Dr Barbara Brooks

Dr Barbara Brooks



Barbara Brooks obtained her PhD from University of Manchester in 1994 and after working as a PDRA in the department of Physics, University of Bath, developing an acoustic sub seabed profiler for the MOD, she joined the Centre of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Sunderland in 1997, again as a PDRA. Working in Mike Smith’s group she developed the TVDMA (Tandem Volatility Differential Mobility Analyser) for the size segregated compositional analysis of atmospheric aerosol.

Mike Smith moved his group form Sunderland to the School of the Environment in 2000 and Barbara continued as a PDRA focusing on ground and aircraft observations of aerosol composition.

In 2002 Barbara joined NCAS as a research scientist with additional responsibilities for a wide range of ground based remote sensing instrumentation. In this role she has travelled extensively all over world and gained unique expertise in the delivery of cutting edge measurements in extreme environments including Africa and the Arctic.

In October 2013 she was appointed as the head of the NCAS’s Atmospheric Measurement Facility (AMF). As Head she has steered the facility through NERC’s Services and Commissioning exercise which has seen AMF commissioned as a NERC facility in the first round.

Along with Prof Stephen Mobbs (NCAS Director) Barbara works on the interagency panel working to minimise the disruption arising from Icelandic volcanic eruptions. The panel includes BGS and both the UK and Icelandic MetOffices. This work has led to the establishment of an Icelandic Atmospheric Observatory: designed by Barbara in collaboration with James Groves (NCAS IT Manager).

As the lead of the NCAS Data project Barbara is leading a team which is developing standardised data products covering all of NCAS Observations portfolio. In parallel data file production and visualisation tools are being developed and repositories established to allow code and supporting documentation to be made available to users. All the data products are compliant to international standards with comprehensive support documentation: the aim is to encourage the wider observational community to follow this example.

She is also closely involved in the leadership and delivery of the NCAS Summer School in Atmospheric Measurement and the NCAS Introduction to Atmospheric Science.



  • Management, operation and development of AMF: a national facility delivered on behalf of NERC
  • Development and delivery of internationally compliant data products across NCAS
  • Part of the interagency panel working to minimise disruption due to Icelandic volcano eruptions

Research interests

Barbara Brooks's research interests remain:

  • Arctic boundary layers,
  • boundary layer dynamics
  • LiDAR as tool for the determination of aerosol micro-physical properties: in particular its application for the monitoring of both re-suspended and primary volcanic ash.
  • development of new and novel atmospheric measurement technology
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  • BSc, Pure and Applied Physics, University of Manchester
  • PhD, Condensed Mater and Materials, University of Manchester

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
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