Dr Paul J. Morris
My research aims to understand the role of wetlands in the Earth system, and their response to external drivers such as climate and human alteration. I am particularly interested in carbon-dense wetlands such as peatlands and mangroves. I use modelling, field and laboratory techniques in the pursuit of my research questions.
You can find a full list of my publications at the bottom of this page.
- Programme Leader: BSc Geography, BSc Geography and Geology
- The long-term (millennial) development of peatland and mangrove ecosystems, soils, carbon stores and hydrological functions.
- The response of peatlands to disturbances such as wildfire, future climate change and land-use change, on timescales that are meaningful to humans (seasonal to decadal).
- Improving process-based understanding of peatland hydrological processes, including groundwater-surface water interactions and controls on peat hydraulic properties.
- 2010: PhD, Queen Mary University of London
- 2004: BSc Geography, University of Sheffield
- Since 2019: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
I currently teach on the following undergraduate modules:
- GEOG1040 Dynamic Landscapes
- GEOG1175 Exploring the Physical Environment
- GEOG1400 Digital Geographies (module leader)
- GEOG2017 Mallorca Field Class (module leader)
- GEOG2095 Skills for Physical Geographers
- GEOG3605 Physical Geography Dissertation
- GEOG3675 Geographical Research Opportunities (module leader)
Current PhD students
Dan Colson. Remote Sensing of Recent Changes in Northern Peatlands. Funded by NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (2020-24).
Robin Gledhill. Using Palaeoecology to Support Blanket Peatland Management. Funded by NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (2023-27).
Former PhD students
Marie Arnaud. Belowground Carbon Cycling in Mangrove Forests. Funded by Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship (2016-20). Current employment: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Paris Sorbonne University.
Richard Fewster. Changing Ecology, Hydrology and Permafrost in Circum-Arctic Peatlands. Funded by NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (2019-23). Current employment: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Exeter.
Tom Sim. Response of Pan-Arctic Permafrost Peatlands to Climate Change. Funded by NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (2018-22). Current employment: Forest Experimental Scientist, Forest Research, Edinburgh.
Jiren Xu. The Role of Peatlands in Global and Regional Drinking Water Resources. Jointly funded by Chinese Scholarship Council and University of Leeds (2015-19). Current employment: Lecturer, University of Glasgow.
Former MSc by Research students
Richard Fewster. Holocene Climate Space of North American Permafrost Peatlands. Self-funded (2018-19). After his MSc, Richard studied for a PhD with me, and has since gone on to work at the University of Exeter.
Peter Gill. Simulating Blanket Peatland Development over Millennial Timescales Using a New Version of the DigiBog Model. Self-funded (2016-18). After his MSc, Pete took a job as a Big-Data Engineer with HSBC.
Adam Hartley. Surface and near-surface runoff processes in peatland catchments. Self-funded (2020-20). Currently studying for a PhD at Queen Mary University of London.
Tom Sim. Pathways for Ecological Change in Canadian High Arctic Wetlands Under Rapid Twentieth Century Warming. Self-funded (2017-18). After his MSc, Tom studied for a PhD, and now works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Exeter.
Liam Taylor. Changing Hydrology and Carbon Storage of Permafrost Peatlands. Part-funded by Ecology and Global Change Research Cluster (2017-18). After his MSc, Liam studied for a PhD in glaciology at the University of Leeds, with Prof. Duncan Quincey and Dr. Mark Smith, before being appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Leeds.
Research groups and institutes
- River Basin Processes and Management