I am a Chartered Meteorologist with many interests in how weather and climate interface with environmental problems.
My main current research activities address science which tackles the major over-lapping security challenges facing the world in food, water and energy.
I am working with Norwich Research Park colleagues at the John Innes Centre (JIC) to better understand the effect of current weather and climate on disease resistance in wheat and on flowering in brassica, to help identify genetic traits which will be needed in the future to respond to anticipated climate change. This work is funded by BBSRC and the Defra Hort-Link programme. These interests have developed through the research agenda of the “Environmental Life Systems Alliance” (ELSA), the JIC-UEA strategic collaboration, expanding my earlier agriculture-related work in which we studied the potential of satellite remote sensing as a possible operational source of real-time soil moisture conditions in the field. A NERC PURE project is supporting my group to collaborate with Maplecroft Ltd during 2013-14 in the development of a risk analytics approach to climate change impacts on global agriculture.
I am a member of the UEA Water Security Research Centre. Together with US and South African partners, we are working on a new 2013-15 Belmont Forum funded project addressing water scarcity and security in Southern Africa, developing tools to assist with water allocation amongst multiple stakeholders.
In the energy and risk fields, my group is also active in natural hazard research, quantifying and diagnosing the causes of and studying the impacts related to recent trends in windspeed in North-west Europe, a topic of interest, but from contrasting perspectives, to both the insurance and wind energy sectors – this work has been funded by the Worshipful Company of Insurers and NERC. Our wind-related research embraces both extreme events and local scale wind systems such as sea breezes. I am a member of the Organising Committee of the 2015 International Conference on Energy Meteorology (ICEM 2015). I also act as a consultant to Horizon Nuclear Power.
Key tools which underpin the work of my research group include numerical weather prediction models (such as WRF, the Unified Model and ensemble prediction systems through TIGGE), the Met Office’s Regional Climate Model (PRECIS) and long-term observational records of surface weather. My group has used WRF and PRECIS to dynamically downscale model output to produce high-resolution climatologies for both current and possible future climate in NW Europe and in SE Asia. The Defra-funded River Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) is also developing into an equally significant research platform which my work is interfacing with.
I teach Meteorology at Undergraduate and Masters levels and supervise many student research projects in pure and applied meteorology. In 2013 Wiley published my text on "Operational Weather Forecasting".
In 2001 I helped launch Weatherquest Ltd, a weather forecasting and analysis consultancy based at UEA. Since then I have acted as Innovations Director at Weatherquest, providing work experience and internship opportunities to UEA students and over £6M of operational consultancy services, much of this in the food, water and energy sectors.