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laura cardenas


Dr Laura Cardenas

Atmospheric Chemist

Net Zero and Resilient Farming

North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB
+44 (0) 1837 512 328
Professional Platforms


Laura has a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry from UEA (1997) for which she developed her own analyser to measure atmospheric concentrations of formaldehyde. She deployed this instrument at remote field sites and on board a Hercules C-130; she has also measured DMS emissions from the ocean on board a research vessel. In 1999, she began to develop an automated state-of-the-art laboratory system to explore the controls of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen gas (N2) cycling in soils and has studied factors controlling emissions. Laura is studying the role of the nitrogen pools in gaseous emissions; the link between grazing behaviour and N2O emissions from extensive upland and intensive lowland systems; and testing mitigation strategies. She is a key contributor to the Defra inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for the compilation and submission to the UNFCCC of the UK agricultural GHG inventory. She is qualified to conduct international inventory reviews for the UNFCCC, and is an advisor for the inventories of Chile, Spain and South Africa. She recently produced a field map of soil nutrients and greenhouse gas emissions for a sheep-grazed field on the Farm Platform to provide information on spatial variability of fluxes and data for modelling.

Strategic Programme

  • Soil 2 Nutrition (S2N)

Science Projects

  • Grazing behaviour, urine composition and soil properties are key controls of N2O emission factors in the uplands
  • Sustainable intensification of temperate and tropical livestock production
  • Developing metrics and use of long term datasets in grassland systems
  • Delivering the agricultural greenhouse gas and ammonia inventories and projections


  • 1997 - PhD, Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • 1992 - Master's in Environmental Sciences, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, Venezuela, Summa Cum Laude
  • 1985 - Licenciate, Chemistry, Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela

Measures of Esteem

  • 2016 Invited to give a presentation in the SICA conference, Italy
  • 2015 Invited to give a presentation on the SSSA, Minnesota, US
  • 2014 Invited to give a presentation on the SSSA, Long Beach, US