Skip to main content

Department of Meteorology – University of Reading

Show access keys

Research Groups

The Department of Meteorology is world-renowned for its pioneering research on the fundamental dynamics and physics of weather and climate. Our research divisions and research groups tackle some of the most critical environmental issues facing society today, including understanding and predicting climate, hazardous weather & air pollution.

GROUPS: Aerosol | Aviation | Boundary Layer | Data Assimilation | Dynamical Processes | Energy Met | High-resolution modelling | IEA | Land Surface | Mesoscale | MetOffice@Reading | MicroMet | Ocean | Polar | Radiation | Clouds | Space & Atmospheric Electricity | TAMSAT | Tropical | Turbulence | Urban Met | Water@Reading

 

Our three Research Divisions are WeatherClimate and Earth Observation and Space, in addition to the Met Office@Reading group of Met Office researchers located within the department. We also have co-located research scientists within the department from the National Centre for Earth Observation, NCEO and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, NCAS – both are part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Operating within and across the three Research Divisions are our research groups, whose activities may be part of any (or all) of the Research Divisions. Please click on the group name below to access the group’s web pages. The groups are listed alphabetically.

Aerosols

Group leader: Professor Ellie Highwood

The Aerosol Group studies the chemical and optical properties of different aerosol types and the radiative and climatic impact of aerosols. We are involved in both the analysis of observations of real aerosol and in climate modelling. We aim to identify and quantify the uncertainties in radiative forcing, climate change and the hydrological cycle due to changes in tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols and other mechanisms.

Research Divisions: Climate, Weather, Earth Observation and Space

Aviation Meteorology

Group leader: Dr Helen Dacre

The Aviation Met group aims to bring together all aspects of research related to aviation within the Meteorology Department. The group meets regularly each term to exchange knowledge. We welcome external visitors from the aviation industry to discuss current research and potential collaboration opportunities.

Research Divisions: Climate, Weather, Earth Observation and Space

Boundary layer – now TURBULENCE

The boundary layer research group is now known as the Turbulence Research Group. We study small-scale flows in the atmosphere and oceans where turbulence is present. Recent research has included urban boundary layers, dispersion, air quality, ocean mixed layer dynamics, cloud-topped boundary layers, convection, orographic drag, and clear air turbulence, using methods such as ground-based remote sensing, large eddy simulation, mesoscale modelling, theoretical development and parametrization. The group meets during academic terms with a variety of informal talks, visitor seminars, paper reviews, and discussions.

For urban boundary layers, please see the Urban Meteorology research group.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate

Data Assimilation Research Group (DARC)

Group leader: Professor Peter Jan van Leeuwen

We work on data assimilation theory and applications in all areas of the geosciences, including meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, oceanography, land surface physics, coastal sediment transport and space. Novel research areas include the development of particle filters for high dimensional systems and quantifying observation and model error correlations.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space – also NCEO

Dynamical processes group

Group leader: Professor Sir Brian Hoskins

The aim of the group is to enhance the understanding of the dynamics and nature of phenomena that occur in the atmosphere on meso to global scales and that are important in weather and climate. This aim is pursued using a combination of theory, diagnostics of observations and the design, execution and diagnosis of experiments using a range of numerical models.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space

Energy meteorology group

Group leader: Dr David Brayshaw

The Energy Meteorology research group seeks to understand the impact of weather and climate on the energy sector and to develop new ways to exploit weather and climate information for energy risk management.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate

High-resolution global climate modelling (HRCM) group

Group leader: Professor Pier Luigi Vidale

The High-Resolution global Climate Modelling (HRCM) group is a long-standing collaboration between NCAS and the Met Office in the development of high-resolution global climate models, metrics and process-based model evaluation regarding the role of resolution in atmospheric and oceanic processes, air-sea interactions, and land surface-atmosphere interactions (e.g. energy and water cycles, mean and extreme precipitation, tropical and extra-tropical cyclones, blocking events, heat waves and droughts, ocean eddies).

