Professor Jessica Davies

Professor of Sustainability

Research Overview

I am an engineer and environmental scientist interested in the role of land and soils in creating a sustainable future. I work across a wide range of settings: from forests and peatlands, arable lands and grazed grasslands, to urban landscapes. As an engineer, I am focused on solutions, and in my role as Director of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation I help bring together people across disciplines and sectors to work on solutions that can help ecosystems, communities and economies to thrive together.

I currently hold an Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Fellowship. In this major strand of my research, I develop computer models that help us understand and predict how soils provide carbon, food and water services. I am keen to explore how we can borrow concepts and techniques from engineering and data sciences to advance these capabilities. Beyond the science, I am engaged in exploring how these models can be help us make sustainable decisions: can they help us make land management choices, manage risk, inform natural capital accounting or motivate investment in nature-based solutions?

I am passionate about raising awareness of the value of soils and the importance of food and agriculture for a sustainable future. If you would like to learn more, myself and my team have a number of accessible news stories:

You can read more about my soils work and that of our team on our Sustainable Soils Group website. You can also follow me and my relevant projects on twitter @ProfJessDavies @Soilinf @RurbanRev @CGEInnovation for up to date news.

Selected Publications

The business case for soil
Davies, J. 16/03/2017 In: Nature. 543, 7645, p. 309-311. 3 p.
Journal article

  • Centre of Excellence in Environmental Data Science
  • Improving global stewardship
  • Soil Plant and Land Systems
  • Sustainable Catchments
  • Understanding a changing planet