Gemma is currently a PhD student based at the University of Edinburgh working with Forest Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) to assess the impact of short rotation forestry (SRF) on air quality.
Her PhD aims to understand how growing SRF as a bioenergy feedstock across the UK could change the concentrations of tropospheric ozone and other pollutants. The project focuses on quantifying the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), reactive compounds involved in reactions with nitrogen dioxide, which result in the persistence of ozone in the troposphere.
Field measurements of emissions are being undertaken in Britain on a range of broadleaf and conifer species in addition to the Eucalyptus grown on the SRF trial sites established by Forest Research in 2009. SRF stands will be assessed against established Sitka spruce forest, with measurements also being conducted at Harwood Forest, Northumberland, as the comparison site for standard plantation forestry practices.