Claire Ryder : Dr Claire Ryder : UoR, Dept Of Meteorology

Dr Claire Ryder

Associate Professor in Mineral Dust Processes

Associate Professor of Mineral Dust Processes at University of Reading's Department of Meteorology

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA)


Claire Ryder

My research is driven by understanding how desert dust impacts weather and climate, and in turn how weather and climate impacts dust emission and transport. I use observations (research aircraft, ground-based and remote sensing) and models to address these questions, aiming to improve our understanding of dust processes in the atmosphere and their representation in weather and climate models. I have been led field campaigns involving airborne measurements of dust in the West African region and beyond.

I am interested in properties of mineral dust and other aerosols which determine how they interact with the atmosphere and climate system, such as size distribution, composition and particle shape. I use in-situ observations such as aircraft measurements, as well as satellite retrievals and NWP and climate model approaches. I am also interested in biomass burning aerosol (smoke) from fires and other types of aerosols and their impacts, including the impacts of dust on aircraft engines and solar energy generation, as well as volcanic ash, which shares many properties of mineral dust. See my Research page for more information on past and current projects.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in collaborating, visiting, research positions or you are an undergraduate or MSc student interested in a research project.

Find me on: Publons | Research Gate | Twitter:

My Brief Univeresity Research Webpage

I am part of two broader, departmental research groups: the Atmospheric Composition, Radiation and Climate Research Group and the Met Aviation Research Group.

Why do we care?

Aerosols, small particles in the atmosphere, such as dust, soot or pollution, can be found all over the world in varying amounts. One effect these particles have is to reflect sunlight back out to space. This can heat up the atmosphere, and cool or warm the surface of the planet, depending on the properties of the particles. Thus aerosols can have an impact on weather and climate. Small particles in the air also affect our air quality and health. Understanding and predicting these processes is not always straightforward or well understood. My research aims to improve our understanding and ability to model and predict these particles.

Have a look at some articles I've written for the department about aerosols in recent years.

Research Group

Previous Group Members

  • Max McDonald, Summer 2023 Research Experience Placement student with the SCENARIO DTP: Impacts of diurnal heating on size distribution of dust in the SAL
  • Jon Elsey, PDRA: MAPP project (Metrology for Aerosol OPtical Properties)
  • Alcide Zhao, PDRA on the DAHLIA project (dust-climate interactions in East Asia)
  • Dhirendra Kumar, PDRA on the DAHLIA project (dust-climate interactions in East Asia)
  • Liang Guo, PDRA on the DAHLIA project (dust-climate interactions in East Asia)
  • Clement Bezier, Student internship from Tolouse partnered with Rolls Royce and ECMWF examining dust ingestion by aircraft engines at worldwide airports

Current and Recent Projects

  • Dust-DN: a MSCA interdisciplinary doctoral network on dust
  • AMCCA: Airborne Measurements of Charged Cloud and Aerosol. FAAM Research Runway project
  • DAZSAL: Diurnal vAriation of the vertically resolved siZe distribution in the Saharan Air Layer project, ATMO-ACCESS TNA funding, in partnership with the ASKOS project
  • DAHLIA: Dust-AtmospHere-Land Interactions in East Asia (Newton Fund)
  • MAPP: Metrology for Aerosol Optical Properties (EU Horizon 2020)
  • NERC Independent Research Fellowship: The Role of Coarse Mineral Dust Particles in the Climate System