School of Earth and Environment

Anja Schmidt Dr Anja Schmidt

Academic Research Fellow

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 36429
Email address:
Room: 10.109

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics, Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science

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I am an Academic Research Fellow in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science since February 2013. I combine expertise in atmospheric science and volcanology to advance the current understanding of volcanic impacts and hazards. In particular, I investigate the impact of volcanism on atmospheric chemistry, climate, air quality, human health, ecosystems and aviation using a wide range of atmospheric models and volcanological datasets. I also apply my atmospheric chemistry and aerosol modelling skills to non-volcanic topics in atmospheric and climate sciences. You can learn more about my research here.

Research interests

Volcanic impacts and hazards

  • aerosol-chemistry-climate interactions, aerosol microphysical processes, plume-rise modelling, Icelandic volcanic eruptions, continuously degassing volcanoes, mass extinctions, ecosystem impacts/soil acidification modelling, air quality and human health impacts.

Health and climate effects of emission controls/geoengineering

  • shipping emissions, human health and climate trade-offs from emissions controls/manipulations.

Palaeo-aerosol-climate interactions

  • aerosol-chemistry-biosphere effects on deep time climates, volcanism and mass extinctions.

My PhD (2007-2011) work addressed the impact of tropospheric volcanic aerosol - whether derived from sporadically erupting or continuously degassing volcanoes, or large-scale Icelandic flood lava events - on global aerosol and the radiative forcing of climate. This was achieved by means of a global aerosol microphysics model (GLOMAP-mode). The work highlighted that explicitly simulating microphysical processes is important for determining the size, the number concentration and the lifetime of climate-relevant particles.

Awards and Prizes

2015 IAVCEI George Walker Award for Volcanology

2012/13 Springer Thesis Publication Prize

2010 3rd prize University of Leeds Postgraduate Researcher of the year competition

2008 1st prize Faculty of Environment Conference Poster Competition


  • Apprenticeship as IT Systems Engineer, 1999-2002 (Siemens AG, Germany).
  • IT Systems Engineer, 2002 (Siemens AG, Leipzig, Germany).
  • Diplom (MSc equivalent) in Geology and Palaeontology, 2002-2007, 1st class, (University of Leipzig).
  • Erasmus exchange student, 2005-06 (University of Leeds).
  • Ph.D, Oct 2007 to Mar 2011 (University of Leeds, “Modelling tropospheric volcanic aerosol: from aerosol microphysical processes to Earth system impacts”).
  • Post-doctoral Researcher, 2011-13 (University of Leeds, “High resolution modelling of the formation of acidic aerosols in the dispersed volcanic plume of Eyjafjallajökull”).
  • Academic Research Fellow, since 2013 (University of Leeds, 5-year tenure-track fellowship “Volcanic impacts: from vent to policy”).