Head of group
Dann Mitchell (Professor of Climate Science and Met Office Chair in Climate Hazards)
In 2016 I joined the University of Bristol faculty and established the Bristol Climate Dynamics group. Before joining Bristol I undertook 4 years of postdoctoral research in the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics (AOPP), having already completed a PhD in the University of Reading’s Meteorology department.
At Bristol, I hold the Met Office Chair in Climate Hazards, and coordinate the partnership between our two institutes. My research interests are focussed around weather and climate extremes, and how they impact society. I look into the future at climate projections, but also into the past, at climate attribution. My research starts with atmospheric circulation patterns, especially those relating to extreme weather, and ends with impacts. I have a strong focus on climate and health, for instance the health hazards from, heatwaves, flooding, or tropical cyclones. I also like to dabble in the atmospheres of other planets, especially Mars.
Follow me on X @ClimateDann
Rachel James (Associate Professor in Climate Science, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow)
My research focuses on African climate systems. I’m trying to find out more about how climate is changing now, and what further changes we can expect in the coming years and decades. This work is designed to inform climate change policy and planning. Before joining Bristol in 2020, I worked at University of Oxford and University of Cape Town. I’ve recently been awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, and over the next 4-7 years I’ll be working with my team to improve climate information for climate change adaptation, bringing together new climate science analysis with insights from psychology and risk communication. Read more about the SALIENT project here.
Follow me on X @_RachelJames
Peter Watson (Senior Lecturer, NERC Independent Research Fellow)
The main focus of my work is understanding the risks posed to society by extreme climatic events and how these are being affected by climate change. In particular, I work on producing, evaluating and applying physically-based simulations of the atmosphere and climate, with a focus on understanding extreme atmospheric weather systems. One of my partnerships is with climateprediction.net, who use distributed computing to produce very large simulation datasets containing thousands of examples of possible weather systems, facilitating the study of extremes (you can even volunteer your own computer’s time for this, if you would like). Past work of mine has included leading the scientific development of a high-resolution global atmospheric model (by the standards of typical models) to use in that system. Before joining Bristol, I did my PhD and postdoc work at the University of Oxford.
My work also includes improving our climate and weather simulators and post-processing of their output by using machine learning approaches. This is cross-disciplinary work with partners in computer science and industry.
Follow me on X @PeterAGWatson
I am interested in climate variability and change, and their impacts on human health. The goal of my research is to generate scientific evidence to inform climate adaptation and mitigation policies, so that fewer people will be adversely affected by climate change. Since joining the Bristol Climate Dynamics Group in 2017, I have been investigating the impacts of extreme temperatures (e.g. heatwaves) on human mortality. I have recently joined the wider university research institutes as a Research Fellow in Climate Change and Health. I am keen to expand my research to other climate exposures and form new collaborations with researchers from health sciences.
Follow me on X @EuniceLoClimate
My research explores climate services in southern Africa. A key focus of my work is to bridge the gap between climate model data and decision makers. This work will ensure decision makers have access to understandable and accurate climate information that can be used to inform national climate adaptation plans. The research is interdisciplinary, taking theories and methods from geography, risk communication and environmental psychology. Read more about the SALIENT project here.
Before joining Bristol in 2023, I undertook my PhD at the University of Southampton. My thesis explored social capital in Malawi and how it is used to alleviate hunger whilst also considering differences over time and between genders.
I joined the University of Bristol as an undergraduate in 2010, staying on to complete my PhD on past climate and ice sheet dynamics of Antarctica (2015-2019) before researching climate impacts, focussing on the impact of heat extremes in the UK funded by ther UK Climate Resilience Programme.
I joined the Climate Dynamics group in 2023 as a climate researcher on the SALIENT project, where my work focuses on climate data analysis over Southern Africa. I’m interested in inter-disciplinary methods, having led on a Brigstow Institute funded poetry project, and in policy engagement, having worked for a year as an embedded researcher with Climate Northern Ireland.
I joined the group as a PhD student in September 2019. My research focuses on using idealized climate models to understand features of atmospheric dynamics on Earth, Mars, and other planets. My interests include the polar vortices on Mars, the processes that drive their morphology and variability, and how they have evolved throughout Martian history. I am also interested in the connections between jets and the Hadley circulation on Earth-like exoplanets. When I’m not thinking about other planets, you can probably find me out and about on a hill or climbing up a rock somewhere!
