Research activities

Our main research activities take place in the following subject areas:

Aerosol research

Aerosol particles are important components in the Earth's atmosphere, They have been shown to have an adverse effect on human health in urban environments, they can be effective pathways for deposition of pollutants and exchange of nutrients, they scatter and absorb radiation and so impact the heat balance of the atmosphere, and they can act as sites onto which cloud droplets and ice particles can form, thus affecting precipitation and also the reflective properties of the cloud.

Atmospheric chemistry

Photochemical oxidation of atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has major implications for the urban and regional air quality, acid deposition, and global climate. In particular the research is focused on the study of reaction kinetics of importance in urban/regional pollution. 

Cloud physics

We have an extensive programme of research on clouds, involving laboratory work, field measurements and modelling, with a particular emphasis on mixed-phase clouds.

Mesoscale and Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology

Extratropical cyclones, convective storms, tornadoes, snowstorms, windstorms, heavy precipitation, and fronts are among our research group's interests. We study mesoscale and synoptic meteorology from observational, numerical, and theoretical approaches to gain better understanding of the physical processes responsible for the variety of weather observed in nature and to help improve conceptual models that benefit research science, weather forecasters, and the general public. 


Our focus is on solar radiation, particularly the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, reaching targets at or near the earth's surface, be they cells in the body or molecules in the air.

Remote sensing

The group's work is concerned with composition, transport and dynamics in the atmosphere from the ground to the lower stratosphere. It concerns both measurements and theoretical interpretation, and is based on a range of experimental facilities available at Manchester and elsewhere throughout the world.

Surface exchange

Bio-Meteorology is the study of how natural and man made ecosystems interact with the atmosphere through the exchange of energy, gases and particles on short and long term timescales. These interactions play a critical role in climate change models. The study of Surface Atmosphere Exchange has huge applications in biogeochemistry, ecology, environmental pollution, agricultural and the atmospheric physical and chemical sciences.

Urban pollution

We conduct fieldwork projects investigating air flow and turbulence above and within urban streets, and how these determine the dispersion of airborne pollutants. As well as well-known gaseous pollutants, such as CO2 and NOx, we are especially interested in particles. We use sophisticated instruments to characterise physical and chemical nature of particles present in city air, providing data on what citizens breathe in and what the city emits into the atmosphere.

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