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Mathematics and Statistics

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Dr Mike O'Sullivan




I am a Lecturer at the University of Exeter. My research is focused on developing a deeper understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle and its coupling with environmental change. I study the cycling of carbon between atmosphere, plants, and soils from local to global scales. I use process-based models along with earth observations to investigate feedback mechanisms between the biosphere and atmosphere.


Global Carbon Budget: The Global Carbon Budget provides annual updates of each component of the carbon cycle, from emissions from burning of fossil fuel and land-use and land cover change, to the change in atmospheric, ocean, and land carbon 'sinks'. This initiative brings togther over 100 scientists from across the globe to produce an up to date, holistic overview of the human perturbation of the carbon cycle. I am a core team member responsible for the data synthesis and production of the manuscript. I also contribute to the land carbon sink estimate with the use of the JULES land surface model.

Climate-Carbon Interactions in the Current Century (4C): This project aims to advance our quantitative understanding of climate-carbon interactions and resolve large and persistent knowledge gaps in the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide emissions. More specifically, my role focuses on understanding historical trends in land carbon cycle, attributing dominant drivers and quantifying key model uncertainties. My first study from this project was published in August 2022 (Process-oriented analysis of dominant sources of uncertainty in the land carbon sink), with a second study to follow shortly.

ESA RECCAP-2: This project focussed on utilising ESA remote sensing products (biomass, soil moisture, burned area) to evaluate processed based carbon cycle models.


MTH1002 - Mathematical Methods (Office hours: Tuesday 14.30-15.30, Friday 11.00-12.00)


MMath. Mathematics (University of Sheffield)

PhD Terrestrial Carbon Cycling (University of Leeds)


2022 - present: Lecturer

2018 - 2022: Postdoctoral Scientist, University of Exeter

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