GROUP PhD & MScR Students
I am currently studying for a PhD which draws together ideas from the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change Science. Last year I undertook a Master’s by research project where I investigated the future impacts of hurricane rainfall on the Caribbean and found that as extreme hurricane rainfall events will be less likely if global temperatures are stabilised at 1.5°C compared to 2°C above preindustrial levels. I am currently looking at using machine learning to estimate heat-related mortality in countries with sparse data.
I’m a PhD student in Interactive Artificial Intelligence at the University of Bristol. I have spent time in both academia and industry, including degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science and working for many years as a software developer. I joined the group for my PhD as I am interested in applying AI to climate science. I’m currently looking at ways of using machine learning to produce high-resolution precipitation projections more cheaply and ensuring the work benefits producers and consumers of projection datasets.
I joined the Climate Dynamics Group as a PhD student, whilst working at the UK Met Office as a Climate Scientist in the Climate Detection and Attribution team. My main research interests are focussed on climate change extremes, in particular extreme precipitation changes over the UK and the translation of these into Flooding Impacts. I am also interested in changes in weather patterns over the European region and their implications for different weather hazards.
My interests lie in changes to extreme weather and climate in Africa, with my PhD research examining tropical cyclones in the Mozambique Channel. I am keen to investigate their representation in climate models, what changes we could expect to the characteristics of these events in the future and the impacts this could have for southern African communities. My Master’s by Research project focused on a pan-African assessment of mean and extreme temperature, and I remain eager to expand my research in this area. I am excited to engage with the public about climate science and change through my role as a Climate Outreach Ambassador, and have enjoyed working on the development of net-zero policies with local organisations in Bristol. I am passionate about biscoff & bagels, trying to avoid running up hills and live music.
I am a PhD student at the University of Exeter, having graduated from the University of Bristol in 2019 with a MSci in Physics with Astrophysics. Will Seviour and Dann Mitchell co-supervised my masters project (with Zoë Leinhardt) on building a climate model of Titan’s atmosphere, and are now two of my current PhD supervisors. As part of the ArctiCONNECT project, I am using the modelling framework Isca to study the impacts of Arctic amplification on the stratosphere.
I am currently pursuing my PhD, focusing on the impact of maternal heat exposure on preterm birth rates. My research utilises both human data and Diploptera punctata as a model organism. Having obtained a background in Biochemistry (BSc) and Medical Biosciences (MSc), my research interest developed into investigating the effects of the maternal environment on progeny and understanding the mechanisms at play.
I am a Research Project Support Officer within the School of Geographical Sciences working on multiple grants. This is a varied role supporting the Principal Investigators, academic staff and key stakeholders in the management of administrative, contractual and financial matters relating to our research projects. If you have any admin/manager questions let me know!
When I’m not in meetings or working on spreadsheets I’m probably watching horror films, running up a hill in Bristol or eating cake.
Bobby’s research focuses on using generative machine learning models to improve precipitation forecasts over East Africa, particularly with an interest in more accurately forecasting precipitation extremes.
Bobby’s background is in physics and machine learning; He did a PhD in quantum computation, then moved into Data Science and Machine Learning, working in industry on problems such as forecasting and natural language processing. Bobby started in Bristol as an MScR student in 2022, and since then has also done small stints as a postdoc in Bristol and Oxford.
Bobby is now at University of Oxford
Erin’s PhD investigated the uncertainties surrounding future extratropical cyclones under current climate projections, focusing on the North Atlantic Ocean and the British Isles. Erin used climate models to explore the changes in storm tracks, extreme precipitation and the impacts vertical resolution has on extreme event attribution. Additionally, Erin is interested in policy development that aims to adapt to and mitigate the impacts caused by extreme weather conditions. During Erin’s PhD, she completed a three-month placement with the Welsh Government working on coastal adaptation climate change policies. Erin wants to gain more experience and develop a further understanding of the development of evidence-based policies regarding climate change and our environment.
Vikki joined the Climate Dynamics Group in May 2021. Previously she worked for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and prior to that the Met Office Hadley Centre. Vikki researched the emergence of climate extremes in models, focussing on human health related extremes such as temperature and humidity related events.
