Dr Gillian Kay
Gillian works on regional impacts of climate and land-use changes, feedbacks between the two, and interaction with ecosystem health.
Areas of expertise
- Climate change, deforestation and feedbacks in Amazonia
- African climate variability and change
- Modelling land surface-climate interaction
At present, Gillian is working on a collaborative project with the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to produce regional model projections of future climate over Brazil. As part of the project, she spent six months working at INPE in Brazil. This work aims to assess potential impacts of different levels of climate change to inform mitigation planning.
Part of this project involves running a newly-developed regional climate model that includes dynamic vegetation. This allows competition between plant types as changing conditions make one type more viable than another, which enables the potential effects of climate change on the vegetation to be evaluated. In addition, she has been working alongside her Brazilian colleagues at INPE to assess how direct deforestation of the Amazon rainforest may affect the climate across Brazil, which in turn may have further feedbacks upon the vegetation. This work supports efforts to understand and value the services that ecosystems provide us.
Gillian joined the Climate Impacts group in the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2008 as part of the Climate Impacts Analysis team. Prior to that, she did a PhD at the University of Oxford looking at how climate models simulate variability and change in southern African rainfall. During her time as a doctoral student, she also gained experience in meteorological observations as Observer at the Radcliffe Met. Station in Oxford, the longest continuous record in the UK. In addition, she joined an intensive observing campaign of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses project in Nigeria towards improving understanding of the West African Monsoon.