School of Earth and Environment

Ailish Graham Ailish Graham

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 10.127

Affiliation: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science


MRes Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds - 2016

Dissertation: "Characterising the structure of the East Asian Summer Monsoon" as part of the Met Office Climate Science for Partnership China (CSSP) project. Supervised by Dr Cathryn Birch.

Modules: Climate Change: Science and Impacts, Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes, Atmosphere of Planet Earth, Meteorology, Atmospheric Physics.

BSc Geological Oceanography, Bangor University - 2014

Dissertation: "Simulation of the impacts of a partial and complete East Antacrtic Ice Sheet collapse on the drivers of the Indian Summer Monsoon". Supervised by Dr Mattias Green

Modules: Estuary and Sea Shelf Processes, Earth and Ocean Observation, Tides, Waves and Sampling, Prince Madog Cruise, Ice and Oceans, Coastal Water Processes, Sediment Dynamics, Coastal Sediments Field Study, Marine Sediment Environments and Palaeoceanography.


Royal Meteoroligical Society Student Member - 2016

Project details

Project title

Simulation and evaluation of regional rural air quality in the UK.


Dr Jim McQuaid, Dr Kirsty Pringle, and Dr Steve Arnold

Start date

1 February 2017

Project outline

Air quality is a major issue affecting the majority of the global population. Traditionally air quality studies have focussed on urban areas, where pollutant loadings are high and local sources (e.g. traffic) play a significant role in the total burden. This is reflected in the comprehensive network of observations that exist in urban areas; these urban monitoring sites are generally situated to target exceedences of air quality levels, and are deliberately placed in the most polluted locations (e.g. kerbside). Rural areas can also be affected by air pollution, but as they are seen as “clean” areas, they have been the subject of much less research. It is known that rural air pollution is controlled by a complex mix of international, regional and local sources, but as very few rural observations exist air quality models are poorly constrained in this regime. There are also additional sources of air pollution that affect rural areas more than urban ones, for example agricultural emissions play an important role in forming rural PM, but are less regulated than industrial emissions, and are expected to increase in the future. As urban air quality improves, it may be the case that exposure in rural areas becomes increasingly important contributor to overall exposure.

This project will use a combination of the WRF-CHEM atmospheric model and novel in-situ observations of particulate material (PM) to characterise the rural PM loading and investigate the role of different emissions sources in controlling rural PM.

We will use the WRF-Chem model over the UK and North or England domains to simulate the distribution of aerosol and gas phase chemistry. The model will first be evaluated against existing observations from the available council networks. We will run the model with differ aerosol schemes in available (including MOSAIC) to investigate the performance of the different schemes. Biases will be evaluated to look for missing / incorrect processes / emissions sources in the model. Initial investigations will focus on periods of atmospheric stability, where local sources dominate, before other time periods are considered.

In addition to the modelling work, a suite of commercial optical particle counters will be configured for remote deployment. They will provide observational data which is simply not available through the UK network. The project will also evaluate these sensors by colocation with stations on the UK monitoring network as well as laboratory characterisation experiments. These observations will allow us to assess the rural burden and whether emissions inventories being used in atmospheric models are representative of the rural atmosphere.