Current vacancies within the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group are listed here. We are always keen to hear from prospective Master’s and PhD students, so please feel free to contact potential supervisors via email (see Staff and Students for details). Keep up to date with new vacancies via our twitter page: @ACRG_Bris.


2021 GW4+ PhD Projects [Deadline: Friday 8th January 2021]


Atmospheric constraints on the UK’s carbon footprint

[Full details here]

Lead Supervisor: Prof. Simon O’Doherty


Through projects such as DARE-UK, we are developing new atmospheric measurements that aim to discriminate between different GHG sources. For example, atmospheric radiocarbon and oxygen measurements will help us understand the contribution of anthropogenic sources to the UK’s carbon dioxide budget, while high-frequency, high-precision observations of methane isotopologues will allow us to determine the relative contribution of sectors such as fossil fuels or agriculture to national methane emissions. In tandem, we are making measurements of natural or deliberately released “tracer” gases, which help to characterise GHG dispersion in the atmosphere. Making and interpreting these measurements requires a wide range of expertise, such as analytical chemistry, terrestrial and oceanic biogeochemistry, atmospheric physics, Bayesian statistics and machine learning. Therefore, this project can accommodate a range of interests in these fields, and we encourage students to contact the supervisory team to discuss options.

Contact Simon O’Doherty for more details.


Atmospheric measurements and modelling to support the Montreal Protocol and international climate agreements

[Full details here]

Lead Supervisor: Dr. Matt Rigby


The Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group (ACRG) is a key member of the international Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE). AGAGE measures over 50 greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances covered by the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols. To infer emissions from the AGAGE data, models of atmospheric chemistry and transport are required (e.g., Figure 1). These inferred emissions are reported to the UK government, and are vital to international decision making on climate. In this project, you will:

a) create new computationally efficient open-source modelling tools to infer global greenhouse gas emissions using observations from remote monitoring sites from AGAGE and other international networks, allowing us to understand how global emissions are changing

b) devise an operational regional emissions estimation framework using the Met Office NAME model and Bayesian methods to “pinpoint” major sources near measurement stations (e.g. Figure 2)

c) develop a cloud-based system for the efficient and open sharing of data, model output and code, thus ensuring transparent and rapid access to results by interested parties

Contact Matt Rigby for more information.


2021 Aerosol PhD Projects [Deadline: 25th January 2021]

Dispersion behaviour and health effects of indoor aerosols

See the CDT website for further details

People in the UK spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, and therefore exposure to indoor pollutants is of very high importance for an individual’s health. Indoor aerosols can come from a variety of sources including outdoor pollutants, cooking, biologically produced aerosols and from reactions of household chemicals. Exposure to pollutant aerosols has been associated with respiratory and cardiac disease, and with cancers of the lung and the brain. This project seeks to understand the sources of these pollutants and, through use of novel chemical tracers and aerosol measurements, will understand aerosol dispersion behaviour indoors.

The project would suit a student with a physical sciences background with a preference for practical experimental work. The main study will require the design and implementation of field studies within controlled properties. A thematic broadening sabbatical within the department of population health sciences in the Bristol medical school, and partner placement at Public Health England will provide the student with a broader understanding of the principles involved in indoor air quality and the motivations behind this work. The student will be well supported within the ACRG in a group where there is interdisciplinary expertise in experimental and modelling work and world class analytical laboratories.

Contact James Matthews for more information.


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