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Dr Jo House

Dr Jo House

Dr Jo House
PhD, BSc hons

Reader in Environmental Science and Policy

Area of research

Land use change, climate change and climate policy.

Office 2.21n
University Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8303


I am a Reader in Environmental Science and Policy with 25 years of research experience in environmental change, land-use and climate interactions, the carbon cycle and feedbacks, ecosystem services and climate policy.  My science specialism is in land and climate interactions, including emissions of carbon dioxide from land use change (e.g. deforestation), climate mitigation potential from the land (e.g. afforestation, bioenergy), and implications of science for policy. I have over 40 journal publications (incl. Nature and Science), H-index 23. Extensive experience in knowledge exchange, policy advice and science impact. I am a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for which we shared the Nobel Prize in 2007.  I was recently seconded for a year to the Government Office for Science as Head of Climate Advice, and regularly give advice to the UK Government and other organistations.

My research focuses on the climatic impacts of forestry, other land use and land cover change; mitigation of climate change in the land sector including avoided deforestation, forestry and bioenergy; climate mitigation scenarios; the carbon cycle; and policy implications.  Land use change (mainly deforestation) accounted for around a third of historical man-made carbon dioxide emissions since 1850. Today the land sector accounts for around 10% of carbon dioxide emissions, and about 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions when methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture are included.  The land is also a natural sink for around a third of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions (fossil fuels plus deforestation). 196 countries recently signed the Paris Climate Agreement to limit warming to 2 degrees. About a quarter of the mitigation countries have pledged comes from land sector activities. Country pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions) so far are insufficient to limit warming to 2 degrees.  The aim of my research is to provide a better evidence base for climate policy on climate mitigation targets and land based mitigation options.



Career Summary

Current positions:

Sept 2016       Reader, University of Bristol, Department of Geographical Sciences

Sept 2015       Senior Research Fellow, Uni Exeter, Department of Geograpy,

                        LUC4C EU Project 

Past positions:

Oct 2015-16     Government Office for Science,  Head of Climate,

                         (1 yr NERC secondment, 70% FTE)

2015 - 2016     Lecturer, University of Bristol

2011 - 2015     Leverhulme Fellow, University of Bristol

Jan-Sep 2011   IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit,

                         PIK, Potsdam, Germany

2004 - 2011     Science and Policy Officer, NERC-QUEST Programme,

                         University of Bristol

1999 - 2004     Senior Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry,

                         Jena, Germany

1996 - 1999     Research Scientist, King’s College London

1996                Visiting Scientist, NREL, Colorado State University, USA

1992 - 1996     Research Assistant, King’s College London

1991 - 1992     Visiting Scientist, King Mongkut’s Inst. for Science and Technol.,



Education and Academic Record

Jan 2011         PhD, Faculty of Science, Bristol University.

1988-1991      BSc (1st Hons) Human Environmental Science, Kings College,

                        Uni of London.


Evidence of Esteem/External Visibility

Co-Chair, Global Cange Theme, University of Bristol.

Chair, Global Carbon Project Working Group on Land Use Change (2010 – present) International expert group of data providers and modellers including non-academic sectors, estimating global emissions from land use change for the Annual Carbon Budget, improving data and methods.

Chair, International Evaluation Committee for the ERA-NET Co-fund for Monitoring & Mitigation of Greenhouse gases (The ERA-GAS consortium consists of 20 international partners including EU countries and New Zealand)

Author on international scientific assessments: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - contributed to the last three Assessment Reports and to Working Group I Science, WG II Impacts, WG III Mitigation, also controbuted to the IPCC Greenhouse gas inventory good practice guidance methods; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (convening lead author; Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (2016).

Editorial board Member, Environmental Research Letters (from 2015)




  • Earth System science
  • global environmental change
  • climate change
  • environment
  • carbon cycle
  • land use change
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • forests
  • bioenergy
  • climate impacts
  • climate mitigation
  • climate policy

Selected publications

Read more >

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr House currently teaches 2 courses:

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