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Dr. Matthew Saunders

Assistant Professor (Botany)


My background is in Environmental Science, where from my undergraduate days I have had a strong interest in the fields of climate change, sustainable development and role that plants play in the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. I have worked on the tolerance of commercial crop cultivars to salt stress, the impacts of land use, management intensity and land use change on food, fuel and fiber production, in addition to investigating the role of terrestrial ecosystems in atmospheric warming and/or cooling by assessing the carbon and greenhouse gas dynamics of these systems.
  Agro-environment   Bioenergy crops   Carbon Cycle   Climate Change   Cyperus papyrus L.   Environmental science   Greenhouse Gases   Nitrogen Cycle   PEATLANDS   Plant Ecophysiology   Sustainable development   Tropical Wetlands
 Smart observations of management impacts on peatland function.
 Evaluating land-use and land management impacts on soil organic carbon in Irish agricultural systems.
 Investigating the carbon and greenhouse gas dynamics of raised bog ecosystems.
 Manipulation and Integration of Nitrogen Emissions
 Supporting EU-African Cooperation on Research Infrastructures for Food Security and Greenhouse Gas Observations

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Details Date
Editorial board member for Global Change Biology Bioenergy 2016
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
Wetlands Professional Platform. 2004 2007
American Geophysical Union 2015 Present
European Geosciences Union 2015 Present
T R. Hodkinson, F. M. Doohan, M. J. Saunders and B. R. Murphy, Endophytes for a growing world. , Cambridge University Press, 2019, 1 - 420pp, Book, PUBLISHED  URL
Johannes Beck, Ana Lopez-Ballesteros, Wim Hugo, Robert Scholes, Matthew Saunders and Jorg Helmschrot. , Development of a Climate Forcing Observation System for Africa: Data-Related Considerations, Data Science Journal, 18, 2019, p1 - 11, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
K.J. Lees, T. Quaife, R.R.E. Artz, M. Khomik, M. Sottocornola, G. Kiely, G. Hambley, T. Hill, M. Saunders, N.R. Cowie, J. Ritson, J.M. Clark. , A model of gross primary productivity based on satellite data suggests formerly afforested peatlands undergoing restoration regain full photosynthetic capacity after five to ten years. , Journal of Environmental Management, 326, 2019, p594 - 604, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
G. Hambley, R. Andersen, P. Levy, M. Saunders, N.R. Cowie, Y.A. Teh and T.C. Hill. , Net ecosystem exchange from two formerly afforested peatlands undergoing restoration in the Flow Country of northern Scotland, Mires and Peat, 23, 2019, p1 - 14, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Swenson M., Regan S., Bremmers D.T.H., Lawless J., Saunders M., Gill L.W., Carbon balance of a restored and cutover bog: implications for restoration and comparison to global trends, Biogeosciences, 16, 2019, p713 - 731, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Ana López-Ballesteros, Johannes Beck, Antonio Bombelli, Elisa Grieco, Eli ka Krko ka Lorencová, Lutz Merbold, Christian Brümmer, Wim Hugo, Robert Scholes, David Vačkář, Alex Vermeulen, Manuel Acosta, Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Jörg Helmschrot, Dong-Gill Kim, Michael Jones, Veronika Jorch, Marian Pavelka, Ingunn Skjelvan and Matthew Saunders, Towards a feasible and representative pan-African research infrastructure network for GHG observations, Environmental Research Letters, 13, (8), 2018, p1-15 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Chiwara, P., Ogutu, B.O., Dash. J., Milton, E.J., Ardo, J., Saunders, M., Nicolini, G., Estimating terrestrial gross primary productivity in water limited ecosystems across Africa using the Southampton Carbon Flux (SCARF) model, Science of the Total Environment, 630, 2018, p1472 - 1483, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
