Reading's strength in Meteorology is based on long-standing, world-renowned reputation and critical mass in climate science and weather prediction, with pre-eminence in areas such as earth observation and data assimilation. Our work here is hosted in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and the recent transfer of our Statistics Group into this School has enabled further integration of our physical, mathematical and statistical sciences.
We established the Walker Institute five years ago, to bring together climate scientists with those working across the wider environmental sciences to enable greater focus on adaptation to, and mitigation of, effects of climate change. This cross-disciplinary centre of excellence supports top-class research in physical geography, soil science, environmental economics, built environments, crop science and human geography.
In a significant investment, the Academic Investment Programme has recently appointed 28 top-class researchers in the area of Climate & Environmental Sciences. As well as new research income that these appointments have already generated, evidence of strong leadership capability and renewed vision is emerging, with proposed new centres in Past Climate Change and Sustainable Built Environments, and an Innovation Centre for Sustainable Futures.
Professor William Collins
Atmospheric Chemistry and Earth-System Modelling
Formerly a Science Manager at the Met Office.
Professor Collins is an expert on the chemistry and climate impact of atmospheric pollutants. At the Met Office, he led the team that built the new Earth system model HadGEM2, and has used it to perform pioneering work to quantify the role of the interaction of physical processes in the climate system, such as the climate feedback caused by ozone damage to vegetation. He is a lead author of the upcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and his previous lead authorship of a UNEP report on black carbon and tropospheric ozone prompted the US government to take action under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
Professor Daniel Feltham
Sea Ice and Polar Oceanography
Formerly a Reader at University College London
Professor Feltham is an expert in sea ice and polar oceanography and a PI at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM). Sea ice plays a crucial role in the climate system, but current models are crude and fail to reproduce, for example, the recent dramatic reductions in Arctic summer sea-ice extent. Professor Feltham uses continuum mechanics and thermodynamics to understand and model the physics of detailed sea-ice processes. His novel parameterizations for processes such as melt-pond formation and anisotropic sea-ice rheology are leading to better predictions of sea-ice extent and have been incorporated into the Los Alamos CICE model, which is used in many climate models worldwide.
Professor Sue Grimmond
Formerly a Reader at University College London
Professor Grimmond is an expert in the physical processes involved in the generation of urban climates. She develops and evaluates parameterizations of urban exchange processes in numerical models, and leads the international Urban Model Intercomparison which has provided a range of new insights into the challenge of modelling urban areas. She has also been centrally involved in measurement campaigns in many cities spanning three continents, as well as other complex terrains such as forests and wetlands. She has chaired many international committees and associations, including the American Meteorological Society's Board on the Urban Environment, and the International Association of Urban Climate.
Professor Chris Merchant
Earth Observation and Climate
Formerly a Reader at the University of Edinburgh.
Professor Merchant is an expert in thermal remote sensing, applied to observing the surface temperatures of Earth from space. With his research group, he has developed leading techniques for deriving global records of ocean- and lake-surface temperature change suitable for climate research, and is extending these to the land surface and sea ice. He collaborates widely in the scientific exploitation of these unique records, currently participating, for example, in projects to reassess marine climate change through the 20th century, to advance coupled ocean-atmosphere data assimilation, and to understand the physical and ecological responses of lakes to climate change on a global scale.
Associate Professor Hannah Cloke
Formerly a Senior Lecturer at King's College London, now at Reading with a joint post between the Departments of Meteorology and Geography & Environmental Science.
Dr Cloke is an expert in hydrology specializing in land surface modelling, flood forecasting and catchment hydrology. After her PhD at the University of Bristol, and worked for a time at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, on the European Flood Alert System. Her current research projects include "Numerical weather prediction (NWP) water cycle verification with river discharge observations" (joint work with the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, ECMWF), ESRC-funded work on "Improving the communication and use of ensemble flood predictions", and work within a large NERC Storm Risk Mitigation Programme consortium grant (with Bristol, the Met Office, and the National Oceanography Centre) on "Developing enhanced impact models for integration with next-generation NWP and climate outputs" (DEMON).
