Dr Leighton Regayre


I have experience working as a statistician in agriculture and climate sciences, as well as experience teaching secondary school mathematics. I've participated in several large research projects as a postdoctoral researcher including:

  • The Aerosol-Cloud Uncertainty REduction project (A-CURE), 2017 - present
  • Securing Multidisciplinary UndeRstanding and Prediction of Hiatus and Surge events (SMURPHS), 2015 - 2017
  • Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service: Climate Forcings (CAMS 74), 2015 - 2017

I'm an active member of our institute. I'm currently the postdoctoral representative. I've previously been postgraduate student representative and internal seminar organiser.




  • Post-doctoral representative

Research interests

My PhD (2012-2015) research identified the causes of uncertainty in the aerosol-cloud interaction component of the aerosol effective radiative forcing over multiple forcing periods and multiple regions of climatic importance. In my thesis I presented an analsis of the causes of model uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing and for the first time aerosol effective radiative forcing (including rapid atmospheric adjustments). This analysis revealed the important regional, seasonal and anthropogenic emission period differences in the main causes of uncertainty. I analysed the causes of uncertainty in climatically important regions where aerosols are understood to affect dynamical systems on the decadal scale. My research has highlighted the importance of both aerosol and physical atmosphere parameters as causes of uncertainty in aerosol effective radiative forcing. I've also shown that satellite measurements of top-of-the-atmosphere radiative fluxes do provide some constraint on aerosol forcing uncertainty. But, I've also shown that the constraint is limited because accounting for multiple causes of uncertainty means there are many observationally-plausible ways of getting the same result. I'm extremely interested in finding combinations of measurements that provide a strong constraint on aerosol forcing uncertainty. Reducing this important source of model uncertainty will greatly improve confidence in climate projections.

My research highlights the power of using sophisticated statistical tools to interrogate complex models. By understanding and quantifying contributions to variance in aerosol radiative forcing at the global and regional scales, I have identified specific priorities for development in GLOMAP (the GLObal Model of Aerosol Processes) which is the aerosol component of the Met Office climate model. GLOMAP is a world-class aerosol model and has been used to study a wide range of aerosol processes in the atmosphere, including new particle formation, marine aerosol, dust emission and transport, and cloud condensation nuclei. GLOMAP is also being used in the U.K. Hadley Centre Met Office's Earth System model (UK-ESM1) to study the interactions between aerosols, the oceans and the biosphere.

I'm currently conducting research as part of the NERC-funded ACURE project. ACURE aims to reduce the uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing through the most comprehensive ever synthesis of aerosol, cloud and atmospheric radiation measurements combined with innovative ways to analyse global model uncertainty. The overall approach will be to produce a large set of model simulations (a perturbed parameter ensemble, or PPE) that spans the uncertainty in multiple model parameters. Advanced statistical methods will then be used to generate essentially millions of model simulations that enable the full uncertainty of the model to be explored. The spread of these simulations will then be narrowed by comparing the simulated aerosols, clouds and aerosol-cloud relationships against extensive measurements.

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


  • PHD, Research Excellence, Aerosol radiative forcing uncertainty, University of Leeds
  • MSc, Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics, University of Leeds
  • BSc (Hons), University of Queensland
  • QTS, Qualified Teacher Status, Bradford College
  • ULTA-1, University of Leeds Teaching Award - Level 1 (Merit), University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Priestley International Centre for Climate

Student education

I have over a decade of teaching and leadership experience in secondary Mathematics education. At the University of Leeds I have tutored multiple Applied Mathematics and Statistics courses within the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Mathematics. As part of my University of Leeds Teaching Award (ULTA-1) training I developed my ability to create experiences that elicit deep, long-term learning.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols
<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="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>