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Robert Ryan

Robert-Ryan.jpgDr Robert Ryan
Research Fellow
UCL Department of Geography


Twitter: @rsquared_aus




I completed my Masters in physical chemistry and PhD in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

The common thread through my research career to date has been using spectroscopic techniques to improve chemical monitoring techniques. In my masters I studied the use of nano-scale paramagnetic sensing for trace metal detection. In my PhD, I moved from the nanoscale to the kilometre scale, using UV-Visible spectroscopy to measure atmospheric trace gases and aerosols. In my postdoc at UCL, I will move to a still larger scale: using satellite spectroscopic observations and the GEOS-Chem model to study upper tropospheric nitrogen oxides on a global scale.

I have a passion for improving our understanding of the environment, both through developing new measurement and modelling techniques and effective science communication.



PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia, 2016-2020

MSc with Distinction in Physical Chemistry, University of Melbourne, 2014-2015

BSc, majoring in Chemistry, University of Melbourne, 2011-2013

R. G. Ryan et al., Air quality and health impact of 2019-20 Black Summer Megafires and COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, Environmental Pollution, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116498, 2021

R. G. Ryan et al., Comparison of formaldehyde tropospheric columns in Australia and New Zealand using MAX-DOAS, FTIR and TROPOMI, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, doi: 10.5194/amt-13-6501-2020, 2020.

R. G. Ryan et al., Surface ozone exceedances in Melbourne, Australia are shown to be under NOx control, as demonstrated using formaldehyde:NO2 and glyoxal:formaldehyde ratios, Science of the Total Environment, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141460, 2020.

R. G. Ryan et al., Daytime HONO, NO2 and aerosol distributions from MAX-DOAS observations in Melbourne, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, doi:, 2018.

E. A Marais et al., New Observations of Upper Tropospheric NO2 from TROPOMI, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions, doi: 10.5194/amt-2020-399, 2020.

M. Strzelec et al., Atmospheric Trace Metal Deposition near the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Atmosphere, doi: 10.3390/atmos11040390, 2020.

Z. Chen et al., Characterization of aerosols over the Great Barrier Reef: The influence of transported continental sources, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.007, 2019.

Reactive Nitrogen in the Global Upper Troposphere

Current estimates of nitrogen oxide levels in the upper troposphere (8-12 km altitude) are varied and have large uncertainties, and hence, their influence on global climate is poorly understood. In the UpTrop project lead by Assoc. Prof. Eloise Marais, we will use the new high resolution TROPOMI satellite to better constrain the upper tropospheric reactive nitrogen budget, and demonstrate the importance of this on a global scale using the GEOS-Chem chemical-transport model.
Collaborators: NASA, KNMI, Luftblick, INTA, CNRS
Funding: ERC Starting Grant UpTrop to Assoc. Prof. Eloise Marais


Rockets and Air Pollution

With commercialisation of the space launch industry, rocket emissions in the earth’s atmosphere are growing rapidly. In this project, we implement a new inventory of rocket launches and re-entries in GEOS-Chem to investigate the influence of rockets on upper atmospheric chemistry.
Collaborators: University of Leicester Space Research Centre
Funding: ERC Starting Grant UpTrop to Assoc. Prof. Eloise Marais