Associate Professor Chris Davis
Space and Atmospheric Physics
Formerly 50% at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, now 100% at the University of Reading.
Dr Davis is an expert in solar terrestrial physics - how the Sun affects the Earth's space environment, upper atmosphere and ionosphere. This field is often now reffered to as space weather. Chris is a co-investigator on the NASA STEREO mission and, until taking up his post in Reading, was the Project Scientist for the STEREO Heliospheric Imagers. At Reading he is now working with the Met Office on using spacecraft data to improve their operational space weather forecast as well as investigating interactions between the upper and lower atmosphere - most notably via lightning and the global electric circuit.
Associate Professor Joaquim Pinto
Regional Climate and Synoptic Meteorology
Part-time (33%) position at the University of Reading, retaining 67% at the University of Cologne.
Dr Pinto is an expert in dynamical and synoptic-scale meteorology with particular interest in extreme weather events, regional climate and downscaling methods used to determine the regional responses to climate change. His research has contributed to a better understanding of the physical mechanisms leading to the occurrence of different types of extreme events affecting Europe (such as windstorms, floods, heat waves and cold surges). He has extensive experience in interdisciplinary reseach and on the development of impact models. Ongoing collaborations with the insurance industry are enabling a better assessment of windstorm risk for Europe under recent and future climate conditions.
Associate Professor Joy Singarayer
Formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol.
Dr Singarayer is an expert in Earth system modelling applied to examine past climate change. Her research has a strong focus on Quaternary palaeoclimates (the last 2.5 million years), in particular examining the interactions of terrestrial processes with climate change, as well as considering prehistoric human-climate interactions. She has published the first numerical model simulations of the last complete glacial cycle, and used these to examine key impacts on methane cycling, human out-of-Africa migrations, and vegetation carbon fluxes. Her work is currently focussed on past and present land-use change impacts, especially considering the timing and extent to which anthropogenic prehistoric land-use influenced climate and the carbon cycle.
Dr Nicolas Bellouin
Lecturer in Global Aerosol Modelling and Remote Sensing
Formerly a Senior Scientist at the Met Office.
Dr Bellouin is an expert in the climate impacts of natural and anthropogenic aerosols, from the radiative forcing they exert on the Earth's energy budget to the subsequent response of the Earth system. He obtained the first satellite-based estimate of the direct radiative forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols, which offsets part of the warming due to greenhouse gases. A former member of the development team of the Met Office HadGEM2 Earth System Model, he also uses global modelling to quantify the interactions of aerosols with other major components of the Earth system, such as clouds and vegetation. He is a contributing author of the upcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
Dr Emily Black
Lecturer in Terrestrial Processes and Climate
Formerly an NCAS Core Scientist, retaining a 50% NCAS position.
Dr Black is an expert in terrestrial processes and the societal impacts of climate variability and change. Her research interests range from the fundamental processes that underpin land-atmosphere interactions to the socio-economic impacts of changes in climate and land use. She recently published the first modelling study of the impact of climate change on biofuel cultivation. Her work has a strong focus on Africa and the Middle East, and she leads the TAMSAT programme, which provides real-time satellite based rainfall estimates to stakeholders throughout Africa. Her interests extend to palaeoclimates, and she has used proxy observations and models to inform archaeological studies of the links between environmental change and human settlement in the Middle East.
Dr David Ferreira
Lecturer in Oceanography and Climate Dynamics
Formerly a Research Scientist at MIT.
Dr Ferreira is an expert in physical oceanography with a particular interest for the role of oceans in climate. Oceans exert a primary control on Earth's climate history by storing and transporting large amounts of heat and carbon. Using (and developing) climate models, Dr Ferreira has explored the ocean circulation and its interactions with the atmospheric and sea-ice components. He also has a strong interest in the dynamics of ocean eddies and their impact on the large-scale ocean circulation. He has developed novel approaches to better represent these eddy-mean flow interactions in ocean climate models. Dr Ferreira applies his research to the interpretation of the palaeoclimate record and understanding of future climate change.
