Erin Raif

Erin Raif


About me

I am a first-year PhD student in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol and Ice Nucleation groups in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science. I am jointly funded by the NERC Panorama DTP and the Met Office, who are the CASE partners for my PhD project.

Before studying at Leeds, I did an undergraduate Master’s degree in physics at the University of Manchester, where I became interested in clouds and climate change. My Master’s project was performed with Prof. Paul Connolly, investigating the phase composition of mixed-phase clouds when using different model microphysics. I previously performed a research project with him and Prof. David Schultz studying Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, which sparked my interest in atmospheric physics.

Conference Appearances

  • Student Conference of the Royal Meteorological Society, 2021. Poster (online)Investigating the phase composition of mixed-phase clouds.


  • 2022: SOEE2210 – Atmosphere and Cloud Dynamics. Demonstrating by leading example classes. Module Leader: Professor Douglas Parker.


Research interests

My PhD project focuses on the role that ice nucleating particles (INPs) play in the impact of clouds on the global climate. INPs are small aerosols that allow the formation of ice in clouds at temperatures warmer than -38°C. INPs come from many sources, including desert dust, sea spray and even biological particles, but their sources and global distribution are not yet fully represented in global climate models. Their presence in increased or decreased quantities alters the ability of clouds to reflect and absorb radiation, which in turn alters the strength and even the sign of cloud-climate feedbacks. These cloud feedbacks are one of the largest uncertainties in projections of warming in a future climate.


  • MPhys (Hons.) Physics - University of Manchester

Research groups and institutes

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