Corinne Le Quéré, FRS

Professor

  • 1.23 ZICER Building

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Personal profile

Biography

I am a Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science at the University of East Anglia.

I conduct research on the interactions between climate change and the carbon cycle, including those mediated by marine ecosystems. My research has contributed to understanding how climate change and variability affects the land and ocean carbon sinks, and understanding the drivers of CO2 emissions. 

I Chair France's High Council on Climate and I am a member of the UK Climate Change Committee. These are independent expert councils that provide evidence-based advice to inform governments response to climate change. 

Previously,  I directed the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research during 2011-2018. I instigated the annual publication of the 'Global Carbon Budget' as part of the Global Carbon Project and directed the update for 13 years. I was also author of the 3rd, 4th and 5th assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

I received multiple awards for my research, most recently the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences 2020. I am a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher since 2018. I was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

I am originally from Canada. I completed a B.Sc. in physics from University of Montréal (1990), an M.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from McGill University (1992), and a Ph.D. in oceanography at University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI, 1999). I also hold a one-year university degree in Anthropology from the University of Montréal (1987). I conducted research at Princeton University in the US (1992-1996) and at the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany (2000-2004). From 2005 to 2010 I was working jointly between the UEA and the British Antarctic Survey. 

Get my full publications on ResearcherID here

Follow me on twitter @clequere here

Listen to a podcast on my Life Scientific here

Reader Reuter's recount of my life-as-a-scientist by Maurice Tamman here

Watch my TEDx talk here

Specialisms

Interactions between climate change and the carbon cycle; carbon emissions; carbon budgets; modelling of ocean biogeochemistry including marine ecosystems.

Key Responsibilities

Key Research Interests and Expertise

My research focuses on the interactions between climate change and the carbon cycle. 

My main research topic is to understand and quantify the strength of the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide (the "ocean CO2 sink") and how it evolves in a changing climate. My work includes the development and analysis of a global ocean carbon model (called PlankTOM) and of databases of marine biogeochemisty, and their use to understand the processes driving observed and projected changes. My research group has developed one of the most detailed representation of marine ecosystems in a global carbon model in the world. We are expanding this now to include additional mortality processes and look at the stability of marine ecosystems given the incredible pressures we put on the ocean environment. 

Part of my research on the carbon cycle is focused on emissions of CO2 and their socio-economic drivers. I looked at how countries succeed (or not) to cut back their emissions. I also looked in detail at the temporary impact of COVID-19 on global CO2 emissions. Most of my research in that space is done through a prolific and stimulating carear-long collaboration with colleagues at the Global Carbon Project. 

My interests are wide and I have worked sporadically on a range of other topics, including on the detection and attribution of ocean oxygen trends to climate change, the habitability of the planet, and sustainable development. 

Professional Activities

  • Chair, France's High Council on climate
  • Member, UK Committee on Climate Change
  • Executive member, annual update of the 'Global Carbon Budget' by the Global Carbon Project

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Network

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or