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Department of Chemistry

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 by watching our short video above. 

 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.

Selected Presentations

AAMG Presentation 2016

Further information

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


Wireless distributed environmental sensor networks for air pollution measurement-the promise and the current reality
DM Broday, A Arpaci, A Bartonova, N Castell-Balaguer, T Cole-Hunter, FR Dauge, B Fishbain, RL Jones, K Galea, M Jovasevic-Stojanovic, D Kocman, T Martinez-Iñiguez, M Nieuwenhuijsen, J Robinson, V Svecova, P Thai
– Sensors (Switzerland)
Atmospheric chemistry processes: general discussion.
A Archibald, S Arnold, T Bartels-Rausch, S Brown, R Caravan, LJ Carpenter, R Chhantyal-Pun, H Coe, J Dou, J Edebeli, M Evans, B Finlayson-Pitts, C George, J Hamilton, C Heald, D Heard, CN Hewitt, G Isaacman-VanWertz, R Jones, M Kalberer, C Kampf, V-M Kerminen, A Kiendler-Scharr, D Knopf, J Kroll, J Lelieveld, E Marais, M McGillen, A Mellouki, A Petzold, A Ravishankara, A Rickard, Y Rudich, C Taatjes, A Wahner, J Williams, A Zelenyuk
– Faraday Discuss
New tools for atmospheric chemistry: general discussion.
P Alpert, A Archibald, S Arnold, K Ashworth, S Brown, S Campbell, LJ Carpenter, H Coe, J Dou, J Edebeli, B Finlayson-Pitts, A Grantham, J Hamilton, M Hastings, D Heard, G Isaacman-VanWertz, R Jones, M Kalberer, A Kiendler-Scharr, D Knopf, J Kroll, J Lelieveld, A Lewis, E Marais, A Marsh, S Moller, A Petzold, W Porter, A Ravishankara, J Reid, A Rickard, G Rovelli, Y Rudich, C Taatjes, A Vaughan, A Wahner, TJ Wallington, J Williams, P Young, A Zelenyuk
– Faraday Discuss
Validating novel air pollution sensors to improve exposure estimates for epidemiological analyses and citizen science
M Jerrett, D Donaire-Gonzalez, O Popoola, R Jones, RC Cohen, E Almanza, A de Nazelle, I Mead, G Carrasco-Turigas, T Cole-Hunter, M Triguero-Mas, E Seto, M Nieuwenhuijsen
– Environ Res
Airport emissions reductions from reduced thrust takeoff operations
GS Koudis, SJ Hu, A Majumdar, R Jones, MEJ Stettler
– Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Calibrating chemical multisensory devices for real world applications: An in-depth comparison of quantitative machine learning approaches
S De Vito, E Esposito, M Salvato, O Popoola, F Formisano, R Jones, G Di Francia
– Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
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
– The Science of the total environment
Coordinated airborne studies in the tropics (CAST)
SJ Andrews, AC Lewis, J Minaeian, A Vaughan, JR Dorsey, MW Gallagher, M Le Breton, R Newton, CJ Percival, HMA Ricketts, SJB Bauguitte, GJ Nott, A Wellpott, MJ Ashfold, J Flemming, R Butler, PI Palmer, PH Kaye, C Stopford, C Chemel, H Boesch, N Humpage, A Vick, AR MacKenzie, R Hyde, P Angelov, E Meneguz, AJ Manning
– Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Ground and Airborne UK Measurements of Nitryl Chloride: An Investigation of the Role of Cl Atom Oxidation at Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory
TJ Bannan, A Bacak, M Le Breton, M Flynn, B Ouyang, M McLeod, R Jones, TL Malkin, LK Whalley, DE Heard, B Bandy, MAH Khan, DE Shallcross, CJ Percival
– Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Using sensor data and inversion techniques to systematically reduce dispersion model error
DJ Carruthers, AL Stidworthy, D Clarke, KJ Dicks, RL Jones, I Leslie, OAM Popoola, A Billingsley, M Seaton
– HARMO 2017 - 18th International Conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes, Proceedings
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01223 336466

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