Matthew Jones
PhD Student


Matt graduated from the University of Exeter in 2013 with first class honours in Physical Geography and is currently a PhD candidate within the cross-disciplinary Earth System Science group (Geography/Mathematics). His experience lies in the research fields of biogeochemical cycling, remote sensing, atmospheric modelling and catchment-scale hydrological modelling. He has skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), programming, environmental modelling, statistical analysis, research project design, grant applications and fieldwork design.

Matt’s current work focusses on pyrogenic carbon, a fraction of the organic carbon continuum that cycles extremely slowly through the carbon cycle owing to its extremely stable chemical structure. Pyrogenic carbon is the primary constituent of charcoal residues left behind after open biomass burning (e.g. of forests, savannahs and agricultural land) and of aerosol (soot) released to the atmosphere from open biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion. Pyrogenic carbon is interesting from a climate perspective because pyrogenic carbon production represents an additional, long-term terrestrial or, by transport, marine stock of carbon that facilitates a carbon cycle sink. Matt’s work shows that highly mobile aerosol contributes far more to the pyrogenic carbon loads of rivers, and consequently oceanic stocks, than previously realised. It also highlights the downwind influences of land use, land use change and fossil fuel consumption on environmental concentrations of carcinogenic soot.

In future, Matt is seeking to broaden the focus of his research to understand how land use, land use change and environmental management strategies impact on hydrology and the cycling of carbon, nutrients and pollutants across the land-freshwater-ocean continuum.


BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Exeter

Contact details

Tel+44 (0) 1392 5041

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