Ashar Aslam

Ashar Aslam


I am a second year PhD student in the Atmospheric and Cloud Dynamics research group in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, funded by the SENSE CDT.

I graduated with an MEarthSci Earth Sciences degree from the University of Oxford in 2021. My Master’s project used an energetics framework to understand and provide reasoning for deep convection biases in the Met Office convective-permitting climate simulation CP4-Africa, relative to its convective-parameterised counterpart R25-Africa, which had a pre-existing bias relative to observations. I began my PhD at Leeds in October 2021 – my thesis is entitled “Severe Weather over Southeast Asia”. My research is centred around the objective of improving our understanding of the multi-scale variability in extreme rainfall over the Maritime Continent (another name for the thousands of islands and shallow seas in Southeast Asia). In this project, I am:

  • Using a combination of satellite, radar and reanalysis data to better understand processes which influence patterns in extreme rainfall across the Maritime Continent.
  • Analysing the interactions between large-scale modes of variability (e.g. the Madden-Julian Oscillation, El Niño Southern Oscillation), the diurnal cycle and synoptic-scale processes using global and regional numerical weather models of varying complexity.
  • Evaluating the representation of finer-scale processes regulating precipitation patterns and development of convection over the Maritime Continent using high-resolution, sub-km model runs.


Research interests

  • Tropical meteorology
  • Atmospheric physics
  • Climate patterns and teleconnections


  • SOEE2710: Data Analysis and Visualisation for Environmental Applications
  • SOEE3700: Practical Weather Forecasting
  • Master’s Dissertation Supervision: Swaminathan Meenakshisundaram (2022)

Conference Presentations

  • Royal Meteorological Society Student & Early Career Scientists Conference 2022 (poster): The Influence of Mid-Level Dry Air Intrusions on Maritime Continent Rainfall
  • LGBTQ+ STEMinar 2022 (poster): Diagnosing the Moist Static Energy Budget of Tropical Depressions in the Mozambique Channel in a Convective-Permitting Climate Simulation

Outreach and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

I have been involved in several outreach and EDI initiatives during my PhD:

  • I seconded from my PhD between January-March 2023 to support the SENSE CDT as their second EDI Champion. In this role, I am supporting initiatives run by SENSE in tackling EDI issues. This includes analysing and assessing current EDI practices, designing new initiatives and evaluating their efficacy for implementation in both the PhD application processes and postgraduate student support services. It also involves the production of showcases, toolkits, webinars, running of well-being activities and mentoring, and dissemination of results through open-source presentations and resources. 
  • I am currently a trustee for Pride in STEM, a charity run by an independent group of LGBTQIA+ scientists and engineers from around the world.
  • I was a module assistant for SatSchool, whic his an outreach programme for KS3 pupils to learn about Earth observation, which was designed and delivered by PhD students from the SENSE CDT. I helped developed resources through Canva and ArcGIS StoryMaps on how we study the atmosphere using Earth observation techniques. I currently act as the External Communications Officer for SatSchool, communicating with schools, outreach organisations, external bodies and ambassador networks in flagging funding and events opportunities. 
  • I volunteered as an outreach assistant for GAIA (Geoscience Access, Inclusion and Attainment). GAIA is a University of Huddersfield-led project which has the aim of widening participation in geoscience undergraduate degrees, as well as understanding some of the barriers to access that are faced by under-represented groups. Work I have done with GAIA includes geoscience outreach and activity sessions in Huddersfield and Sheffield with students and their parents, production of a ‘role model' piece and video for use in future outreach, and the development and running of a workshop entitled ‘How Do We Study Precipitation?' as part of the GAIA Geoscience Spring School for sixth form/college students.
  • For the STEM, LGBTQ+ and You conference in February 2022, I gave a talk entitled ‘From Geology and Confusion, to Meteorology and Inclusion: A Thank You’, exploring experiences of people who identify as LGBTQ+ and work in STEM. The talk delved into the more generalised challenges faced by individuals and the role of intersectionality which may exacerbate or, on the contrary, alleviate the issues presented. It was an opportunity to thank both senior LGBTQ+ academics and those who exercise non-performative allyship in making working environments more comforting for LGBTQ+ early career researchers.


  • MEarthSci Earth Sciences, University of Oxford

Research groups and institutes

  • Atmospheric and Cloud Dynamics
  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science