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Anna Harper

Dr Anna Harper

Contact info

Geography/Geology Building Room 109
Office Hours:
By appointment

My research broadly focuses on the interactions between vegetation, people, and climate. More than two-thirds of the global land surface is managed by humans. The land is ground zero for the human response to climate change, as we seek to enhance and protect natural carbon sinks or to manage landscapes to reduce the impacts of climate change. My work aims to improve the models of the Earth system for these applications, and to better understand how ecosystems respond to a changing environment. I also use data from satellites and ground measurements to better constrain the models and projections.

In addition to research, I am passionate about teaching and equipping students with the knowledge base and tools to engage with the grand challenge of climate change. For example, from 2017-2023 (at my previous university), I contributed to a week-long, intensive, and hands-on teaching experience, where students found creative ways to combat climate disinformation and spread stories of hope.

  • PhD (2012), Colorado State University, Atmospheric Sciences
  • Master of Science (2008), Colorado State University, Atmospheric Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts (2002), University of Georgia, Magazine Journalism
  • Bachelor of Science (2002), University of Georgia, Geology

Prior to joining UGA, I worked in the UK where I contributed to or led multiple grants worth over £10 million. Of note:

ADD-TREES: AI-elevated Decision-support via Digitial Twins for Restoring and Enhancing Ecosystem Services, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (Co-I, 2023-2025) 

NetZeroPlus project funded by UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (Co-I, 2021-2025) - This project aims to deliver decision support to UK’s aim of planting 30,000 ha per year, assessing multiple benefits delivered by treescapes and provide estimates of potential GGR by new woodlands. 

ESM2025 project funded by EU Horizon 2020 (Co-I, 2021-2025) - I led a WP on improving land use representation in Integrated Assessment Models and Earth System Models. 

Dynamic modelling of ecosystem-based pathways for 1.5°C funded by Rockefeller Foundation (PI, 2020)

JULES Emulator of ecosystem services (JEM) funded by UK Research and Innovation Landscape Decisions program (PI, 2019-2020)

Feasibility of Afforestation and BECCS for Greenhouse Gas Removal (FAB-GGR) funded by the Natural Sciences Research Council (NERC) (Co-I, 2017-2021)

Climate, Land-Use, and Ecosystem Services at 1.5°C (CLUES1.5) funded by NERC (Co-I, 2016-2017)

Negative Emission Technologies and the food-energy-water nexus independent research fellowship funded by EPSRC (PI, 2016-2019)



Of note:

Previous positions:

  • Senior Lecturer (2016-2023), Climate Science, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Exeter, UK
  • Post-doctoral fellow (2012-2016), Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Exeter, UK
Courses Regularly Taught:
Selected Publications:

Full publication list:

If you don't have access to a publication, please e-mail me and I will send you a copy.

Argles, A.P.K., Robertson, E., Harper, A.B., et al.: Modelling the impact of forest management and CO2-fertilisation on growth and demography in a Sitka spruce plantation, Scientific Reports,, 2023.

Littleton, E.W., Shepherd, A., Harper, A.B., et al.: Uncertain effectiveness of bioenergy expansion for climate change mitigation explored using land surface, agronomic, and integrated assessment models, Global Change Biology- Bioenergy,, 2022.

Baker, E., Harper, A.B., Williamson, D., and Challenor, P.: Emulation of high-resolution land surface models using sparse Gaussian processes with application to JULES, Geosci. Model Dev,, 2022.

Littleton, E.W., Dooley, K., Webb, G., Harper, A.B., Powell, T., Nicholls, Z., et al.: Dynamic modelling shows substantial contribution of ecosystem restoration to climate change mitigation, Environ. Res. Lett., 2021.

Young, P.J., Harper, A.B., Huntingford, C., Paul, N.D., Morgenstern, O., Newman, P.A., Oman, L.D., Madronich, S., and Garcia, R.R.: The Montreal Protocol protects the terrestrial carbon sink, Nature,, 2021.

Harper A.B.Powell, T., Cox, P.M., House, J., et al.: Land-use emissions play a critical role in land-based mitigation for Paris climate targets, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05340-z, 2018.


Articles Featuring Anna Harper

Please join us in welcoming our newest faculty member, Dr. Anna Harper, to the UGA Geography Community! Dr. Harper joins the Environmental AI cluster which spans three other departments, and is a welcome addition to the UGA Geography department…

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