Scientists with muddy boots

The research team

Anna Gugan

Natural Capital Valuation Officer

With an MSc in Geographical Information Systems, Anna carries out mapping and data processing to support UBoC projects. She communicates with our research partners to ensure our work has real world impact and is also the first point of contact for enquiries to the UBoC team.

Anna has extensive knowledge of how projects will work on the ground, including an MA in Landscape Architecture and practical experience as a professional gardener.

Hazel Mooney

Hazel Mooney

Science and Communications Officer

Hazel communicates UBoC's research with a wide range of audiences through live and virtual presentations, encouraging public engagement with the natural environment. Following on from her honours degree in Environmental Science, her research now focuses on urban trees and the delivery of ecosystem services.

Alongside her work with UBoC, Hazel is also completing an MSc in Climate Change and Environmental Policy.

Dr Cat Scott

Scientific lead

Cat is a NERC Independent Research Fellow and University Academic Fellow in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, part of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. She studies the way that particles are formed in the atmosphere from gases emitted by trees (biogenic volatile organic compounds; BVOCs), and how these particles go on to affect the climate.

Cat is Director of the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) centre at the University of Leeds. Her academic role helps to ensure integration between UBoC’s work and the latest research at the University of Leeds. In particular, Cat leads on the Leeds4Trees project, a partnership between UBoC, LEAF and Leeds City Council.

Professor Dominick Spracklen

Scientific lead

Dom is Professor of Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. He leads a research group whose focus is on interactions between the biosphere, atmosphere and climate, and understanding how these interactions are being altered by human activity.

Dom’s role in UBoC is to lead on our ecological restoration work, including the Hardknott Forest Restoration project and Wild Ingleborough.

Dr Thomas Sloan

Forest Science and Policy Fellow

Thomas' background is in studying how land use management affects carbon storage. He is interested in using interdisciplinary paleoecological approaches to address current conservation questions. His PhD in Environmental Geography was awarded by the University of York in 2021. Thomas provides scientific support to UBoC projects as Forest Science and Policy Fellow.

The UBoC Trustees

Jonathan Wild LL.D DL

Jonathan is the former Chair and Managing Director of Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate and author of the Five Flamingos series of children’s stories. Jonathan has been a persistent campaigner for conservation of the natural environment around the world for over 30 years. He led his company’s Trees for Life campaign, which has funded the planting of millions of trees around the world, principally in the tropics. Bettys & Taylors was one of the first ten companies to win a Queen’s Award for Industry for Sustainable Development.


“If the currency of climate change is carbon, biodiversity is its casualty. Through research and investment in practical collaborative solutions, our team of scientists at UBoC seeks to demonstrate how – on both a local and global scale – a healthy natural environment is a carbon-rich planet and people protector. I call them ‘scientists with muddy boots’. They are inspirational, and they have impact: I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Jenny Harrison

Jenny is a qualified chartered accountant, working as a Finance Director. She has experience developing renewable energy practice and carbon reporting and assurance practice.

Sheila Huntridge

Sheila has a background in mainly financial roles in banking, pharmaceuticals, leisure and most recently with the Bettys and Taylors Group. Sheila joined the UBoC Board of Trustees following her retirement from Bettys in 2019.


“Being a Trustee for UBoC has given me the opportunity to support and experience the fantastic work that the UBoC Team and School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds undertake to help protect out natural environment and ecosystems.”

Professor Piers Forster

After studying physics at Imperial College, Piers began researching climate change for his doctorate at the University of Reading in 1990. He is currently Professor of Physical Climate Change in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, and Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate Change. Piers was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit award 2011-2016, he is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

As well as his research, Piers has a number of advisory roles for industry and government, including the UK Committee on Climate Change, and as lead author of the IPCC reports. This breadth of experience helps to inform the work of UBoC.