Dr Miguel Teixeira
Lecturer in Meteorology
Formerly a Research Scientist at the University of Lisbon.
Dr Teixeira is an expert in theoretical mountain meteorology and boundary layer oceanography, with a particular interest for orographic gravity-wave drag in the atmosphere and Langmuir circulations in the ocean. Using mathematical techniques, Dr Teixeira evaluated the impact of vertical wind shear on the drag exerted on the atmosphere and its vertical distribution, which will be soon implemented and tested in the global version of the Met Office Unified Model. He also has a strong interest for oceanic turbulence, having shown how wave-turbulence interaction can provide mechanisms for the development of Langmuir circulations and for the enhancement of the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy in the oceanic surface layer.
Dr Andrew Turner
Lecturer in Monsoon Systems
Start date 1 April 2014 - currently a NERC Postdoctoral Fellow and NCAS Core Scientist, and will retain a 50% NCAS position.
Dr Turner is an expert in monsoon systems. His main interests include the effects of anthropogenic climate change on the Asian Summer Monsoon and the effect of model mean state biases on monsoon prediction. He has done important work on improving the interaction between El Nino and the Asian Summer Monsoon in models, crucial for predicting the monsoon on seasonal time scales and how this predictability will change in a warmer climate. He is PI and co-I on current projects under the joint NERC/India Ministry of Earth Sciences Changing Water Cycle (South Asia) scheme, involving multiple UK and Indian partners. He is a member of the WCRP CLIVAR Asian-Australian Monsoon Panel and was jointly awarded the Royal Meteorological Society's 2009 L F Richardson Prize.
Dr Clare Watt
Lecturer in Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Formerly a Research Scientist at the University of Alberta.
Dr Watt is an expert in the numerical modelling of the near-Earth space plasma environment. Her interests include the aurora, Earth's radiation belts, and the effects of high-energy particle precipitation on the upper atmosphere. Dr Watt's novel plasma simulations have demonstrated that dynamic auroral displays result from particle surfing in large electromagnetic waves far from the Earth. She has also designed new ways to numerically model the interactions between electromagnetic waves and plasma that can result in particle acceleration and scattering in the dangerous high-energy plasma environment of the Earth's radiation belts. These algorithms will form the basis of a new space weather model for the radiation belts.
Dr Hilary Weller
Lecturer in Numerical Methods for the Atmosphere
Start date 1 April 2016 - currently a NERC Advanced Fellow and NCAS Core Scientist.
Dr Weller is an expert in unstructured finite-volume methods for the atmosphere. She has done internationally leading work in creating numerical models that can run on any mesh of the sphere and has performed vital comparisons between different meshes. This is necessary for new models that avoid the pole problem of latitude-longitude grids, and is essential for creating models to run efficiently on emerging, massively parallel computer architectures. She has also made significant contributions to mesh adaptation criteria for adaptive mesh modelling. Dr Weller was recently the lead organiser of a Newton Institute programme attended by over 100 international scientists. She is currently working with the Met Office to design the dynamical core of their next-generation model.
Professor Sebastian Reich
Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing
Part-time (20%) position at the University of Reading, retaining a position at the University of Potsdam.
Professor Reich is an expert in uncertainty quantification, geophysical fluid dynamics, geometric integration and simulation of molecular dynamics. He will provide additional leadership in the School in relation to developing our numerical analysis and scientific computing research and its application to weather and climate prediction. He knows the UK well, having held academic positions at Surrey and more recently as Professor in the Mathematics Department at Imperial College. He is on the editorial board of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Journal of Numerical Analysis, and was previously awarded the Germund Dahlquist Prize by SIAM.
