£1.3 million grant for global atmosphere research

Dr Eloise Marais from our School of Physics and Astronomy has secured a European Research Council (ERC) grant of more than £1 million to advance her crucial research into the global upper troposphere.

Dr Marais’ research will focus on the global upper troposphere, 8 to 10 km overhead, which has profound influences on the global atmosphere. Large knowledge gaps in this field lead to errors in climate change estimates and application of Earth observations as constraints on air quality and precursor emissions.

The research, funded by the £1.3 million grant, will focus on the development of a unique global dataset to address these uncertainties. It will be developed using a long record of NASA aircraft observations, space-based instruments that monitor the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and the complex GEOS-Chem chemical transport model.

Professor Paul Monks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering said: “This is a critical part of our atmosphere under sampled and not well understood. This work will give critical insight into climate change as well as the impact of, for example, air transport and pollution in this region. The award Eloise has won is one of the most competitive in Europe and a testament to the impact of the science she conducts.”

The grant provides five years’ funding which will enable the growth of a research group and the development of an independent research portfolio at the University of Leicester. Dr Marais is recruiting PhD students and postdocs to join her research group. Those with an interest in atmospheric composition, analysing large datasets, and solving some of science’s greatest challenges can discover more about the opportunities online at maraisresearchgroup.co.uk