Follow Vikki on Twitter @ClimateVikki
Vikki is now a climate scientist at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
Hannah joined the University of Bristol in September 2021. Hannah’s current research is focused on combined windstorm and flood risk across Europe, in a present and future climate. Hannah worked at the University of Reading studying the impacts of climate variability and climate change on national-level power systems including Europe, Mexico, India, and multiple regions of Africa. A key outcome of Hannah’s work has been to improve the accessibility of large meteorological datasets to non-specialists within the energy, insurance, and financial sectors. Hannah is passionate about science communication, particularly in engaging the general public in climate science.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @HCBloomfield19
Hannah is now based at Newcastle University.
Richard joined the University of Bristol in January 2020 following two years of postdoctoral research at the University of Lincoln. Richard’s research interests focus on stratospheric variability, stratosphere-troposphere coupling and stratospheric links with extreme weather events. Richard is interested in seasonal forecasting within the European/Atlantic region and factors that may result in predictable shifts of the North Atlantic jet stream.
Mark joined the Climate Dynamics Group for 6 months in 2021 to study polar vortices in exoplanet atmospheres. Previously Mark worked at the University of Chicago, and received my PhD from the University of Oxford. Mark studied the atmospheres of exoplanets, in particular the circulation of novel planetary archetypes such as tidally locked planets. This included the observable features of the planet 55 Cancri e, and the mechanism by which an observable hot-spot shift forms on such planets. Mark is interested in developing predictive theoretical models that can be tested with real observations.
Natalie’s main research interests relate to how global and regional climates respond to changes in forcings over different time scales, and the potential impacts of these changes. Natalie focussed on how extreme heat stress events in different regions may change in the future, and the implications for society. Natalie is interested in climatic changes occurring over much longer timescales in response to orbital and atmospheric carbon dioxide forcing. Natalie also completed a PhD at Bristol.
Will is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, and was a research fellow in the Climate Dynamics Group from 2018-2020.
Will is interested in understanding the large-scale dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans of Earth (and sometimes other planets too) in order to make better predictions of future weather and climate. Will uses a combination of idealised models, comprehensive general circulation models, and observational data. Current particular interests include polar vortex dynamics on Earth and Mars, jet stream and Hadley cell variability, stratospheric ozone depletion, and atmosphere-ocean interactions.
Peter’s PhD with The University of Bristol was around researching impacts of extreme weather events and flooding under different climate change scenarios. Peter’s focus was on flood risk in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers in India and Bangladesh. Peter’s background is in climate modelling, previously working at the University of Oxford and CSIRO in Australia. Peter is interested in impacts modelling – using climate projections to drive hydrological and flood inundation models for flood risk and impacts.
Emma was the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) Project Manager located within the School of Geographical Sciences. The theme of the MOAP is “Weather and Climate Science for Decision Making”. This was a varied role, which involves not only managing the administrative aspects of the collaboration but includes working alongside the MOAP Joint Chair and Research Advisory Panel to identify potential research opportunities between the University and the Met Office and see these through to development.
Emma joined the School of Geographical Sciences in 2006 after completing an undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences at Oxford and Masters in Applied Meteorology at Reading University. After completing her PhD in 2010 on Greenland ice sheet climate – ice – vegetation feedbacks she worked for 8 years as a Research Associate and Senior Research Associate on a number of collaborative European and UK-based research projects focussing on the climate of past warm periods in Earth history.
Dan joined the group as a research assistant in October 2021, having recently finished his undergraduate masters in Physics at Oxford. For his final year project, Dan worked on extreme event attribution using ensembles of seasonal reforecasts, specifically looking at the 2003 heatwave over Europe. At Bristol Dan worked with large ensemble model runs, and extended his masters research towards other extreme weather events.
Sophie completed her undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Bristol undertaking a range of units focusing on climate change and the associated impacts. Sophie’s dissertation involved the analysis of CMIP6 data to assess the future projections of fire activity across Australia as well as evaluating the influence of temperature and precipitation on such events. Sophie’s particular interests include investigating the impacts of climate change, especially in less developed countries where there is evidently an urgent need for action.