Dr Zoe M Harris

Lecturer in Environment and Sustainability, NERC Industrial Innovation Research Fellow
BSc (Hons), PhD
+44 (0)1483 686683
10 BA 02
Monday 15:00 - 16:00

Academic and research departments

Centre for Environment and Sustainability.



Research interests

Research projects


Postgraduate research supervision

My teaching

My publications


Marta Dondini, Mark I.A. Richards, Mark Pogson, Jon McCalmont, Julia Drewer, Rachel Marshall, Ross Morrison, Sirwan Yamulki, ZOE MARGARET HARRIS, Giorgio Alberti, Lukas Siebicke, Gail Taylor, Mike Perks, Jon Finch, Niall P. McNamara, Joanne U. Smith, Pete Smith Simulation of greenhouse gases following land-use change to bioenergy crops using the ECOSSE model: a comparison between site measurements and model predictions, In: Global change biology Bioenergy8(5)

This article evaluates the suitability of the ECOSSE model to estimate soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from short rotation coppice willow (SRC-Willow), short rotation forestry (SRF-Scots Pine) and Miscanthus after land-use change from conventional systems (grassland and arable). We simulate heterotrophic respiration (R h), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and methane (CH 4) fluxes at four paired sites in the UK and compare them to estimates of R h derived from the ecosystem respiration estimated from eddy covariance (EC) and R h estimated from chamber (IRGA) measurements, as well as direct measurements of N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes. Significant association between modelled and EC-derived R h was found under Miscanthus, with correlation coefficient (r) ranging between 0.54 and 0.70. Association between IRGA-derived R h and modelled outputs was statistically significant at the Aberys-twyth site (r = 0.64), but not significant at the Lincolnshire site (r = 0.29). At all SRC-Willow sites, significant association was found between modelled and measurement-derived R h (0.44 ≤ r ≤ 0.77); significant error was found only for the EC-derived R h at the Lincolnshire site. Significant association and no significant error were also found for SRF-Scots Pine and perennial grass. For the arable fields, the modelled CO 2 correlated well just with the IRGA-derived R h at one site (r = 0.75). No bias in the model was found at any site, regardless of the measurement type used for the model evaluation. Across all land uses, fluxes of CH 4 and N 2 O were shown to represent a small proportion of the total GHG balance; these fluxes have been modelled adequately on a monthly time-step. This study provides confidence in using ECOSSE for predicting the impacts of future land use on GHG balance, at site level as well as at national level.

Zoe M. Harris, Yiannis Kountouris (2020)Vertical Farming as a Game Changer for BECCS Technology Deployment, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)12(8193) MDPI AG

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that to limit warming to 1.5 °C, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) is required. Integrated assessment models (IAMS) predict that a land area between the size of Argentina and Australia is required for bioenergy crops, a 3–7 time increase in the current bioenergy planting area globally. The authors pose the question of whether vertical farming (VF) technology can enable BECCS deployment, either via land sparing or supply. VF involves indoor controlled environment cultivation, and can increase productivity per unit land area by 5–10 times. VF is predominantly being used to grow small, high value leafy greens with rapid growth cycles. Capital expenditure, operational expenditure, and sustainability are challenges in current VF industries, and will affect the ability to utilise this technology for other crops. The authors argue that, whilst challenging, VF could help reach wider climate goals. Application of VF for bioenergy crops could be a game changer in delivering BECCS technologies and may reduce the land footprint required as well as the subsequent associated negative environmental impacts. VF bioenergy could allow us to cultivate the future demand for bioenergy for BECCS on the same, or less, land area than is currently used globally.