Associate Professor Alexey Chernov
Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing
Formerly a Professor at the University of Bonn.
Dr Chernov is an expert in numerical analysis and scientific computing, with a particular focus on uncertainty quantification and problems with random parameters. He joins us from a five-year, fixed-term professorship within the Cluster of Excellence Hausdorff Centre for Mathematics and the Institute for Numerical Simulations at the University of Bonn, where he leads a sizeable research group. His other research interests include low and high order finite and boundary element methods, non-conforming methods, efficient solution of high-dimensional problems, numerical methods for elliptic and parabolic PDEs and variational inequalities, and efficient numerical integration.
Dr Nicholas Katzourakis
Lecturer in Nonlinear Analysis
Formerly a Research Scientist and Group Leader at the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics in Spain.
Dr Katzourakis is an expert in the analysis of fully nonlinear PDE systems with applications to calculus of variations and geometric analysis. His work has opened up the field of vectorial calculus of variations in L∞. Alongside this he is developing a theory of "weak" solutions for fully nonlinear systems, which answers fundamental questions even for linear systems. His expertise will support work ongoing with the Met Office on the analysis of nonlinear PDEs and more generally will bring new tools to bear on the mathematical analysis of the sophisticated optimization problems that arise in the analysis of data assimilation algorithms for very large dimensional systems.
Dr Andrea Moiola
Senior Research Fellow/Lecturer in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing
Formerly Research Fellow at the University of Reading, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Dr Moiola is an expert in in numerical analysis and approximation theory, particularly the finite element method, discontinuous Galerkin methods, and non-polynomial and Trefftz methods. His largest application area to date has been computational electromagnetics and wave propagation and scattering, where he has started interactions with the radar group in the Department of Meteorology at Reading. He is also pushing forward work in the numerical modeling of inverse problems arising in brain imaging as part of interdisciplinary work within the Centre for integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics.
Dr Tristan Pryer
Lecturer in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing
Formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Kent.
Dr Pryer is an expert in the simulation of fluid flow problems, mimetic methods (numerical methods that inherit conservation properties some of the continuum model, and discrete equivalents of these properties), the approximation by numerical schemes of fully nonlinear PDEs, and the efficient implementation and analysis of these schemes. In addition, he has supervised PhD projects on brain imaging and has worked, as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, on mathematical models in the finance sector.
Professor Tim Dixon
Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment
Formerly a Professor at Oxford Brookes University.
Professor Dixon is an expert in sustainable built environments. His research revolves around the interface between the sustainability agenda and its impact on property construction, development, investment and occupation. His research is based on a strong interdisciplinary approach which incorporates policy and practice impacts and futures thinking. Pioneering work on social sustainability was funded through the European Investment Bank and this led to further research with Berkeley Group and Social Life on the measurement of social sustainability in housing development. He is a member of the RICS Sustainability Taskforce and leads the Sustainability in the Built Environment (SustBE) initiative at University of Reading. He is currently leading the Urban Foresight Laboratory work package on Retrofit 2050, an EPSRC-funded research project.
Professor Li Shao
Sustainable Technologies in the Built Environment
Formerly a Professor at De Montfort University.
Professor Shao is an expert in energy and environment technologies for the built environment. Supported by UK and European funding bodies as well as industry, Professor Shao has led a range of research projects investigating sustainable energy technologies and the adaptation of UK buildings to cope with extreme weather events, particularly heat waves. His work on the latter has been recommended in the Mayor of London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2011). Recent research extends to cover the benefits of urban green spaces. Professor Shao graduated from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1985 and obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield in 1991.
Dr Stefan Thor Smith
Lecturer in Energy Systems in the Built Environment
Formerly a Research Scientist at De Montfort University.
Dr Smith is an expert in the relationship of climate to energy supply and demand, ranging from urban scale to national and regional scales. He has helped develop pioneering models of the electricity network that not only consider climate impacts, but also inform on the potential consequences of energy policy to supply and demand issues. Dr Smith's research on urban climate and energy has led to involvement in several scientific consultation meetings for government departments such as DEFRA, DECC and DCLG.
