26(3), 1458–1473.

Bentley, L., Palate, S., Ribone, P. A., Tennyson, E. M., 2050: A New World—Observations from a Policy-Making Board Game for Climate Change Engagement, (doi:10.3390/IECPS2020-08763)

Newbold, T., Bentley, L. F., Hill, S. L. L., Edgar, M. J., Horton, M., Su, G., … Purvis, A. (2020). Global effects of land use on biodiversity differ among functional groups. Functional Ecology, 34(3), 684–693.

Jung, M., Rowhani, P., Newbold, T., Bentley, L., Purvis, A., & Scharlemann, J. P. W. (2018). Local species assemblages are influenced more by past than current dissimilarities in photosynthetic activity. Ecography.

Bentley, L. & Aldridge, D. (2015) Optimised predation on Unionid bivalves and the impact of a zebra mussel infestation, The Malacologist (64), pp 10


2016-21  PhD in forest regeneration & ecosystem services, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

2015-16  MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College London – Distinction with honours.

2012-15  MA cantab in Zoology, University of Cambridge, St Catharine’s College – 1st Class Honours.