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate

The Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA)

Chief Technical Officer: Dr Jon Blower

The Institute for Environmental Analytics is a partnership of academic, industry and public sector partners, led by the University of Reading. It bridges the gap between environmental science research and users in industry and government by carrying out collaborative projects, performing training and enabling knowledge exchange activities.

Research Divisions: Climate, Weather, Earth Observation and Space

Land surface processes group (LSP)

Group leaders: Professor Pier Luigi Vidale (Meteorology) and Professor Anne Verhoef (Department of Geography and Environmental Science)

The land surface exchanges heat, momentum, water and carbon-dioxide with the atmosphere and hence plays a role in our microclimate, crop productivity, and can even affect extreme weather phenomena such as heat waves or floods. The land surface-atmosphere interactions can be summarised via the land surface energy-, water- and carbon balance and related key processes, variables and parameters; it is these that are studied by members of the Land Surface Processes Cluster.

Research Divisions: Climate, Weather, Earth Observation and Space

Mesoscale group

Group leader: Professor Sue Gray

The Mesoscale Group is comprised of academic staff, postdoctoral researchers (including scientists funded by the NCAS atmospheric physics Directorate), PhD students, and Met Office researchers who share a common interest in mesoscale weather processes and systems. The mesoscale, which occupies a horizontal length-scale range of approximately 1–1000 km, incorporates a vast array of meteorological phenomena, from individual convective storms and gravity waves to tropical and extratropical cyclones. Research interests within the Mesoscale Group are diverse and include the predictability and parametrization of convection, diabatic processes within extratropical cyclones, pollution and volcanic ash transport, sting-jet dynamics, stationary rainbands, stratosphere/troposphere exchange, and urban meteorology.

Research Divisions: Weather, Earth Observation and Space

Met Office@Reading

 

The Department of Meteorology, University of Reading hosts around 25 scientists from the Met Office within the Meteorology building at Reading, working on convective-scale,  modelling, ensembles, predictability  and data assimilation, urban modelling, novel observations,  land surface data assimilation and climate change.

The Met Office has had staff at the University of Reading for about 30 years. This was originally part of the Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology (JCMM) but now that Met Office staff with wider interests are located at Reading the name has been changed to MetOffice@Reading. The University of Reading is also part of the Met Office Academic Partnership.

MetOffice@Reading scientists collaborate extensively with University researchers at Reading and elsewhere. Major current and recent projects that they’ve collaborated on include DIAMET (Diabatic Influences on Mesoscale Structures in Extratropical Storms), DYMECS (Dynamical and Microphysical Evolution of Convective Storms), FFIR (Flooding from Intense Rainfall).

Micrometeorology

Group leader: Professor Sue Grimmond

The influence of the surface on the lowest part of the atmosphere is of concern in micrometeorological studies. Research into different transfer heat, moisture, carbon dioxide and momentum processes away or towards the surface are of interest. The implications of the changing roughness and patchiness are of interest (both horizontally and vertically). The group has expertise in observation and modelling.

Research Division: Weather

Ocean group

Group leaders: Dr Remi Tailleux and Dr David Ferreira

Oceans affects Earth’s climate by storing and transporting large amounts of heat and carbon. The ocean group uses theory, numerical models and observations to understand the physical processes controlling these phenomena, such as mixing, meridional overturning circulation, anthropogenic heat uptake, sea level change, deep water formation and Southern ocean processes.

Research Division: Weather, Earth Observation and SpaceClimate

POLAR RESEARCH group

Group leader: Professor Danny Feltham

The Polar Research Group brings together a broad range of expertise with the aim of understanding, observing and predicting processes in polar oceans, atmosphere, land ice and sea ice. Polar regions are undergoing changes that have implications for trade, wildlife, society and oil exploration and serve as a sensitive indicator of climate change.

Research Divisions: Climate, Earth Observation and Space

Radiation group

Group leader: Professor Keith Shine

The Radiation Group focuses on the interaction of solar and infrared radiation with the Earthʼs atmosphere. It performs fundamental research on the way water vapour absorbs radiation, collaborating with experimental spectroscopists, and applied research on the impact of human activity on the radiation budget, including aviationʼs role in climate change.