Dr Michael Peters
Lecturer in Energy Policy
Formerly a Temporary Lecturer and Research Scientist at the University of Surrey.
Dr Peters is an expert in community-based energy and sustainability initiatives. His research makes extensive use of stakeholder techniques and encompasses environmental education and citizen engagement in low carbon social change initiatives. The challenges for governance posed by transitioning to low carbon economies are of particular importance to his research, which recently has involved comparative analysis between examples of community energy programmes in the UK and the US. Michael was lead editor of a major new volume "Low Carbon Communities: Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally" (Edward Elgar Ltd.) and is co-editor of another new Elgar book to be published Autumn 2013 entitled "Environmental sustainability and individual responsibility: encouraging sustainable lifestyles".
Professor Sandy Harrison
Palaeoclimates and Biogeochemical Cycle
80% position at the University of Reading, retaining a professorship at Macquarie University, Australia.
Professor Harrison is a palaeoclimatologist with a special interest in the role of the land-surface, terrestrial biosphere and hydrological processes on modulating regional climates and biogeochemical cycles. One component of her research involves using large-scale syntheses of palaeoclimate records together with analyses of climate-model experiments to understand the mechanisms of past climate changes. She is also involved in the development of models to examine the impact of climate changes on vegetation, fire and hydrology in the past (and in the future). She is President of the INQUA Commission on Palaeoclimatology (PALCOMM) and Co-leader of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP).
Professor Dominik Fleitmann
Palaeoclimates and Archaeology
Formerly at the University of Bern.
Professor Fleitmann is an expert on Quaternary palaeoclimatology, low-temperature geochemistry and speleothem-based climate reconstruction. After his PhD at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and postdoc positions at the University of Bern, Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts, he received a prestigious "Förderprofessur" (Assistant Professor) by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to reconstruct Holocene and late Pleistocene climatic changes in Turkey. Professor Fleitmann is also principal investigator of a multi-disciplinary project (STALCLIM) funded by the SNSF to establish multi-proxy climatic and environmental reconstructions in Switzerland, Turkey, Arabia and India. One particular aspect of his research is to develop Holocene proxy records to establish firm links between climatic and societal changes in the Middle East.
Associate Professor Francis Mayle
Formerly a Senior Lecturer at The University of Edinburgh.
Dr Mayle is an expert in pollen-based reconstructions of long-term vegetation dynamics in tropical South America. His main focus is Amazonia (over time-scales ranging from the past millennium to glacial-interglacial cycles), where he has led pioneering work, demonstrating the sensitivity of ecotonal forests to long-term climate change. He is especially interested in late Holocene human-climate-ecosystem interactions, and is currently leading a collaborative Leverhulme-funded project, exploring the extent to which pre-Columbian (pre-AD1492) Amazonia was a pristine wilderness versus domesticated landscape. He enjoys inter-disciplinary collaboration - with botanists, modellers and archaeologists - in the UK and North and South America, and is Associate Editor for "The Holocene".
Dr Shovonlal Roy
Lecturer in Remote Sensing in Ecosystem Sciences
Formerly a Research Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
Dr Roy is an expert in dynamical systems and ecological modelling with particular interests in remote sensing of ocean colour, bio-optical modelling and data assimilation. His research topics span general ecosystems, marine ecosystems and other biological systems. Recently, he has developed novel bio-optical models to retrieve the size of oceanic phytoplankton from space using ocean-colour data. Further, he has developed new dynamical models and implemented data assimilation techniques to extract quantitative information on phytoplankton functional types. His research will contribute to the studies of dynamics, diversity and function of aquatic ecosystems as well as understanding of the ecosystems' response to its changing environment. He has received several international fellowships including the Royal Society Newton International Fellowship which he held at the University of Oxford.