Dr Jess Baker

Dr Jess Baker


I am a climate scientist working on tropical land-atmosphere interactions. I’m interested in the feedbacks between tropical forests and the atmosphere, the climatic consequences of deforestation and forest degradation, and long-term climate change. I currently hold a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship which funds the project: ‘Climate Recovery and Adaptation potential of Forests in the Tropics (CRAFT)’.

Research interests

Current work

Measures are urgently required to tackle rising tropical deforestation and alleviate current and future climate change impacts. My research tackles these critical global challenges by assessing how forests can contribute to climate change adaptation through reducing heat extremes and sustaining inland water resources. 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 (CMIP, 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

I led the CSSP Brazil RADICAL project, which evaluated temperature and precipitation responses to Amazon deforestation in CMIP models. Before this I was a postdoc in the European Research Council DECAF project, examining tropical forest-climate interactions, and the CSSP Brazil LAPSE project evaluating land-atmosphere interactions in global climate models. My PhD focused on using climate proxies to reconstruct past changes in the Amazon water cycle (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
<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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>