School of Biosciences

Image of Sofie Sjögersten

Sofie Sjögersten

Professor in Environmental Science, Faculty of Science



Dr Sofie Sjögersten

Professor in Environmental Science

Sofie's research interests' focuses on how environmental change impacts on biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem processes. Particular interests include:

· The impact of climate change and herbivory on carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions in the Arctic.

· The role of wetlands in the global carbon cycle.

Biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen.

· Sustainable management of natural and agricultural land.

· Connectivity between plants, microbes, soil and the atmosphere.

Expertise Summary

My research interest to date has been the impact of climate, vegetation and soil processes on the cycling of carbon and nutrients and quantifying trace gas fluxes to the atmosphere in terrestrial ecosystems. A key area of my research focuses on the impact of environmental change on biogeochemical cycling in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. I am particularly interested in quantifying the potential loss of stored organic matter and nutrients from ecosystems, as well as loss of plant productivity.

As an ecosystem scientist I have research experience in many facets of natural ecosystems. My doctoral research focused on tree-line dynamics in combination with warming experiments. I explored the role of the above ground vegetation and climate warming on decomposition, soil organic carbon chemistry, CO2 and CH4 fluxes. As a post doctoral researcher I have studied the impact of herbivores, climate warming and hydrology on net ecosystem CO2 fluxes, soil carbon storage and chemistry in different habitats.

The question of soil carbon storage has become central to the understanding of the feedback mechanisms between ecosystems and the climate system. The scope for research into the sensitivity of the carbon pool to environmental change is vast since much is unknown, both regarding the organic carbon chemistry as well as the function and structure of the below ground microbial community. We are currently carrying out research into the stability of carbon stored in arctic and tropical peatlands, the tundra and agricultural ecosystems.

I have experience in conventional ecological techniques, solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and stable isotopes. During my research I have collaborated closely with ecologists, microbiologists, chemists and soil scientists on large international projects. The funding for my research has included the European Union, Uppsala University, Swedish Royal Academy of Science, BBSRC, UK Sapce Agency and the NERC.

Teaching Summary

Teaching contribution

Dissertation in Environmental Science

Climate Change Science

Ecosystem Processes

Arctic Ecology Field Course

BSc and MSc project supervision

Climate Atmosphere and Oceans

Research Summary

Current projects involve:

Carbon biogeochemistry and stability as a control of green house gas fluxes and peat formation in tropical wetlands.

Impacts, controls and monitoring of climate change impacts on Arctic permafrost areas.

Reindeer grazing in relation to sustainable arctic landscape under a changing climate.

Mapping and monitoring of carbon losses following land use change in tropical peatlands.

Monitoring of Sargassum landings in Mexico.

Sustainable and climate resilient food production.

Recent Publications

Future Research

To strengthen the spatial and predictive components in my research in order to extrapolate findings from experimental field manipulation to the landscape level.

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

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