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Matthew William Jones

NERC Independent Research Fellow in Climate Science, University of East Anglia

My work sits within the field of Earth System Science and primarily focuses on the carbon cycle and climate change. I am particularly interested in the factors that control wildfire and other landscape fires, and the consequences of fire for carbon storage on land and in aquatic environments. My involvement with the Global Carbon Project allows me to explore wider interests in how humans affect the carbon cycle and climate through our use of fossil fuel and land use change.

In one branch of my research, I study the drivers of wildfire on global and regional scales. I am funded by an Independent Research Fellowship from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to construct the first global dataset of lightning-ignited wildfires, which will be critical to understanding the impact of climate change on wildfire activity and carbon emissions in global forests. I am also leading an effort to map global 'pyromes' –regions where fire is similarly sensitive to climate variability, land use, the abundance of human or lightning ignition sources, and the amount and nature of vegetation available to burn. Mapping of pyromes can help us to understand the sensitivity of distinctive world regions to future changes in climate and will support the improved modelling of fire processes. Within my team, PhD students and research associates are evaluating the impacts of climate change on opportunities for wildfire mitigation via prescribed fire and the varying role of humans in deforestation and wildfire trends in Amazonia.

In another branch of my research, I study the consequences of wildfire for carbon storage on land and in aquatic environments. I have improved the modelling of carbon stock changes following wildfire and quantified the transport of fire-altered forms of carbon to the global oceans by rivers.

As a member of the Global Carbon Budget, I contribute to the annual assessment of the Global Carbon Budget. I also lead on annual efforts to map fossil CO2 emissions globally and assess changes in climate due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.


  • 2022–present
    NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of East Anglia
  • 2021–2022
    Research Fellow, University of East Anglia
  • 2019–2021
    Senior Research Associate, University of East Anglia
  • 2017–2019
    Research officer, Swansea University


  • 2019 
    University of Exeter, PhD / Physical Geography

Professional Memberships

  • Global Carbon Project