Welcome – New lecturer Dr Oluseye Oludoye

Dr Oluseye Oludoye currently serves as a Lecturer in Environmental Science at Teesside University, UK, where he is dedicated to the trifecta of education, research, and administrative roles. His primary research interests revolve around pro-environmental behaviour, with a keen focus on effective waste management and promoting agricultural sustainability. Before joining Teesside University, he had the privilege of being a postdoctoral research fellow at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. There, he delved deep into researching pro-environmental behaviour of single-use plastic waste management.
With over a decade of experience, he had the opportunity to work across various sectors as an agri-environmental researcher, educator, and consultant. He had successfully executed funded research projects and shared his insights at international conferences, workshops, and seminars.
His dedication to research is reflected in my authorship of several publications in esteemed international journals. He has received numerous honours and awards throughout his career, including a Scholarship Award from the United Nations University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Tokyo, Japan, in 2019. He recently received the prestigious Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship (2023) which bolsters my commitment to advancing sustainability on a global scale.

Earth and Environment Group photo

Before the start of the new academic term, the Earth and Environment team has a lovely get together, discussing the exciting plans for the year ahead.

left to right..

Dr Gillian Taylor (group lead), Dr Ernesto Saiz val, Dr Craig McBeth, Dr Haliza Hassan, Amy Burgess, Dr Rhys Williams, Dr Becki Scott, Dr Lisa Baldini, Dr Pablo Cubillas Gonzalez, Dr Ambroise Baker, Dr Caroline Orr, Dr Desire Dalton, Alison Reid, Dr Kerry Pettigrew, Dr Chris Ennis, Dr David Wright.


New Publication – Dr Kerry Pettigrew

New paper from Dr Kerry Pettigrew

Just Transition is a principle and strategy that ensures that the shift from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is carried out in a fair and equitable manner, involving fair outcomes (Distributional justice), fair processes (Procedural justice), and fair and green employment (Restorative justice). This article, focusing on the Asia Pacific region, is the fourth to utilise our analytical approach of assessing and comparing national performance in just transition, using open-access global data from international organisations such as the UN and World Bank. We use indicators, selected to reflect energy behaviours and fairness in outcomes, processes and employment, to rank and compare nations’ performance on aspects of just transition, and to make policy suggestions based on the observed trends.


New paper alert: Climate Change – Dr Ernesto Saiz Val

Climate change is affecting the dynamics of greenhouse gas emissions depending on land use, a new study by Guo et al. (2023) has found.

Climate change is now a fact. Experts all over the world agree that we are going to suffer more frequent extreme weather. This is then more frequent heavy rain leading in many cases to severe flooding, and more frequent heat waves leading to severe droughts. Water is a main factor affecting soil biogeochemistry, so these changing soil conditions (prolonged flooding and flooding-drying) were the main driver of the study, including land-use change. The study was conducted by a group of multidisciplinary and multi-institutional scientists leaded by Prof Sami Ullah and Dr Yafei Guo from the University of Birmingham (Biogeochemists), Dr Ernesto Saiz from Teesside University (Biogeochemist), Dr Aleks Radu from Lincoln University (Chemist), and Prof Sameer Sonkusale from Tufts University (Engineer). Also, this study was used for testing new sensor prototypes for continuous monitoring of soil ions (potassium, ammonium, nitrate, and pH). The findings suggest that extreme weather and land-use should be consider for the calculations of the Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geodrs.2023.e00697

Novel soil monitoring

Dr Ernesto Saiz has visited the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BiFOR) free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment located in Staffordshire. He was accompanied by some of the PIs of the project he is involved in: Prof Sami Ullah (University of Birmingham) and Prof Sameer Sonkusale (Tufts University), in addition to some other researchers, and a distinguished visiting fellow from the University of Delaware Prof Delphis F. Levia. The main objective was to show the engineers (from Tufts) in-situ what are the main characteristics of the soil (texture and moisture) where the prototypes developed will be deployed. With this visit the engineers can now make the final modifications needed for the device to work wireless in the field. The state-of-the-art sensor probe will be capable of continuous monitoring of potassium, ammonium, nitrate and pH in the soil.

