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Dave Reay

Dave Reay

Dave Reay, University of Edinburgh


Dave Reay, University of Edinburgh

Dave Reay

Prof Dave Reay, FRSGS, SFHEA, FEAUC, PhD

Chair in Carbon Management & Education, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh

Co-Chair, Just Transition Commission


E-mail: David.Reay[at]


Climate-smart Food – Open Access book (published by Palgrave)


Online Masters in Carbon Management

The Online MSc in Carbon Management at the University of Edinburgh



Teaching on the MSc Carbon Management


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Climate Solutions: Mexico (English)

Climate Solutions: Mexico (Spanish)

Climate Solutions: UK (English)

Climate Solutions: Malawi (English)

Climate Solutions: India (English)

Climate Solutions: India (Hindi)

Climate Solutions: Egypt (English)

Climate Solutions: Egypt (Arabic)

Climate Solutions: UAE (English)


Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (English)

Nitrogen Management Essentials (English)

The Nitrogen Challenge from a Social Science Perspective  (English)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Chinese)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Hungarian)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Hindi)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Nepalese)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Sinhalese)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Urdu)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Dari)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Bengali)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Dhivehi)

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (Bhutan)



Climate-Smart Food – Palgrave Open Access.

Nitrogen and Climate Change – Palgrave (Wonderstuff, lecture at University of Edinburgh and Wonderstuff, TEDx talk)

Methane and Climate Change – Earthscan

Your Planet Needs You! A Kid’s Guide to Going Green Macmillan Children’s Books.

Climate Change Begins at Home – Life on the Two-way Street of Global Warming. Published by Macmillan. (Translated into Japanese and Korean. Shortlisted for Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year).

Greenhouse Gas Sinks Reay, Hewitt, Smith and Grace (Eds). CABI Publishing.


MSc programme

MSc in Carbon Management

: Winner, ‘Best Feedback in Business School’, EUSA teaching awards 2013.

: Winner, ‘PwC Teaching Employable Skills Award’, EUSA teaching awards 2010.


Dave Reay is Professor of Carbon Management & Education at the University of Edinburgh. He is co-chair of the Just Transition Commission and an advisor on climate change action for the Scottish and UK Governments. Dave’s latest project involves managing his small farm on the west coast of Scotland to regrow native tree species and trap a lifetime’s carbon.

Dave studied Marine
Biology at Liverpool University and graduated in 1994. He went
on to gain a PhD with the British Antarctic Survey and Essex University studying the response of
Southern Ocean algae and bacteria to global warming. After
gaining his doctorate he continued working as a post-doc at Essex,
investigating the impact of land-use on the soil methane sink.
In 2001 he moved to Edinburgh University to investigate emissions
of the greenhouse gas ‘nitrous oxide’ from agriculture, then carbon fluxes in forests, and went on to become a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Fellow examining greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands and agriculture. In 2008 Dave became the university’s first lecturer in carbon management and became a senior lecturer in 2009, a Reader in 2013, and was appointed Chair in Carbon Management & Education in 2014. Dave became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015, a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 2021, and a Fellow of the EAUC in 2022.

He is designer and editor
of the climate change science website Greenhouse Gas Online and of the Southern
Ocean: Antarctic Seas and Wildlife website
. He enjoys running (on an annual basis), Test Match Special, and
writing stories for his daughters.

Research Interests

  • Climate change mitigation in agriculture and food systems
  • Climate change skills and education
  • Greenhouse gas sinks and interactions
  • Climate change impacts and mitigation through individual action
  • Nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture (IPCC input: revision of EF5) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories)
  • Methane oxidation and production in soils
  • Communicating climate change to the public
  • Microbial ecology, incl. that of methanotrophs, methanogens, nitrifiers and denitrifiers
  • Diffuse water pollution
  • Land use impacts on greenhouse gas fluxes
  • Climate change impacts on land use and adaptation strategies
  • Carbon dioxide emission from soils and biomass
  • Global methane budgets
  • Temperature dependence of microbial activity and nutrient uptake

Research Groups

Global Change

Centre for Distance Education

Geography and the Lived Environment

Centre for Sustainable Forests &  Landscapes

Centre for Business, Climate Change & Sustainability

Other Roles and Activities past and present


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