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22nd November 2022

Science for Society

Speaker Biographies

Speakers Session Menu
Anchor 1
Speakers: Morning Plenary
Dr Will Lang
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Dr Will Lang

Head of Situational Awareness, Met Office

Will’s background is in operational forecasting. He leads the Met Office’s National Severe Weather Warning Service and the team of Civil Contingencies Advisors which offer severe weather advice to government and to the UK resilience community. He also chairs the WMO Expert Team responsible for international guidelines around impact-based warning services.

Magdalena Alono Balmaseda
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Magdalena Alonso Balmaseda

Head of Earth System Predictability Section, ECMWF, UK

Magdalena A. Balmaseda has been working at ECMWF since 1995. She currently leads the Earth System Predictability Section in the Research Department.

She received her PhD in Physics at the Universidad de Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain. After a post-doctoral  in Oxford University on predictability and variability of El Nino Southern Oscillation, she joined ECMWF as a member of the team in experimental seasonal forecasts. Her work has contributed the consolidation the ocean and sea ice components in the ECWMF seamless prediction systems. She has promoted ocean and coupled reanalyses activities for initialization of coupled forecasts and for understanding of climate signals. Her research interests cover a wide range of areas, including forecasting system design, predictability of weather and climate, probabilistic forecasting, and scale interactions in the climate system. She has developed her career by helping to understand weather and links climate using numerical models and observations. In doing that, she has contributed to build bridges between communities: weather and climate, observationalist and modellers, oceanographic and atmospheric scientist.

Kate Esguerra bio

Tropical Cyclones

Kate Esguerra

Kate Esguerra

Computer Programmer I, University of the Philippines

Kate Ann Esguerra received her master’s degree in Meteorology at the University of the Philippines. She is now currently working as a Computer Programmer at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) and a part-time lecturer at the Visayas State University. Her specialization mostly focused on simulation and verification of numerical weather prediction models and a pioneer user of the Cloud-Resolving Storm Simulator (CReSS) in the Philippines. She was involved in various projects like MECO-TECO: Improvement of Forecast Capability on Weather, Marine Meteorology and Short Range Climate and the Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership for South East Asia (WCSSP-SeAsia).

Sam Hallam bio

Dr Samantha Hallam

Post-Doctoral Researcher, ICARUS, Maynooth University, Ireland

Dr. Samantha Hallam is a post-doctoral researcher working at the Irish Climate Analysis Research Unit, Maynooth University, investigating the impact of ocean circulation variability on atmospheric and climate dynamics as part of the ROADMAP project. Her PhD research looked at the impact of Atlantic Ocean variability on tropical cyclones and the northern hemisphere jet stream. Part of the findings show ocean drivers of recent active Atlantic hurricane seasons are found to take two forms: late winter changes in the ocean circulation related to a reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and late spring/early summer changes in the air-sea heat flux.

Jack Law bio

Jack Law

Masters Student, University of Edinburgh

Jack Law (he/they) is a masters student from the University of Edinburgh. He worked with Prof Gabi Hegerl and Nicolas Freychet on the masters project on “Trends of tropical cyclone-induced extreme precipitation in East Asia” and obtained a first-class honours with the degree. There, the project looks at the changes of extreme precipitation in the last few decades, which show an increase larger than the Clausius-Clapeyron scaling. His research interest is on tropical meteorology and tropical cyclones. He was also awarded a class medal in his third year during his studies as an undergraduate in the University of Edinburgh.

Gui-Ying Yang bio

Dr Gui-Ying Yang

Senior Research Scientist, NCAS Climate, University of Reading

Dr Gui-Ying Yang is a senior Research Fellow in NCAS-Climate at the University of Reading. She has expertise in the theory and analysis of equatorial waves and their connection with a wide-range of fundamental phenomena of the tropical weather and climate, including tropical convection, tropical cyclones, QBO, ENSO and transient features of the Hadley cell. She has developed novel methods for identifying equatorial wave characteristic in observations and applied the methods to GCMs and real-time forecasts. She was Co-I of a NERC Tropical-Wave project, the WCSSP SE Asia Wave project and WESTPACT project, and currently is Co-I of the WCSSP FORSEA-FO-CO. She has published over 30 journal articles, 14 as first author (h-index 19).


Till Kuhlbrodt bio

Till Kuhlbrodt

NCAS Science Theme Leader for Long-term Global Change,NCAS, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading


I'm a climate scientist, an Earth System Modeller and an oceanographer. I work at the University of Reading for NCAS. I'm one of the core developers of UKESM, the UK Earth System model; and I'm the NCAS Science Theme Leader for Long-term Global Change. My main interests are ocean heat uptake in observations and simulations, and the representation of ocean heat uptake processes in models.

