Dr. Alexandra Morel is a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. She has been enamoured with tropical forests since spending a semester in Costa Rica as an undergraduate and has been fortunate to perform research in the tropical forests of Malaysian Borneo, Ghana and Ethiopia. Her most recent research is focused on the interface of tropical forest ecology and smallholder agriculture, particularly relating to the ecological limits of poverty alleviation (www.ecolimits.org) as well as the important role ‘intact forests’ play in maintaining the global provision of ecosystem services (www.eci.ox.ac.uk/if21/). Her PhD research involved linking field measurements of forests with satellite imagery to estimate the carbon emissions from industrial-scale commodity production and the international governance efforts underway to control this forest loss. She has also worked on mapping human-environment coupled vulnerability in Haiti, the environmental sustainability of biofuel production in India and estimating the carbon-savings from forest conservation in a protected area in Ethiopia. A common thread throughout her research has been gaining a better understanding of the importance of forests both for mitigating climate change and for supporting our adaptation to it, which is an objective she plans to continue to pursue into the future.
Stefan Bagby went to Cockshut Hill School in Birmingham, playing a lot of football and managing to mainly avoid the “daily playground brawling”. At school, he was inspired by Fred Leeson, an outstanding teacher of maths, chemistry and physics. Respect to you, teachers!
After Stefan’s school education, he did a BA in chemistry and a PhD in protein NMR at Oxford. At Oxford, he recounts that there was significantly “less brawling”. Once again, Stefan was able to find inspiration from his PhD supervisor, Allen Hill, who had developed the first non-colorimetric blood glucose sensor (this can be seen on the blue plaque at the entrance to the Inorganic Chemistry Lab, Oxford). After Stefan completed his PhD, he worked for seven years as a research fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto. Whilst in Canada, he specifically noticed the cultural differences when referring to “football”! Stefan later moved to the University of Bath where he currently teaches biochemistry and runs a research group.