Jasper Newman

Jasper Newman

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Jasper is currently finishing off his PhD on microbial greenhouse gas cycling and carbon sequestration in peatlands. The project is part funded by South West Water and has used a restored area of Dartmoor National Park to understand and add detail to the peatland methane cycle. 

First PhD Supervisor: Dr Tim Daley

Other PhD supervisors: Professor Ralph Fyfe, Dr Sabine Lengger

He has recently resumed his PhD after finishing in a research role at the University of Plymouth working on the Soil Carbon Project. The Soil Carbon Project is a collaboration with the Duchy College and Rothamsted Research which helped farmers access and better understand soil health lab tests whilst investigating best practices of collecting, analysing and using soil carbon information. Jasper’s work mainly focused on developing and disseminating suitable uses and limitations of the lab based measurements of soil health.


2015 - MSci Chemistry with Industrial Experience, University of Bristol

Professional membership

Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management - (CIWEM)



Teaching interests

Jasper has worked as a teaching assistant demonstrating in lab practicals with university undergraduates in the following modules;

2nd year organic chemistry

3rd year advanced inorganic chemistry

3rd year advanced organic chemistry



Research interests

Jasper's PhD follows the signature carbon isotopes of methane from the greenhouse gasses dissolved in surface water, through to the uptake of this carbon by Sphagnum moss and long-term sequestration as peat. The historical effects of this recently unveiled part of peatland carbon cycle is being studied through biomarkers, signature complex molecules, which store a record of the possible sources of the carbon found in peat. The modern seasonal fluctuations in greenhouse gas emissions are being monitored alongside this paleoecological work and used together to determine a range of conditions under which methane produced by degrading peat is recycled into new peat. Attempts are being made to add to efforts to quantify the amount of peat that is methane derived, as the result of the symbiosis between methanotrophic bacteria and the key peat building species, Sphagnum moss. It is important that we understand the methane cycles of peatlands in great detail, both when restoring damaged peatland habitats to their natural carbon sinks status and in order to determine the risks involved in the melting of permafrost.

Other research

Jasper maintains a strong interest in terrestrial carbon cycles beyond peatlands and the laboratory tools that can be used to understand them.

Food and Carbon - Land management practices used today have varying impacts on soils, water and atmospheric emissions. Alongside his PhD work on carbon cycles, Jasper is interested in the quantification and communication of the environmental risks and benefits of different management practices. With improvements in lab techniques and automated data collection there is scope for consumers to be able to value food at the real cost that includes all social and environmental impacts.

Biogeochemistry - Jasper's chemistry degree has enabled him to tackle environmental science and physical geography problems with all of the required analytical tools available. The application of novel techniques in chromatography and spectroscopy are advancing these fields and a good understanding of modern environmental and ecological processes goes hand in hand with these analytical advances.