Dr Jess Baker

Dr Jess Baker


I am a postdoctoral research fellow in the Biosphere-Atmosphere Group at Leeds. My work focuses on trying to develop a better understanding of tropical climate, using data from a variety of sources. I completed my PhD in Ecology and Global Change at Leeds in 2017.  Before this, I studied for my master's at University College London, and my undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge.

Research interests

Current work

My work focuses on trying to develop a better understanding of tropical climate, using data from a variety of sources. In my current project, I am using data from Earth observation satellites to study how the land surface and the atmosphere interact to influence tropical water cycles, and evaluating how well these processes are represented in global climate models. I am particularly interested in trying to understand the feedbacks between tropical forests and the atmosphere, and the climatic consequences of deforestation and forest degradation. The project is part of the wider Climate Science for Service Partnership (CSSP) Brazil programme coordinated by the UK Met Office.

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