Professor Pippa Chapman


Professor Pippa Chapman holds a chair in Biogeochemistry in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds.  Her research activities centre on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem biogeochemistry and in particular the impact of land management, climate change and atmospheric deposition on carbon and nitrogen cycling in peatlands, organo-mineral soils and agricultural soils. Within these areas, particular emphasis is placed on understanding the factors controlling the long-term increase in surface water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, the impacts of peatland restoration on gaseous and aquatic carbon fluxes, the role of land managment and practices on the sustainability of agricultural soils, synthesis of evidence and scientific understanding to take account of multiple anthropogenic drivers and soil functions in support of policy in relation to land-management.

After completing her PhD at Imperial College, Pippa moved to the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, where she held a NERC Fellowship, before moving to the University of Leeds where she has focussed her research on carbon cycling in peatlands and the impact of land management on soil and water quality.


  • Head of the Graduate School in Environment

Research interests

Nutrient cycling and transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems - the impact of acid deposition on soil and stream water chemistry; the influence of land use and management on nitrogen and phosphorus behaviour and storage in soils and transport to aquatic ecosystems; the factors controlling the loss of inorganic and organic forms of nitrogen and phosphorus from upland ecosystems; trends and drivers of change in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems; sources, processing and fate of terrestrially-derived organic matter in aquatic ecosystems.

Peatlands and the carbon cycle - improve understanding of the interactions between carbon and other major elements such as sulphur and nitrogen in peatlands; management of peatlands for multiple ecosystem services; field-scale measurements of fluxes and controls on the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of peatlands; peatland restoration.

Catchment management and environmental change - impact of agricultural practices on soil health, water quality and climate change; modification of agricultural practices to improve the resilience of soils to climate change and extreme events; impacts of forestry, grazing and heather burning on the carbon cycle; land management for public goods.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Hydrochemsitry, Imperial College, University of London
  • BSc, Geochemistry, University of Reading

Professional memberships

  • Britsh Society of Soil Science
  • British Hydrological Society

Student education

I teach at both the undergraduate (BSc Physical Geography) and the post graduate (MSc River Basin Dynamics and Management & Environmental Water Consultancy) level and I supervise Postgraduate Researchers studying for a PhD.

Research groups and institutes

  • River Basin Processes and Management
  • water@leeds

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>