Dr Jess Baker

Dr Jess Baker


I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Biosphere-Atmosphere Group. My research focuses on trying to develop a better understanding of tropical climate using data from a variety of sources. I am particularly interested in studying the feedbacks between tropical forests and the atmosphere, the climatic consequences of deforestation and forest degradation, and long-term climate change.

Research interests

Current work

I study how the land surface interacts with the atmosphere to influence climate in the tropics, particularly over the Amazon. I use a combination of satellite and ground-based measurements to analyse land-atmosphere interactions in the real world, and evaluate how well these processes are represented in global climate models, such as those participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (https://www.wcrp-climate.org/wgcm-cmip). This work can help to identify targets for model development, and narrow the uncertainty of future climate predictions. Other research interests include exploring the controls on tropical precipitation, water recycling through forests, and the climate impacts of tropical land-use change.

Previous research

My PhD focused on using stable isotopes in tropical tree rings to reconstruct past changes in the Amazon water cycle, in order to provide some historical context for more recent climatic changes. I used back trajectory modelling to investigate the mechanisms driving interannual isotope variability, and developed new tree-ring isotope records from Bolivia and Ecuador, which capture over 200 years of variation in Amazon hydrology. My thesis is available online.

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


  • PhD, Ecology and Global Change, University of Leeds
  • MSc, Climate Change, University College London
  • MA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science