Ailish Graham

Ailish Graham


MRes Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds - 2016
Dissertation: 'Characterising the structure of the East Asian Summer Monsoon' as part of the Met Office Climate Science for Partnership China (CSSP) project. Supervised by Dr Cathryn Birch.
Modules: Climate Change: Science and Impacts, Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes, Atmosphere of Planet Earth, Meteorology, Atmospheric Physics

BSc Geological Oceanography, Bangor University - 2014
Dissertation: 'Simulation of the impacts of a partial and complete East Antacrtic Ice Sheet collapse on the drivers of the Indian Summer Monsoon'. Supervised by Dr Mattias Green
Modules: Estuary and Sea Shelf Processes, Earth and Ocean Observation, Tides, Waves and Sampling, Prince Madog Cruise, Ice and Oceans, Coastal Water Processes, Sediment Dynamics, Coastal Sediments Field Study, Marine Sediment Environments and Palaeoceanography.

Royal Meteoroligical Society Student Member - 2016

Simulation and evaluation of regional rural air quality in the UK.

Air quality is a major issue affecting the majority of the global population. Traditionally air quality studies have focussed on urban areas, where pollutant loadings are high and local sources (e.g. traffic) play a significant role in the total burden. This is reflected in the comprehensive network of observations that exist in urban areas; these urban monitoring sites are generally situated to target exceedences of air quality levels, and are deliberately placed in the most polluted locations (e.g. kerbside). Rural areas can also be affected by air pollution, but as they are seen as “clean” areas, they have been the subject of much less research. It is known that rural air pollution is controlled by a complex mix of international, regional and local sources, but as very few rural observations exist air quality models are poorly constrained in this regime. There are also additional sources of air pollution that affect rural areas more than urban ones, for example agricultural emissions play an important role in forming rural PM, but are less regulated than industrial emissions, and are expected to increase in the future. As urban air quality improves, it may be the case that exposure in rural areas becomes increasingly important contributor to overall exposure.

This project will use a combination of the WRF-CHEM atmospheric model and real health data from hospital admissions, GP visits, NHS 111 calls and ambulance call-outs to investigate the role of different emissions sources in controlling rural PM and quantify the health impact to the UK population.

We will use the WRF-Chem model over the UK and North or England domains to simulate the distribution of aerosol and gas phase chemistry. The model will first be evaluated against existing observations from the available council networks. Following this we will run a sensitivity experiment with the model, turning off emissions sectors in order to quantify each sectors contribution to PM2.5 and investigate whether this changes between ambient and high pollution events. Health data will be collected for the same period and the impact of high pollution events on health outcomes will be investigated. 

Research interests

I'm a PhD student in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science and a member of the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols research group


  • MRes, Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds
  • BSc, Geological Oceanography, Bangor University

Research groups and institutes

  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols
  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science