Dr Elizabeth S. Jeffers Associate Professor
How does climate change affect plant chemistry? And what are the cascading effects on nutrient cycling and ecological communities? These are the key questions that guide my current research. To answer them, I employ a range of palaeoecological, dendroecological and neo-ecological methods to measure changes in plant growth and chemical composition over time at seasonal to millennial time scales. These long-term records fill a major observational gap in ecosystem ecology. I then apply statistical modelling techniques to these time series to uncover new insights into the causes and consequences of ecosystem dynamics.
I lecture on biogeochemical cycling and co-lead the Technologies in Ecological Monitoring course in the Biology degree programme. I am also the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in Zoology. I am an Official Fellow in Environmental Change at Reuben College, Oxford.
I am a member of the editorial boards for Ecology Letters and the Journal of Ecology.
Martin, A.C., M. Macias-Fauria, M.B. Bonsall, B. Forbes, P. Zetterberg & E.S. Jeffers (early view) Common mechanisms explain nitrogen-dependent growth of Arctic shrubs over three decades despite heterogeneous trends and declines in soil nitrogen availability. New Phytologist.
Whitehead, P.G., G. Bussi, J.M.R. Hughes, A.T. Castro-Castellon, M.D. Norling, E.S. Jeffers, C.P.N. Rampley, D.S. Read & A.A. Horton (2021) Modelling Microplastics in the River Thames: Sources, Sinks and Policy Implications. Water. 13(6): p. 861.
Bonsall, M.B., C. A. Froyd & E.S. Jeffers (2020) Resilience of long-term plant-nutrient dynamics. Biology Letters 16(1): 20190441.
Huntingford, C., E.S. Jeffers, M.B. Bonsall, T. Lee, H. Yang & H. Christensen (2019) Machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid climate change research and preparedness. Environmental Research Letters 14(12): 124007.
Jeffers, E.S., N.J. Whitehouse, A.M. Lister, G. Plunkett, P. Barratt, E. Smyth, P. Lamb, M.W. Dee, S.J. Brooks, K.J. Willis, C.A. Froyd, J.E. Watson & M.B. Bonsall (2018) Plant controls on Late Quaternary whole ecosystem structure and function. Ecology Letters 21(6): 814-825. Science Editors’ Choice for 11 May 2018. Blog published in Nature Ecology & Evolution Community (23rd April 2018). Willis, K.J., E.S. Jeffers & C. Tovar (2018) Determining resilient terrestrial ecosystems: Where, what and for how long? Science 359(6379): 988-989.
Jeffers, E.S., M.B. Bonsall, C.A. Froyd, S.J. Brooks, and K.J. Willis (2015) The relative importance of biotic and abiotic processes for structuring plant communities through time. Journal of Ecology 103:459-472. Science Editors’ Choice for 20 March 2015.
Jeffers, E.S., S. Nogué and K.J. Willis (2015) The role of palaeoecological records in assessing ecosystem services. Quaternary Science Reviews 112: 17-32.
McLauchlan, K.K., J. J. Williams, J. M. Craine & E.S. Jeffers (2013) Changes in global nitrogen cycling during the Holocene epoch. Nature 495: 352-355.
Willis, K.J., E.S. Jeffers, C. Tovar, P. Long, N. Caithness et al. (2012) Determining the ecological footprint of industrial development on landscapes beyond protected areas. Biological Conservation 147: 3-12.