Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr Alexandra Morel

Department / group: School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Personal URL: N/A
Google Scholar URL: N/A

Research interests:

I have focused my research at the interface of ecosystem science and economic development, primarily through understanding the ecology of agricultural commodity production in the tropics. I have combined ground-data and remote sensing methods to look at the carbon footprint of palm oil production in Malaysian Borneo. I have intensively monitored landscape and management drivers of smallholder coffee and cocoa yields, including the scale of productivity captured for human consumption in a cocoa landscape as well as the immediate impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño on smallholder livelihoods in Ghana and Ethiopia. I am interested to continue exploring a landscape perspective on questions of social and ecological resilience as well as support efforts for understanding the mechanisms of ecosystem restoration and nature based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation in industrialised and developing country contexts.

Career history:

I completed my MSc and DPhil at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford in 2006 and 2010, respectively. I then completed a two year fellowship at Columbia University’s Earth Institute from 2010 to 2013. I was then a post-doctoral researcher with the Zoological Society of London and the University of Oxford for four years. In January 2020, I took up a lectureship in Environmental Science at the University of Dundee.

Active research projects:

1. "West African forest-agriculture landscapes in a changing climate – upscaling in space and time", funded by CLimate And REsilience Framework Programme (CLARE) for March 2020-March 2021.

Recent publications:

Maxwell, S, T. Evans, J.E.M. Watson, A. Morel, H. Grantham, A. Duncan, N. Harris, P. Potapov, R. Runting, and Y. Malhi (2019) Six-fold increase in emissions from intact forest loss due to forgone carbon removals and cryptic degradation processes. Science Advances 5(10):

Morel, A.C. and S. Nogué (2019) Are larger forest areas more resilient: Combining contemporary and paleo-ecological perspectives on intact forests and resilience. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 2:

Morel, A.C., M. Hirons, M. Adu Sasu, M. Quaye, R. Ashley Asare, J. Mason, S. Adu-Bredu, E. Boyd, C.L. McDermott, E.J.Z. Robinson, R. Straser, Y. Malhi and K. Norris (2019) The Ecological Limits of Poverty Alleviation in an African Forest-Agriculture Landscape. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3:

Morel, A.C., M. Hirons, S. Demissie, T. Gonfa, Z. Mehrabi, P. R. Long, S. Rifai, T. Woldemariam Gole, J. Mason, C.L. McDermott, E. Boyd, E.J.Z. Robinson, Y. Malhi, K. Norris (2019) The structures underpinning vulnerability and resilience: Examining landscape-society interactions in a coffee agroforestry system. Environmental Research Letters. 10.1088/1748-9326/ab2280

Morel, A.C., M. Adu Sasu, S. Adu-Bredu, M. Quaye, C. Moore, R. Ashley Asare, J. Mason, M. Hirons, C.L. McDermott, E.J.Z. Robinson, E. Boyd, K. Norris and Y. Malhi (2019) Carbon dynamics, net primary productivity (NPP) and human appropriated NPP (HANPP) across a forest-cocoa farm landscape in West Africa. Global Change Biology.

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