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Promotion – Associate Professor Lisa Baldini

We are excited to announce a recent promotion in our team, Dr Lisa Baldini is now an Associate Professor.  Lisa specialises in palaeoclimate  and environmental geochemistry research.

Lisa has recently led an expedition to Gabon, funded by National Geographic Explorer Level II Grant to explore West Africa for stalagmite-bearing caves and generate the region’s first-ever stalagmite palaeoclimate reconstruction


West African Palaeoclimate Project

In late 2022 Dr Lisa Baldini received a National Geographic Explorer grant to seek out stalagmite-bearing caves in western Africa for palaeorainfall reconstruction. Very little is know about long-term rainfall variability in this region of Africa and this information is critical for climate models aimed at predicting future change.

You might be interested in following the project on FB, ‘Western African Palaeoclimate Project’ https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100091358012423https://lnkd.in/enK-Anaa  or the Twitter page https://twitter.com/westafricacaveshttps://lnkd.in/e6rfdNmd . Through both of these social media sites (with sprinkles of highlights on LinkedIn), regular project updates and highlights (field and lab) as well as offer some insights into climate change, how and why we reconstruct past climate using stalagmites, and all things cave/climate related! You’ll also be able to meet our team of wonderful project partners from the UK, Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon! Please feel free to share widely. Student followers are most welcome.

New Publication in Nature – TU Press Release

Date of historic volcanic eruption wrong by 130 years? 

New research involving Teesside University has found the eruption date of a historic volcano is wrong by 130 years and that this miscalculation could impact our understanding of climate change.

The study, published in leading journal Nature on Thursday, 6 July 2023, argues that the Laacher See volcanic eruption in Germany took place 12,880 years ago – 130 years after the date previously reported.

The eruption of the Laacher See volcano is one of central Europe’s largest eruptions over the past 100,000 years.

The research team believe that having the wrong date impacts the ability to evaluate natural climate change in the past, impacting how scientists predict future, human caused, climate change.

Dr Lisa Baldini, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science in Teesside University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, who co-authored the study, said: “A correct age for this eruption is critical because the volcanic material that was deposited across Europe during the event is used to date numerous important sedimentary archives of past climates.

“Getting the date wrong will impact on our ability to evaluate the drivers of natural climate change in the past, which is critical for developing models that accurately predict future, human-caused, climate change.”

The research team, led by Durham University and including scientists from Teesside University, University of Oxford, Royal Holloway University of London, and SYSTEMIQ Ltd, suggest that the eruption date may have been compromised by volcanic carbon.

They argue that volcanoes outgas carbon dioxide from the underlying magma chamber, which filters through the soil and is absorbed by any vegetation, including trees. This magmatic carbon dioxide has no radiocarbon in it, because it is ancient carbon that has been in the ground for millions of years. Incorporation of this dead carbon into the tree will produce a date which will be too old.

Professor James Baldini, of Durham University, who led the study, said: “Our new study notes that the recent date for the eruption does not consider dead carbon which is emitted by the volcano and is absorbed by trees. Therefore, the trees used in the Reinig et al. were contaminated by this volcanic carbon, producing an age that was around 130 years too old.”

“This perspective is supported by the presence of a very large sulphur spike found in the Greenland ice sheet with all the characteristics of the Laacher See eruption, dated 130 years after the new Reinig et al. date.

“The eruption, therefore, is still a viable trigger for the Younger Dryas Event.”

The Laacher See volcanic eruption was similar in size to the cataclysmic Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1991 (pictured).

The ash resulting from the eruption is widely used as a time marker in sedimentary sequences across Europe, so the timing of the eruption affects the reported timing of environmental change as reconstructed from these European lake cores.