Taro Kunimitsu bio

Taro Kunimitsu

Senior Researcher, CICERO Center for International Climate Research

Taro Kunimitsu is a postdoc at the Center for International Climate Research (CICERO) in Norway, and works on Bayesian network analysis of systemic risks from climate change. He received his PhD in physics from the University of Tokyo, where he focused on early universe cosmology. He also has an additional master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. He has experience as a policy practitioner in the Japanese government, where he worked on science policy, energy policy, culture policy, and education policy.

Peter Watson Bio
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Peter Watson

NERC Independent Research Fellow and Proleptic Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol

The main focus of my work is understanding the risks posed to society by extreme climatic events and how these are being affected by climate change. In particular, I work on producing, verifying and applying physically-based simulations of the atmosphere or climate and focus on understanding extreme atmospheric weather systems. One of my partnerships is with, who use distributed computing to produce very large simulation datasets containing thousands of examples of possible weather systems, facilitating the study of extremes (you can even volunteer your own computer's time for this, if you would like). Past work of mine has included leading the scientific development of a high-resolution global atmospheric model (by the standards of typical models) to use in that system. I also aim to improve our climate simulators and post-processing of their output by using machine learning approaches. I collaborate closely with the Climate Dynamics group, and this provides a vibrant environment for students and early career researchers.

My past work has included fundamental large-scale atmospheric dynamics and improving climate model parameterisations, in particular studying the effects of stochastic parameterisation.

I am also very interested in improving the ways that science is done and our working environment - a particular topic of interest at present is finding ways to improve students' and researchers' mental health - see for example this presentation.

Saleem Ali Bio

Saleem Ali

Student, United States Military Academy

Not submitted at time of print.

Air Quality

Dr Shivni bio

Dr Shivani
Assistant Professor, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women, India

Dr. Shivani is an Assistant Professor in Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women, India. She has five years of research experience in air quality monitoring with focus on organic pollutants over the National Capital Region, source apportionment using receptor modeling and air mass trajectory analysis using HYSPLIT Model. She has published 12 high-impact journal papers and presented various research papers in International/National Conference. She has a membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is a recipient of an International Travel grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). She has worked as Visiting Research Student under India Institute Fellowship program at University of Birmingham, United Kingdom for three months in a in a Research project entitled “An Integrated Study of Air Pollutant Sources in the Delhi NCR” and “Megacity Delhi Atmospheric Emission Quantification, Assessment and Impacts (Delhi Flux)” which were a part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MOES) and Natural Environment Research Council of the UK (NERC) Implementation agreement on Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity (APHH). Her research work is focused on identification of major emission sources of ambient air pollution over the National Capital Region, India. The majority of air pollution studies are focused on measurements of concentrations and compositions of atmospheric particulate matter and gaseous species. Presently her research group is working for a more useful insight for the emission reduction which is the actual human health impact of air pollution.

Beatriz Fernandez-Duque Bio

Dr Beatriz Fernández-Duque

Post-doctoral Researcher, Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), Spain

Ph.D. in Physics (2021) from the University of Valladolid (Spain). Her thesis focused on atmospheric physics and more specifically on statistical studies on the evolution of CO2 and CH4 temporal patterns in the upper Spanish plateau. She has been trained at different European universities such as the University of Aveiro (Portugal) in the “Atmospheric Processes and Modeling” group and the University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in the “Regional Climate Modeling” group. Besides, she has been also trained at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (Norway). She is currently a post-doctoral research at the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (Spain) focused on Eddy covariance statistical data treatment. ORCID number: 0000-0002-0083-6559 

Ben Drummond Bio

Dr Benjamin Drummond

Senior Scientist, Met Office, UK

Ben currently works in the Air Quality Impacts team at the Met Office, developing and evaluating next-generation modelling capabilities to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the public air quality forecast. Ben is increasingly interested in the influence of natural aerosol (e.g. wildfire smoke and dust) on air quality and the climate system.

Mark Nichols bio

Mark Nichols

Principal Air Quality Consultant, Hydrock / University of Brighton

Mark Nichols is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Brighton’s Centre of Earth Observation Science, which fosters research excellence across atmosphere, earth and ocean sciences, providing high impact knowledge to safeguard the future of our planet and the life it supports. He is also an environmental professional specialising in the field of Air Quality.

Afernoon Keynote Plenary
Prof Jacqui Hailton Bio
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Prof Jacqui Hamilton

NCAS Science Director, NCAS and University of York

Prof Jacqui Hamilton is the NCAS Science Director and a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York in the Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories. Current research interests include high-resolution mass spectrometry to study sources of atmospheric particles. Her field research has taken her all over the world, including tropical rainforests and Asian megacities. She completed a PhD in 2003 at the University of Leeds. She was awarded the Desty Memorial Award for Innovation in Separation science in 2009 and was the president of the chemistry section of the British association of science in 2018. She is the vice president (and incoming president) of the UK and Ireland Aerosol Society and acts as an associate editor for the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology. 