David C. Walmsley, Jan Siemens, Reimo Kindler, Klaus Kaiser, Matthew Saunders, Andreas Fichtner, Martin Kaupenjohann, Bruce A. Osborne, Reduced nitrate leaching from an Irish cropland soil under non-inversion tillage with cover cropping greatly outweighs increased dissolved organic nitrogen leaching, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 265, 2018, p340 - 349, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Saunders, M., Dengel, S., Kolari, P., Moureaux, C., Montagnani, L., Ceschia, E., Altimir, N., López-Ballesteros, A., Marańon-Jimenez, S., Acosta, M., Klumpp, K., Gielen, B., de Beeck, M., Hörtnagl, L., Merbold, L., Osborne, B., Grünwald, T., Arrouays, D., Boukir, H., Saby, N., Nicolini, G., Papale, D., Jones, M., Importance of reporting ancillary site characteristics, and management and disturbance information at ICOS stations., International Agrophysics, 2018, p457 - 469, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Franz, D., Acosta, M., Altimir, N., Arriga, N., Arrouays, D., Aubinet, M., Aurela, M., Ayres, E., López-Ballesteros, A., Barbaste, M., Berveiller, D., Biraud, S., Boukir, H., Brown, T., Brümmer, C., Buchmann, N., Burba, G., Carrara, A., Cescatti, A., Ceschia, E., Clement, R., Cremonese, E., Crill, P., Darenova, E., Dengel, S., D'Odorico, P., Filippa, G., Fleck, S., Fratini, G., Fuß, R., Gielen, B., Gogo, S., Grace, J., Graf, A., Grelle, A., Gross, P., Grünwald, T., Haapanala, S., Hehn, M., Heinesch, B., Heiskanen, J., Herbst, M., Herschlein, C., Hörtnagl, L., Hufkens, K., Ibrom, A., Jolivet, C., Joly, L., Jones, M., Kiese, R., Klemedtsson, L., Kljun, N., Klumpp, K., Kolari, P., Kolle, O., Kowalski, A., Kutsch, W., Laurila, T., de Ligne, A., Linder, S., Lindroth, A., Lohila, A., Longdoz, B., Mammarella, I., Manise, T., Jiménez, S., Matteucci, G., Mauder, M., Meier, P., Merbold, L., Mereu, S., Metzger, S., Migliavacca, M., Mölder, M., Montagnani, L., Moureaux, C., Nelson, D., Nemitz, E., Nicolini, G., Nilsson, M. B., de Beeck, M., Osborne, B., Löfvenius, M., Pavelka, M., Peichl, M., Peltola, O., Pihlatie, M., Pitacco, A., Pokorný, R., Pumpanen, J., Ratié, C., Rebmann, C., Roland, M., Sabbatini, S., Saby, N..A., Saunders, M., Schmid, H., Schrumpf, M., Sedlák, P., Ortiz, P., Siebicke, L., igut, L., Silvennoinen, H., Simioni, G., Skiba, U., Sonnentag, O., Soudani, K., Soulé, P., Steinbrecher, R., Tallec, T., Thimonier, A., Tuittila, E., Tuovinen, J., Vestin, P., Vincent, G., Vincke, C., Vitale, D., Waldner, P., Weslien, P., Wingate, L., Wohlfahrt, G., Zahniser, M., & Vesala, T., Towards long-term standardised carbon and greenhouse gas observations for monitoring Europe's terrestrial ecosystems:a review., International Agrophysics, 32, 2018, p439 - 455, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

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Award Date
Provost's Teaching Award (Shortlisted) 2019
Enterprise Ireland Knowledge Transfer Ireland Impact Award 2016
I specialise in the field of plant and environment physiology, and my research focuses on the response of plants to changes in their physical, chemical and biological environments and how this information can be used to assess the resilience and adaptive capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental change. My work utilises an integrated experimental and model-based approach to assess the physiological and environmental processes that regulate plant productivity, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas dynamics, plant-water relations and energy budgets at the leaf, whole plant and ecosystem scale. Recent projects have focussed on the impacts of land use change, habitat restoration and extreme climatic events on carbon, water and nutrient dynamics in natural and agricultural ecosystems in both temperate and tropical climates. This work has directly contributed to the development of policy relevant, sustainable land management tools that are centred on the role of terrestrial ecosystems in climate change adaptation and mitigation.