Mr Thomas Murphy

Thomas Murphy

Industrial Research Fellow - Green Wall - Low Carbon Devon

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

Early career researcher interested in the use of nature-based solutions to tackle local and global environmental issues. I am the Livingwalls Industrial Research Fellow for the Low Carbon Devon project


PhD - Impacts of climate change on upland oak establishment and the role of oak woodland on soil recovery for natural flood management - Plymouth University & UK Environment Agency. 

Bsc - Environmental science (Hons) with extended year - Using a novel methodology to determine the environmental mechanisms governing the performance of native trees at an establishing woodland (dissertation) - Plymouth University.

Teaching interests


Envs1002 - The Physical Environment
Envs1003 - The Biosphere
Envs1007 - Environmental Pollution
Envs5003 - Ecological survey evaluation and mitigation

Research interests

I am an early career scientist, with an interest in all aspects of plant science and the application of nature-based solutions (NbS) to climate change. Whilst I have a particular passion for tree and restoration ecology, my career aims more broadly are to further the effectiveness of nature-based/green engineering interventions through improved understanding of plant-environment interactions. My PhD looked at the impact of oak woodland establishment on soil de-compaction in UK uplands pasture.


Murphy TR, Hanley ME, Ellis JE, Lunt PH (2020) Native woodland establishment improves soil hydrological functioning in UK upland pastoral catchments. Land Degradation & Development

Murphy TR, Hanley ME, Ellis JE, Lunt PH (2019) Deviation between projected and observed precipitation trends greater with altitude. Climate Research 79: 77-89.


Murphy TR, Hanley ME, Ellis JS, Lunt PH (2020) Lessons for woodland establishment - Nature-based Solutions (NbS) Conference - Digital Dialogues

Other Publications

Murphy T (2018) Wistmans wood – examing the response of oak trees to climate in a special woodland. Moor Trees Newsletter, Spring edition,5.

Murphy T (2015) Research on tree stress at Howton Down. Moor Trees Newletter, Autumn edition, 4.

Reports & invited lectures

Murphy TR (2020) Moor Trees woodland surveys - Key note speech at Moor Trees Annual General Meeting - online.

Murphy TR (2020) Why plant trees? - Plymouth Tree Partnership (PTP). Sustainability Hub, Kirkby Lodge, Plymouth, UK.

Murphy TR (2019) Slowing the flow - conference speech. British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) Early Career Researcher (ECR) conference, Sheffield, UK. - Prize for best talk.

Murphy TR (2018) At the limits of growth? – Evidence for impacts of recent cimate change on the growth of Quercus robur in relic upland Atlantic oak woodland, Wistmans Wood, Dartmoor National Park. Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography 8: 45. World conference on Ecology, Berlin, Germany. doi:10.4172/2157-7625-C1-032.

Murphy TR (2016) Woodland & climate change - Key note speech at Moor Trees Annual General Meeting, Woodah farm, Devon, UK

Other academic activities

Natural Flood Management day - Bringing climate change and natural flood management science to local stakeholders and hearing from flood affected residents. Venue - Buckfastleigh Town Hall (14th July 2019). - Support from Buckfastleigh Flood Action Group and Environment Agency. 

Woodland on Dartmoor - The potential benefits of woodland for Natural Flood Management. Dendles Waste (19th August). - Field trip to discuss climate change and land management in UK uplands. - Support from Moor Trees (