Dr Elizabeth Jeffers

Research Interests

How does climate change affect plant chemistry? And what are the cascading effects on nutrient cycling and ecological communities? These are the key questions that guide my current research. To answer them, I employ a range of palaeoecological, dendroecological and neo-ecological methods to measure changes in plant growth and chemical composition over time at seasonal to millennial time scales. These long-term records fill a major observational gap in ecosystem ecology. I then apply statistical modelling techniques to these time series to uncover new insights into the causes and consequences of ecosystem dynamics.

I convene the Ecology of Terrestrial Ecosystems third year option course and teach biogeochemical cycling for first year students in Biology. I am also the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies and serve on the editorial boards of Ecology Letters and the Journal of Ecology.

I am recruiting for collaborative D.Phil. projects with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Project descriptions are available on the NERC DTP website:

            Nitrogen Limitation in the Earth System

            Impacts of Ozone on Plant Health

Publications
  • Resilience: nitrogen limitation, mycorrhiza and long-term palaeoecological plant-nutrient dynamics.

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid climate change research and preparedness

  • Plant controls on Late Quaternary whole ecosystem structure and function.

  • What makes a terrestrial ecosystem resilient?

  • Shrub growth and expansion in the Arctic tundra: an assessment of controlling factors using an evidence-based approach

  • Remote assessment of locally important ecological features across landscapes: how representative of reality?

  • The role of palaeoecological records in assessing ecosystem services

  • Social-ecological systems in the Anthropocene: The need for integrating social and biophysical records at regional scales

  • More
Graduate Students