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Professor Rod Jones

Portrait of rlj1001

Observational studies of atmospheric structure and photochemistry: from climate change to air pollution and human health

In our group we use a wide range of measurement and modelling techniques to study the chemical composition and physical structure of the earth’s atmosphere.

The atmosphere controls much of the complex environment in which we live. Ozone in the stratosphere protects us from harmful shortwave solar radiation, while changes in CO2 and other greenhouse gases are influencing the world’s changing climate. In the troposphere, chemical processes act to remove many unwanted species, while at the same time contributing to poor air quality, impacting the health of many, and leading to millions of premature deaths, particularly in the developing world. 

Low cost sensors for monitoring urban pollution

We develop low cost air quality sensors which allow us to probe urban pollution in unprecedented detail.  You can find out more in the short video, Bad Air Day

 NO and NO2 levels in Cambridge on one afternoon, illustrating how complex urban air pollution can be.

As part of our research we are demonstrating how these low cost air quality sensor networks can be used to address important scientific and political questions. Studies include low cost sensor network deployments at Heathrow airport, in Beijing and in Delhi. 

Results from a recent sensor network deployment at Heathrow Airport, used to both quantify airport emissions and provide a prediction of the likely impact of an airport expansion.

Air quality and human health 

We use portable air quality sensors to test the linkages between exposure to pollution and health impacts. These units allow us to develop activity models which we can use to predict air pollution dose far more accurately than before.  They are now used for studies of Chronic Obsructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in London, and wider health impacts (Beijing and elsewhere).

A portable air quality sensor used by the group, which includes GPS and accelerometers, with illustration of measurements.

Other projects

Other projects within the group range from using cavity ringdown spectroscopy and its variants for making ultrasensitive (sub-ppt level) airborne and ground based measurements of radical species (using the FAAM aircraft), balloon borne measurements of GHGs, volcanic emissions and many more.

Further information

If you are interested in joining us as a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher, please contact me at  


An evaluation tool kit of air quality micro-sensing units.
B Fishbain, U Lerner, N Castell, T Cole-Hunter, O Popoola, DM Broday, TM Iñiguez, M Nieuwenhuijsen, M Jovasevic-Stojanovic, D Topalovic, RL Jones, KS Galea, Y Etzion, F Kizel, YN Golumbic, A Baram-Tsabari, T Yacobi, D Drahler, JA Robinson, D Kocman, M Horvat, V Svecova, A Arpaci, A Bartonova
– Sci Total Environ
Dynamic neural network architectures for on field stochastic calibration of indicative low cost air quality sensing systems
E Esposito, S De Vito, M Salvato, V Bright, RL Jones, O Popoola
– Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Linking e-health records, patient-reported symptoms and environmental exposure data to characterise and model COPD exacerbations: protocol for the COPE study
E Moore, L Chatzidiakou, RL Jones, L Smeeth, S Beevers, FJ Kelly, J K Quint, B Barratt
– BMJ open
Global Associations between Air Pollutants and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Hospitalizations. A Systematic Review.
E Moore, L Chatzidiakou, M-O Kuku, RL Jones, L Smeeth, S Beevers, FJ Kelly, B Barratt, JK Quint
– Ann Am Thorac Soc
Effects of spatial sensitivity on mass sensing with bulk acoustic mode resonators
AT Zielinski, A Prasad, AA Seshia, M Kalberer, RL Jones
– Sensors and Actuators A: Physical
Studying particulate adsorption by drying droplets on a microfabricated electro-acoustic resonator
A Prasad, AA Seshia, AT Zielinski, M Kalberer, RL Jones
– 2014 European Frequency and Time Forum, EFTF 2014
A nocturnal atmospheric loss of CH<inf>2</inf>I<inf>2</inf> in the remote marine boundary layer
LJ Carpenter, SJ Andrews, RT Lidster, A Saiz-Lopez, M Fernandez-Sanchez, WJ Bloss, B Ouyang, RL Jones
– Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Night-time measurements of HOx during the RONOCO project and analysis of the sources of HO2
HM Walker, D Stone, T Ingham, S Vaughan, M Cain, RL Jones, OJ Kennedy, M McLeod, B Ouyang, J Pyle, S Bauguitte, B Bandy, G Forster, MJ Evans, JF Hamilton, JR Hopkins, JD Lee, AC Lewis, RT Lidster, S Punjabi, WT Morgan, DE Heard
– Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Source attribution of air pollution by spatial scale separation using high spatial density networks of low cost air quality sensors
I Heimann, VB Bright, MW McLeod, MI Mead, OAM Popoola, GB Stewart, RL Jones
– Atmospheric Environment
Integrating modelling and smart sensors for environmental and human health.
S Reis, E Seto, A Northcross, NWT Quinn, M Convertino, RL Jones, HR Maier, U Schlink, S Steinle, M Vieno, MC Wimberly
– Environmental Modelling & Software
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Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336466

Email address