After getting a D. Phil. at AOPP (part of the department of Physics) at the University of Oxford I was a US National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the NASA Ames Research Centre in California, studying the atmosphere and climate of Mars, and contributing to planning for space missions.  At that time I also worked on constructing theoretical and computer-based models to predict the properties of the climates of exoplanets- these are planets orbiting stars other than the Sun.  I also spent a year as a scientist at the SETI institute (doing more research on planetary climates - not hunting for aliens).  I then moved earthwards to the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, where I worked on physical models of climate and climate change.  After some time as a research scientist at the Met Office, I returned to Reading as a senior scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, before coming to UEA.

Academic Background

My undergraduate background was in astrophysics, but I've gradually moved my focus to planetary science and then onto the theory and modelling of the Earth's atmosphere and climate.  I do still retain some interest in planetary science.

As well as the publications tab above, more details on my research publications are available on my google scholar and researcherid webpages

The activities tab has more details on research-related outreach and publicity

PhD Positions

Click here for other current PhD opportunities in Environmental Sciences or feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Key Research Interests

My research is about understanding the Earth's climate, as well as the dynamical and physical processes underpinning climate change, especially:

  • The response of climate to radiative drivers- processes that change the Earth's climatic energy balance

  • The warming contrast between land and ocean under climate change

  • Stratospheric processes and climate

  • Earth system/biogeochemical processes and the physical climate

I accomplish this using a combination of numerical (computer) models of varying complexity and simpler theories. More recently I've been working on the human impacts of climate change, and the study of palaeoclimates. A huge range of disciplines are studied at Environmental sciences at UEA, making for an extremely stimulating research environment.

My research also includes understanding the climates of extrasolar planets and the implications for habitability- this is part of a field known as astrobiology

Research Group Membership

I'm part of the Climatic Research Unit and the new Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

I collaborate with many scientists across environmental sciences and mathematics: some of the people who I work with are- Dave Stevens (oceanography), Adrian Matthews (meteorology/oceanography), Naomi Vaughan (climate), Rob Hall (shelf seas oceanography), and Tim Osborn (climate)

PhD students that I co-supervise:


Teaching Interests

I currently teach on these modules:

  • Climate Systems ENV-6025B (module convenor)

  • Climate Change: Physical Science Basis ENV-MA51 (lecturer)

  • Global Environmental Challenges ENV-4001A (lecturer)

  • Earth And Life ENV-6010B (lecturer)

  • Meteorology II and fieldcourse ENVK5010B (fieldcourse lecturer)

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

Sometimes the media has become interested in research that I've been involved in; here are examples:

I've given public talks on climate change from time to time. I also contributed to the UEA 50th anniversary festival by leading a conversation cafe type event on the science of climate change.

Key Responsibilities

  • Senior advisor