Professor Ken Carslaw

Professor Ken Carslaw


Ken Carslaw is a professor in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science and one of the principal investigators in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols research group. Ken did his PhD at the University of East Anglia using thermodynamic models to demonstrate the existence of liquid polar stratospheric cloud particles. In 1994 he joined the Aerosol Microphysics group at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, where he published several influential papers on polar stratospheric clouds. Since 1999 Ken has led a large aerosol, cloud and climate research group at Leeds. From 2005-2008 he was Director of Research in the School of Earth and Environment and then Director of the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science from 2014 to 2017. His group developed the Global Model of Aerosol Processes (GLOMAP) that is now implemented in the Met Office climate model. In 2001, Ken was a cofounding editor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics and remains an Executive Editor.

Ken has received several awards for his research, including the Philip Leverhulme Prize, the Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award, the American Geophysical Union Ascent Award and has been a Thomson Reuters (Clarivate Analytics) Highly Cited Scientist in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Research interests

Ken's research aims to improve our understanding of atmospheric aerosol particles and the effects they have on climate. His publications cover much of this field, including natural aerosols, Arctic aerosols, aerosol formation, dust and biogeochemistry, ice-nucleating particles, radiative forcing, volcanic impacts on climate and health, palaeo-aerosols, air quality, uncertainty quantification, geoengineering, stratospheric aerosols, polar stratospheric clouds and the ozone hole.

His early research led to the discovery of liquid polar stratospheric clouds and the role of large cloud particles in Arctic denitrification. His group was among the first developers of a global model of aerosol microphysics (GLOMAP) which is now part of the UK Earth System Model. His group's research established that new particle formation accounts for around half of climate-relevant aerosol particles in the atmosphere. In the CERN CLOUD experiment his research led to the first global model of new particle formation based entirely on laboratory measurements, a status achieved for gas-phase chemistry over thirty years ago. Ken's group has a wide interest in natural aerosols, showing that they are a major component of the uncertainty in aerosol effects on climate. His group also developed the first global model of ice-nucleating particles based solely on laboratory measurements of their physical properties, leading to an explanation of large biases in radiation in climate models. His research increasingly focuses on reducing model uncertainty by applying novel statistical techniques and extensive observations.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc, Physics, University of Birmingham
  • MSc, Atmospheric Science, University of East Anglia
  • PhD, Atmospheric Science, University of East Anglia

Professional memberships

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Royal Meteorological Society
  • European Geosciences Union
  • Executive Editor, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Student education

Ken teaches undergraduate tutorials, Climate Science and Impacts, Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Climate Processes, Atmospheric Physics and the Atmosphere of Planet Earth.

Research groups and institutes

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

Current postgraduate research students

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>