Jemma Gornall

Areas of expertise

  • NERC/ Met Office collaboration
  • Climate impacts on agriculture and water resources
  • Vegetation modelling
  • Ecosystem ecology

Current activities

Jemma manages the Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme (JWCRP) which aims to further the interests of the Met Office and NERC in growing the UK's leading role in weather and climate research. This programme facilitates strategic alignment between the Met Office and NERC. The JWCRP directs several joint projects including the development of the next UK Earth System Model (UKESM) and the research, design and development of a new dynamical core for operational weather and climate simulations (GungHo). Jemma is also involved in the management of the joint facilities including the collaboration High Performance Computer (MONSooN) and the Atmospheric Research Aircraft (FAAM).

Jemma's science research focuses on the impact of climate change and climate variability on agriculture. She leads the development and implementation of a crop model within the Met Office land surface model (JULES).

Career Background

Before joining the Met Office, Jemma worked as an ecosystem ecologist in high latitude environments. Her work aimed to gain process level understanding of ecosystem response to drivers such as climate change particularly vegetation dynamics, plant physiology and carbon cycling. Jemma was lucky to work in some fairly remote but beautiful parts of Svalbard, Sweden and Finland.

Jemma joined the Met Office in 2008 as a climate impacts scientist. Her research looked into the effects of climate change and climate variability on the human system particularly agriculture but also water resources as the two are intimately linked. In 2013 Jemma moved into the Science Partnerships team to manage the Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme (JWCRP). The JWCRP has seen some major changes recently with the inclusion of the NERC Centres (National Centre for Atmospheric Science, National Centre for Earth Observation, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, National Oceanography Centre and British Antarctic Survey) on the Strategic Programme Board allowing greater strategic alignment and joint direction of core research projects and facilities.