Dr Adam Levy

Freelance Science Journalist & Creator of ClimateAdam

Dr Adam Levy is a science journalist and climate change communicator. They have a doctorate in atmospheric physics, and created ClimateAdam, an award-winning YouTube channel that makes climate change engaging and accessible. As a science journalist, Adam has produced scientific films, podcasts and writing for a wide range of publications such as Nature, Scientific American and PBS.

Adam Levy Bio



Michael Kendon

Climate Information Scientist, National Climate Information Centre (NCIC), Met Office

Mike Kendon is a climate information scientist at the Met Office National Climate Information Centre. He works on maintaining and developing the UK climate monitoring capability based on observations from the land surface network of weather stations, and in particular the HadUK-Grid dataset. His work involves software development, data analysis and science communication. Mike is the lead author for the Met Office’s annual state of the UK Climate reports.

Michael Kendon Bio
Marina Pacchetti bio

Dr Marina Baldissera Pacchetti

Research Fellow, University of Leeds and Barcelona Supercomputing Centre

Marina is a Research Fellow in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and a Recognized Researcher in the Earth System Services Knowledge Integration Team of the Earth Science Department at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Her research is interdisciplinary and integrates history and philosophy of science, environmental social science and physical climate science to address questions around producing and using scientific high-quality knowledge for climate change adaptation. You can read more about her research and the projects she is involved in at

Joshua Macholl Bio

Joshua Macholl

Deployable Scientist, Met Office

A multidisciplinary Weather/Climate Scientist currently working at the forefront of high-resolution numerical weather prediction model development at the Met Office.

My previous work focused on “bridging the gap” between scientists and users of climate information. Specifically, I researched how scientists can help local authorities prepare for a changing climate through providing the evidence to support the implementation of local adaptation and mitigation policies. I am driven to raise awareness of climate change and communicate this science effectively to non-technical audiences. You can read more about a data visualisation I developed to achieve this here:


Oceans and Teleconnections

Javad Bio

Javad Babagolimatikolaei

PhD Candidate in Atmospheric Science, University of Manchester

'Javad Babagolimatikolaei is a Ph.D. student at the University of Manchester in atmospheric science. In the field of physical oceanography, I have completed my studies in a Master of Science. Several topics interest me, including ocean dynamics, ocean and atmosphere interactions, ocean modeling, and the effects of climate change on ocean phenomena. As part of my thesis, I am currently working on the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Chris Kent Bio

Chris Kent

Senior Scientist, Climate Dynamics, Met Office Hadley Centre

Chris works in the Monthly-to-Decadal Variability and Predictability group undertaking research into global climate dynamics, climate predictions and services. Current activities include investigating the present-day risk and dynamics of extremes and characterising model skill across time scales. In 2022 Chris started a PhD with the University of Exeter assessing bifurcations of climate ensembles prior to extreme events. Chris has a BSc (Hons) in Ocean Science and spent several years working within a private company on satellite-based ocean colour research. He joined the Met Office in 2012 analysing the impacts of climate variability and change with a focus on food security.

Clare Lewis Bio
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Clare Lewis

PhD Student, University of Reading

Clare Lewis is a PhD researcher based at the University of Reading and Plymouth Marine Laboratory where her research is on meteotsunami in the UK. She also has an MSc in coastal zone management from the University of Ulster.  

Currently, Clare lives in the North Cornwall village of Tintagel where she was until recently a local councillor specialising in environmental issues. Before embarking on a PhD, Clare spent many years working for the Field Studies Council and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Whilst with the latter she highlights her favourite part of the job was giving educational talks on Flamingos. 

Remote Sensing

Ollie Lewis Bio
Ollie Lewis

Ollie Lewis

PhD Student, Met Office and University of Exeter

Ollie Lewis first discovered a love for meteorology in junior school, where a visit to the Met Office in Exeter was as exciting as a trip to Disneyland. Since then, he has obtained a BSc degree in Physics at the University of Exeter and is now pursuing his PhD.  He is researching a new method to measure the refractive index of the atmosphere, using aircraft broadcasts, a topic that addresses a significant gap in humidity observations in the lower atmosphere. Ollie will explain the method, emphasising the exciting potential of this new methodology, including the significant implications for weather forecasting.

Vaibhav Tyagi bio

Vaibhav Tyagi

Research Scholar (DAASE), Indian Institute of Technology Indore, MP, India


Vaibhav Tyagi received the M.Sc. degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, India in 2022. During his Master's research thesis, he developed an interest in atmospheric sciences. He is currently working towards the Ph.D. degree in Radar Meteorology with Dr. Saurabh Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy Astrophysics and Space Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, India.

Gibbon Masukwedza bio
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