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Queen Mary academic named as one of UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellows

Dr Emily Lines from Queen Mary University of London has been named as one of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellows for her work addressing the future of forests. The flagship scheme invests in outstanding individuals across the UK.

23 April 2020

A photograph of Dr Emily Lines, School of Geography
A photograph of Dr Emily Lines, School of Geography

The research and innovation leaders of the future will be supported to develop their careers while tackling ambitious challenges through the latest round of UK Research and Innovation’s Future Leaders Fellowships.

Dr Emily Lines, Lecturer in Environmental Science in Queen Mary’s School of Geography, was awarded over £1 million for her project, Next Generation Forest Dynamics Modelling Using Remote Sensing Data, which is due to start in September.

Tackling climate change

Ecosystems are threatened globally by climate change and biodiversity loss. Many countries plan to use forests for climate change mitigation, but many forest ecosystems are threatened by climate change itself. This research project will address this issue.

Dr Lines’ Fellowship will create a new framework for modelling forest dynamics, using forest data from across Europe. The project will reveal how European forests function and how they will respond to climate change, with a fully data-driven model that incorporates cutting-edge monitoring.

The approach will enable robust and flexible predictions of climate change impacts on forest diversity and dynamics, which could inform climate change mitigation policy across the continent. 

Dr Emily Lines said: “I am very excited to lead this project. Forests are incredibly important ecosystems for both addressing climate change and protecting the world's biodiversity. This work will create new ways of monitoring forests using cutting-edge sensors, and new data analysis methods developed in association with the Alan Turing Institute.”

Professor Alastair Owens, Head of the School of Geography at Queen Mary said: “I am really thrilled at the award of Emily’s fellowship. Her work on understanding the role played by forests in maintaining the environmental wellbeing of our planet is of fundamental importance. 

“As a leading early career scientist Emily embodies the vision of the School of Geography here at Queen Mary to work collaboratively, in this case with the Turing Institute, to develop new ways of tackling some of the most important challenges facing our world.”

About UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellowships

UKRI’s flagship scheme invests in outstanding individuals across the UK and, for the first time, five of the awards will support new research and innovation leaders based directly in businesses.

The research and innovation leaders of the future will be supported to develop their careers while tackling ambitious challenges through the latest round of UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellowships.

Fellowships have long been used to support up-and-coming researchers in universities. The funding of fellows based directly in businesses is new, marking a milestone in the provision of long-term funding for the most promising researchers and innovators in industry.  

Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships are UKRI’s flagship talent programme, designed to foster and nurture the research and innovation leaders of the future. We are delighted to support these outstanding researchers and innovators across universities, research organisations and businesses.”

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