Dr Charles Chemel

Dr Charles Chemel


A native of France, I am a physicist specialising in atmospheric science. I gained my PhD in 2005 at Joseph Fourier University, France, with a study of the atmospheric boundary layer over complex terrain. On completion of my PhD, I was awarded a fixed-term lectureship at Joseph Fourier University. In 2006 I came to the United Kingdom as a research fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. In 2009 I joined the National Centre of Atmospheric Science (NCAS) as a research scientist, while keeping a research-focused position at the University of Hertfordshire (research fellow, then senior lecturer from 2016 and principal lecturer from 2019). In 2021 I moved to NCAS Headquarters at the University of Leeds as a senior research scientist.

Research interests

One practical goal of my research is to enhance our predictive capability of environmental hazards and associated impacts. The focus of my research is on surface and atmospheric boundary-layer processes and their interactions with larger-scale weather, which lead under certain conditions to environmental hazards (e.g. air pollution and fog/haze/smog). This fundamental research involves theoretical modelling, analysis of detailed numerical model simulations of physical processes, and directed analyses of observations. This work underpins the development of state-of-the-science atmospheric numerical models, which integrate our understanding of the various processes acting on the atmosphere and allow prediction of the past, present and future state of the atmosphere. By its very nature, my research is often collaborative and multidisciplinary, bringing together areas of (atmospheric) physics, and draws upon expertise both nationally and internationally.

Current research projects include:

  • NERC Long-Term Science Multi-Centre (LTSM) programme on Climate change in the Arctic-North Atlantic Region and Impacts on the UK (CANARI). The aim of CANARI is to advance understanding of the impacts on the United Kingdom arising from climate variability and change in the Arctic-North Atlantic region, with a focus on extreme weather and the potential for rapid, disruptive change. My research in CANARI is focused on cold-air outbreaks.
  • NERC Directed programme on the Uncertainty in Climate Sensitivity due to Clouds (CloudSense), specifically the Deep Convective Microphysics Experiment (DCMEX) project component. The aim of DCMEX is to is to ultimately reduce the uncertainty in equilibrium climate sensitivity by improving the representation of microphysical processes in global models. The focus is on cloud microphysical processes involving ice particles in deep convective clouds, which contribute significantly to cloud feedbacks. The project involves an international field campaign that is focused on measurements of cloud microphysics in cumulonimbus clouds that form above a mountain range in central New Mexico. My research in DCMEX is focused on the influence of the synoptic environment on orographic convection.
<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>


  • PGCert (Learning and Teaching in HE), University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom (2012)
  • PhD (Physics), Joseph Fourier University, France (2005)
  • MSc (Physics), Joseph Fourier University, France (2002)
  • BSc (Physics), Blaise Pascal University, France (2000)

Professional memberships

  • UK Higher Education Academy (since 2012, Fellow)
  • American Meteorological Society (since 2003, Full Member)
  • UK Royal Meteorological Society (since 2005, Associate Fellow then elected Fellow)

Student education

My teaching continuously develops through critically reflective approach to learning and teaching. In 2012, I gained a post-graduate certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, and the status of Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. I have taught a range of subjects, from undergraduate level mathematics and physics to postgraduate level specialised courses in atmospheric physics. I was the Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Financial Mathematics at the University of Hertfordshire from 2018 to 2021. In this role I had overall responsibility for the effective operationalisation of the programme and ensuring that academic standards were maintained and an effective student learning experience was provided. I also had overall responsibility for the quality assurance and enhancement of the programme providing advice and guidance to programme staff as appropriate.

I have acted as supervisor for a number of BSc, MSc and PhD student projects over the years.

Current PhD students:

  • Weronika Osmolska, University of Leeds, United Kingdom (starting October 2022)
  • Jacobo Gabeiras Penas, Université Grenoble Alpes, France

Former PhD students and their current employments:

  • Enzo Le Bouëdec, now outside academia (Company Director of Bon Pre Bon Oeil, Plozevet, France)
  • John Tolladay, now Postdoctoral Researcher within the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Julian Quimbayo Duarte, now Postdoctoral Scientist within the Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University, Germany
  • Gabriele Arduini, now Scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
  • Paul Burns, now Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Atmospheric and Cloud Dynamics
<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://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>