Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Climate Change, Climate Change Mitigation, Carbon Emissions, Biomass and Bioenergy, Afforestation


I am interested in the different ways global society can respond to the changing climate. These options include reducing greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), adaptation and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (negative emissions). I am also interested in how these interact with ideas of climate engineering (reflecting more sunlight back to space).

I am currently the Principal Investigator of a NERC funded four-year consortium project on the Feasibility of Afforestation and Biomass energy with carbon capture and storage for Greenhouse Gas Removal (FAB-GGR). The consortium is with University of Manchester, Universirty of Exeter, University of Aberdeen and the Met Office.

I studied BSc Geography at the University of Edinburgh before coming to UEA in 2005 for my PhD on ‘Climate change mitigation and geoengineering’ with Prof Tim Lenton (now of University of Exeter). I worked as a postdoctoral researcher before securing a Tyndall Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2010, becoming a Tyndall Centre Lecturer in July 2011 and being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018.

I have a twitter account @nemvaughan – all views are my own not those of the university.

PhD Positions

Feel free to e-mail me,, to discuss projects in greenhouse gas removals and sources of funding.

Click here for other PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences.


Key Research Interests

The current focus of my research is technologies and practices that aim to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. More broadly I am interested in societal responses to climate change; mitigation, adaptation, carbon removal or ‘negative emissions’ and ideas of climate engineering (also known as geoengineering). My perspective on these issues tends towards a global scale, over a range of timescales and how these are constrained by the Earth system (including climate-carbon cycle feedbacks). 

I am currently Principal Investigator of a NERC funded four-year consortium project on the Feasibility of Afforestation and Biomass energy with carbon capture and storage for Greenhouse Gas Removal (FAB-GGR). The consortium is with Universirty of Exeter, University of Manchester, University of Aberdeen and the Met Office.

I am a co-leader of the CMIP6 endorsed Carbon Dioxide Removal Model Intercomparison Project (CDRMIP) with colleagues from Germany, Australia and the UK.

Previous projects include BEIS project on 1.5C; EPSRC project Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals (IAGP); Defra/DECC project on Avoiding dangerous climate change (AVOID2) and; EU-FP7 project European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE).

I thrive on the interdisciplinary nature of the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Research Group or Lab Membership

Current Postgraduate Researchers 

Jessica Chapman Understanding soil recarbonisation efficacy using interdisciplinary methods to guide UK agricultural policy development (Leverhulme 2022-2026). Primary Supervisor: Prof Brian Reid. Supervisory panel members: Dr Nem Vaughan, Dr Stefania Sitzia.

Harry B. Smith Promising words, evaluating actions: assessing Greenhouse Gas Removal in national net zero plans. (Leverhulme 2021-2025). Primary Supervisor: Dr Nem Vaughan. Supervisory panel member: Dr Johanna Forster.


Previous Postgraduate Researchers

Dr Tom S. Ball Modelling the drivers of land availability for Afforestation and BECCS. (NERC 2018-2022) Primary Supervisor: Dr Nem Vaughan. Supervisory panel members: Prof Andrew Lovett, Dr Tom Powell (Exeter) and Prof Tim Lenton (Exeter).

Dr Emma W. Littleton Evaluating afforestation for Carbon Dioxide Removal using a dynamic global vegetation model. (NERC 2012-2016). Primary Supervisor: Dr Nem Vaughan. Supervisory panel members: Prof Manoj Joshi and Prof Corinne Le Quere.

Dr Rob Bellamy Public participation in the social appraisal of climate geoengineering proposals. (Charitable donation 2010-2014). Primary supervisor Dr Jason Chilvers. Supervisory panel members: Dr Nem Vaughan and Prof Tim Lenton (Exeter).


Teaching Interests

I lead a Masters module, ENV-7031A Geoengineering the Climate: Science and Policy, which is available to students on our MSc Environmental Sciences, MSc Climate Change and MSc Environmental Assessment & Management programmes as well as our four year Integrated Masters degrees

I teach on ENV-4001A Global Environmental Challenges, ENV-4010Y Geographical Perspectives, ENV-5003A Climate Change Science & Policy and ENV-5022B Energy Transitions.

I am Course Director for BSc Geography

I supervise undergraduate and masters projects on a range of topics relating to climate change and energy.

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 1 Jan 2010

Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 2005

Media Expertise

  • Carbon emissions
  • Mitigation
  • Geoengineering
  • Climate Change

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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