Research Division: Climate

Reading eScience centre (ReSC)

Group leader: Professor Keith Haines

This website is no longer updated but the link above contains information about the software, projects and training undertaken.
The aim was to make environmental data more useful and accessible by researching, developing and applying advanced computing techniques such as open-source software and collaborative research and development projects with partners in academia, government agencies and industry.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space

Remote sensing and clouds group

Group leadership:Dr Chris Westbrook, Dr Thorwald Stein, Emeritus Professor Anthony Illingworth and Dr Robin Hogan.

Research into remote sensing techniques and cloud processes. Development of new technologies and retrieval techniques, and their application to understanding clouds and precipitation, and evaluating their representation in numerical models. Fundamental research into cloud microphysical and radiative processes.

Previously known as Radar meteorology group.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space

Space and Atmospheric Electricity group

Group leadership:Professor Giles Harrison, Professor Mike Lockwood, Professor Chris Scott, Associate Professor Mathew Owens, Dr Clare Watt

The space and atmospheric electricity group is active in fundamental research in solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric, ionospheric and atmospheric physics. We have particular interests in space weather, such as Earth’s radiation belts, and space climate, such as solar variability on decadal timescales. Our atmospheric science focuses on the measurement and interpretation of electrical processes, such as the global electric circuit and lightning.

Research Division: Earth Observation and Space

Tropical applications of meteorology (TAMSAT)

Group leaders: Dr Emily Black and Dr Tristan Quaife

The TAMSAT group uses satellite imagery to estimate near real time daily rainfall for all of Africa, at 4km resolution. TAMSAT rainfall estimates support climate services, ranging from seasonal drought insurance to infrastructure planning. In addition, we carry out research on hydrological and agricultural risk, African climate variability, remote sensing methodologies and data assimilation.

Research Divisions: Earth Observation and Space – also NCEO and NCAS

Tropical weather group

Group leader: Dr Steve Woolnough

We focus on advancing our understanding and simulation of tropical phenomena on scales ranging from individual convective cells to large-scale monsoon circulations and atmosphere-ocean coupled modes of variability, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation. Particular foci include the Madden-Julian oscillation, the South and East Asian monsoons, African rainfall and Maritime Continent variability.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space

TURBULENCE

Group leadership: Janet Barlow, Peter Clark, Omduth Coceal, Helen Dacre, Alan Grant, Sue Grimmond, Bob Plant, Miguel Teixeira, Paul Williams

The Turbulence Research Group (previously the Boundary Layer Research Group) studies small-scale flows in the atmosphere and oceans where turbulence is present. Recent research has included urban boundary layers, dispersion, air quality, ocean mixed layer dynamics, cloud-topped boundary layers, convection, orographic drag, and clear air turbulence, using methods such as ground-based remote sensing, large eddy simulation, mesoscale modelling, theoretical development and parametrization. The group meets during academic terms with a variety of informal talks, visitor seminars, paper reviews, and discussions.

For urban boundary layers, please see the Urban Meteorology research group.


Research Divisions: Weather, Climate

Urban Meteorology group

Group leaders: Professor Sue Grimmond, Professor Janet Barlow, Professor Peter Clark, Dr Omduth Coceal

The urban meteorology group undertake measurements and modelling of atmospheric processes in cities. Their research covers the development and evaluation of new parameterizations, the development and application of tools to provide climate services. Their research is concerned with micrometeorological, hydrological, meso-scale, climate, weather, dispersion, air quality, data assimilation and boundary layer processes.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space

Water@Reading

Group leaders: Professor Hannah Cloke (Meteorology and Geography & Environmental Science) and Dr Liz Stephens (Department of Geography & Environmental Science)

Water@Reading is a cross-faculty research group for the science and policy of building resilience to water related hazards across the world. We have particular expertise in hydrometeorology, monitoring and forecasting droughts and floods, water quality, urban hydrology, global scale hydrology, climate impact on water resources, satellite applications, policy and practice for catchment management and future water.

Research Divisions: Weather, Climate, Earth Observation and Space

 

This page updated 28 June 2018

We use Javascript to improve your experience on reading.ac.uk, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top