School of Earth and Environment

Ian Brooks Prof Ian Brooks

Professor of Boundary Layer Processes

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 36743/36805 lab
Email address:
Room: 10.103

Affiliation: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science

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ResearchID | Scopus | Google Scholar | Academic CV

Ian obtained a PhD from UMIST where he studied the cloud microphysical processes leading to thunderstorm electrification. He then spent 8 years at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, first as a PDRA and then as associate project scientist, working on various issues in marine boundary layer meteorology: turbulent processes in marine stratocumulus, radar ducting, coastally trapped flows, and entrainment processes.

He moved to Leeds in 2002. His research interests remain in boundary layer processes, in particular turbulent air-sea exchange, entrainment, and Arctic boundary layers. Most of this work is based on in-situ measurements obtained during field campaigns all over the world: from the central Arctic Ocean to the Weddell Sea, and from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea.


  • Ph.D. (UMIST): Laboratory studies of thunderstorm electrification processes
  • B.Sc. (UMIST): Pure and Applied Physics (Hons, 1st class)


  • Member of the American Meteorological Society
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union
  • Member of the Challenger Society for Marine Science

Member of the American Meteorological Society's specialist committee on boundary layers and turbulence (2013-2016)

Research Interests

  • Boundary layer meteorology
  • Air-sea interaction
  • Arctic meteorology and climate processes

Ian's research encompasses a broad range of topics, unified by their links to turbulent exchange processes. One major strand of research is air-sea exchange processes. Using detailed measurements made at sea, his group studies the physical processes controlling the exchange of momentum, heat, moisture, sea-spray aerosol, and trace gases across the air sea interface. They have pioneered the measurement of size-resolved sea-spray aerosol fluxes by eddy covariance, making the first such measurements in the open ocean. A second major research area is that of Arctic boundary layer processes and the processes controlling the formation, evolution, and properties of Arctic stratus clouds, and the coupling of these clouds to the surface.

Active research projects:

  • Aerosol-Cloud Coupling and Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA) - A consortium project to study Arctic boundary-layer cloud and aerosol processes. Joint with the Universities of Manchester, York, East Anglia, the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Met Office.
  • Blowing snow and sea ice surfaces as a source of polar sea salt aerosol (BLOWSEA)
    - A study of sea salt aerosol sources from over Antarctic sea ice. Joint with British Antarctic Survey and University of Cambridge.
  • Arctic Cloud Summer Experiment (ACSE) - a joint project with the University ofStockholm and University of Colorado, Boulder/NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory.
  • High Wind Gas Exchange Study (HiWinGS) - a study of air-sea exchange at very high wind speeds. Joint with the National Oceanography Centre, University College London, and University of Southampton, and in collaboration with the University of Hawaii and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory.

Other recent projects with ongoing data analysis:

  • Waves Aerosol and Gas Exchange Study (WAGES) - joint with the National Oceanography Centre, a study of the influence of waves on air-sea exchange.
  • Arctic Summer Cloud-Ocean Study (ASCOS) Analysis - a follow on from the 2008 ASCOS measurement campaign. A study of boundary layer, cloud, and aerosol processes in the central Arctic Ocean.

Further details of all projects can be found here.

Teaching Interests

Ian currently teaches on the following modules:

SOEE3410 - Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes
SOEE3610 - Oceanography in the Earth System

In April 2018Ian will be teaching on the second Polar Prediction School for graduate students and early career researchers, in Abisko, Sweden.