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Mr Bertie Welch

Professional biography

My PhD investigates trace greenhouse gas (methane and nitrous oxide) emissions from forests on free draining soils, in particular emission pathways (how the gases move from soils to the trees to the atmosphere) and how these pathways will be affected in the future by global change. For the most part research into tropical trace greenhouse gas dynamics has focused on rice paddies and swamplands as these areas are easy to study both in the field and laboratory setting.

Recent research by Pangala et al. (2012) of the Open University showed that in tropical peatland forests in South East Asia tree stems accounted for 62-87% of total ecosystem methane emissions. My work in Panama has investigated the influence of changes in precipitation on these fluxes and lead to my present work which is a 12 month study of seasonal effects in a temperate woodland at Wytham, Oxfordshire.

Research interests

PhD Project - Trace gas dynamics in forests on free draining soils.


  1. Observe seasonal variations in fluxes to assess temporal nature of soil gas production and uptake
  2. Measure gas flux from tree stems to establish whether soils or stems are the dominant emission pathway
  3. Investigate the effects of changes in carbon and nitrogen inputs on fluxes

Pre-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


Semi-rigid chambers for methane gas flux measurements on tree stems (2016-02-26)
Siegenthaler, Andy; Welch, Bertie; Pangala, Sunitha R.; Peacock, Michael and Gauci, Vincent
Biogeosciences, 13 (pp. 1197-1207)

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