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Where Are They Now? - Dr. Zoe Harris

Posted on 16 March 2017.

Dr Zoe M Harris is a Research Associate in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on the impacts of bioenergy deployment in the UK. Part of her work is on the MAGLUE project which is looking at the impacts of imported feedstocks on the UK bioenergy supply chain using the Biomass Value Chain Model (developed by the ETI). The rest of her work is on the Assess-BECCS project which is looking at the feasibility of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage in the UK.

Dr Harris completed her PhD research at the University of Southampton looking at the impacts of land use change to bioenergy on the greenhouse gas (GHG) and carbon balance. This work was part of the ELUM project funded by the ETI. Dr Harris lead the first work package of the project. She undertook a systematic review of the literature and published a meta-analysis to assess the current state of knowledge of land use change to bioenergy in the UK. She also established a field site on a commercial bioenergy plantation comparing the ecosystem and soil fluxes of short rotation coppice willow and an adjacent grassland, using techniques such as eddy covariance, gas sampling, physiological measurements and soil sampling.

After completing her PhD, Dr Harris spent a further year as a researcher at Southampton assisting on various project. In June 2016, she joined the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as a Science Officer. Here she worked on modelling GHG mitigation options for agriculture which would subsequently feed into the UK Emissions Reduction Plan. Dr Harris also undertook work reviewing returns from other government departments assessing the Ecosystem Services impacts of new policies. After 4 months in this Department, Dr Harris moved into the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), formally the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). As a Higher Executive Officer, Dr Harris was a policy lead on carbon leakage and benchmarking for the EU Emissions Trading Team (ETS). This work included developing policy for the next phase of the EU ETS and working closely with EU partners in negotiations. Dr Harris also worked with the Department of Transport (DfT) on options for the aviation EU ETS. Dr Harris joined Imperial College London in February 2017, bringing with her lessons learnt from time spent in government departments.