School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Luke Smallman BSc (York), MRes (York), PhD (Edin)


Currently I am a PDRA on the NERC GHG programme GREENHOUSE project. My research interests include the development and use of land surface models (LSM), improving the representation of biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. I have particular interest in the LSM use within coupled atmosphere-ecosystem models (e.g. the WRF-SPA model) and their validation at multiple spatial scales to better understand the drivers of atmosphere-ecosystem exchange of CO2, CH4 and N2O.

Current work

My overall objectives related to the GREENHOUSE project relate to the development of the ECMWF land surface model CTESSEL through coupling of a simple carbon cycle model (DALEC; Williams et al., 2005, Bloom & Williams 2015) within CTESSEL, creating DTESSEL. The new DTESSEL model will then incorporated within the CARDAMOM model data fusion framework under development at the University of Edinburgh.

I have a number of other research interests including development of the DALEC model to include a phenology model based on the growing season index (GSI; Jolley et al., 2005) which couples phenology to meteorological drivers, development of simple photosynthesis models to include a foliar nitrogen parameter (Williams et al., 1997, Thomas & Williams 2014) and the inclusion of microbial decomposition. The GSI component allows us to infer which environmental drivers are limiting growth of the terrestrial carbon cycle by using a Bayesian data assimilation framework, particularly when the resultant posterior parameter distributions are analysed using cluster analysis. Similarly the inclusion of a foliar nitrogen parameter allows us to infer ecosystem nitrogen state.

Currently I am responsible for running an 'Introduction to R for GeoSciences'. The course aims to introduce postgraduate researchers at the School of GeoSciences to the R statistical and programming environment, providing them with the basic skills required to carry out simple analysis and produce publication quality graphics. While the course is aimed at postgraduate students, previous attendees have included final year undergraduates as well as members of staff wishing to learn a new programming language. The course is also offered as part of Innovative Learning Week (ILW) at the University of Edinburgh

Previous work

I completed a PhD at the School of GeoSciences, Edinburgh titled 'Atmospheric profiles of CO2 as integrators of meso - scale exchange.' funded by NERC through National Centre for Earth Observations (NCEO). This project led to the development of a coupling between the weather research and forecasting model and the soil plant atmosphere LSM (WRF-SPA). The development of WRF-SPA resulted in a number of improvements to biogeophyical processes represented within SPA.

My PhD was Supervised by John B. Moncrieff and Mat Williams. My PhD project investigated land atmosphere exchange and feedbacks of CO2 using the WRF-SPA model with validation at multiple spatial scales, including site level eddy covariance through to atmospheric CO2 concentrations observed from aircraft and tall tower Angus, Scotland. Furthermore using a novel arrangement of ecosystem specific tracers of CO2 exchange with the surface, WRF-SPA model was used to investigate the information relating to surface processes contained within these atmospheric observations.
If you have any questions about my current or previous work please feel free to contact me.

Contact Details

Luke Smallman

University of Edinburgh,
Crew Building,
Alexander Crum Brown Road,
Edinburgh,
EH9 3FF

Email: t.l.smallman@ed.ac.uk