Dr Grant Allen


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Grant's current and active resarch interests include:

  • Drone-based (unmanned aerial vehicle) measurement of atmospheric composition (in situ and remote sensing), specialising in greenhouse gases
  • Environmental (atmospheric) baselining of shale gas areas ahead of potential fracking in the UK with a focus of fugitive emissions of greenhouse gases
  • aircraft and satellite measurements of atmospheric composition (using a range of in situ and remote sensing techniques)
  • pollution transport and modelling (local, urban and regional, e.g. biomass burning sources)
  • methane and other greenhouse gas emissions quantification - at global, national and local scales - processes and inventory validation


After studying for MPhys - Physics with Space Science at Leicester University, I completed a PhD thesis (2005) on satellite remote sensing of peroxyacetyl nitrate from the MIPAS FTIR instrument on Envisat at the Space Research Centre, University of Leicester. In 2005, I began post-doctoral post at the University of Leicester with the Earth Observation Science Group, where I worked on the retrieval of polar stratospheric clouds from IASI and TES satellite data.

In late 2005, I joined the SEAES, University of Manchester, as a post-doctoral researcher on the international ACTIVE project to investigate thunderstorm, monsoon and synoptic-scale dynamics and their impacts on trace gas redistribution and chemistry in the Darwin, Australia region.
In 2008, I joined the VOCALS project as project coordinator, investigating the complex interactions between the Walker circulation, coastal and marine aerosol sources, ocean currents, and Andean topography, to characterise their influence on stratocumulus cloud properties in the South East Pacific - a key region for the Earth's changing radiative budget.

In 2011, I was awarded a NERC Fellowship to develop novel airborne remote sensing techniques for atmospheric composition monitoring with a focus on aircraft measurements around London during the ClearfLo project using the prestigious NERC FAAM aircraft (www.faam.ac.uk). This resulted in the first quantified airborne flux snapshots of greenhouse gases from the London area en masse for the first time (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JD021269/abstract).

Also in 2011, I joined the MAMM project as co-I and aircraft work package manager to investigate potential source strengths of Arctic methane and other greenhouse gases in this important and rapidly changing environment (http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/14/8455/2014/acpd-14-8455-2014.html).
In 2012, I joined the NERC GAUGE thematic programme consortium (with universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Leicester, Leeds, Bristol, CEH, Met Office and others) as Manchester PI and aircraft work package manager. In this project, I will lead FAAM aircraft campaigns in summer 2014 to attempt the first top-down validation of UK national Greenhouse gas inventories.

Current work includes projects with the UK Environment Agency to develop novel drone technology for regulatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from hotspot areas.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of:

Royal Meteorological Society

Member of:

Institute of Physics

European Geophysical Union

American Geophysical Union

NERC Peer Review College


External positions

Research Associate, University of Leicester

1 Apr 200515 Aug 2005

Areas of expertise

  • QC Physics - Atmospheric Physics, Remote Sensing, Spectroscopy

Research Networks and Beacons


  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Greenhouse Gases, Aircraft measurement

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2005 - Doctor of Philosophy, The Infrared Remote Sensing of Peroxyacetyle Nitrate, University of Leicester (2001 - 2005)
  • 2001 - Master of Physics, Physics with Space Science and Technology, University of Leicester (1997 - 2001)

Related information


Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

Activity: MembershipMembership of grants peer review college

Activity: MembershipMembership of professional association

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