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Photo of Dr Michael O'Sullivan

Dr Michael O'Sullivan

Postdoctoral Research Associate



I am a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Exeter. My research is focused on developing a deeper understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle and its coupling with environmental change. I study the cycling of carbon between atmosphere, plants, and soils from local to global scales. I use process-based models along with earth observations to investigate feedback mechanisms between the biosphere and atmosphere.

I completed a PhD titled 'Investigating Increases in Terrestrial Carbon Uptake in Recent Decades' at the University of Leeds in 2018. I then moved to Exeter to start a post-doctoral position as part of the ESA RECCAP-2 project. My work focused on utilising ESA remote sensing products to evaluate processed based carbon cycle models. I am now part of the EU-funded Climate-Carbon Interactions in the Current Century (4C) project (grant agreement No 821003), which aims to advance our quantitative understanding of climate-carbon interactions and resolve large and persistent knowledge gaps in the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide emissions.

My current research focuses on how terrestrial ecosystems respond to environmental change. For example;

  • How does ecosystem productivity respond to climate variability and trends?
  • What is the role of direct/diffuse radiation on terrestrial productivity over the last century to present day?
  • Can we attribute processes to observed changes in carbon fluxes and pools by using terrestrial biosphere models and satellite/in-situ observations?


MMath. Mathematics (University of Sheffield)

PhD Terrestrial Carbon Cycling (University of Leeds)


2018 - present: Postdoctoral Scientist, University of Exeter