Contact Professor Neil Harris

Areas of expertise


A wealth of measurements exists that has been collected in global monitoring networks, during focussed field campaigns and by satellite instruments. Great opportunities exist to exploit these data to understand a range of atmospheric problems. In addition to using commercial instruments, I have developed and constructed instruments capable of running autonomously in order to make observations for months and years at a time. These custom-built instruments are used to make measurements of short-lived halocarbons and hydrocarbons at sites in Malaysia and other locations in the West Pacific (Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand), where there are few measurements, as well as in the UK. The observations are being used to estimate emissions of these compounds. I was awarded the NERC 50th anniversary International Impact Award and the Overall Impact Award for our role in successful development of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Neil was appointed Chair in Atmospheric Informatics in April 2016.

Current activities

  • Chemical composition in the Tropics. Most air entering the stratosphere does so in the Tropics. Measurements from aircraft campaigns are analysed to quantify the vertical uplift in the extremely strong storms in the Pacific 
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases in the United Kingdom. We develop and use analytical techniques using our own measurements to quantify emissions at local scales to pinpoint where emissions are occurring (landfills, towns and cities, agriculture).
  • Emissions of trace gases in South East Asia. Gases emitted from the Tropical forests (isoprene and terpenes) have important impacts on the global atmosphere. We measure their concentrations and emissions and study the impact on air quality.
  • Analysis of satellite measurements of the atmosphere. Combining satellite measurements can now provide long-term records and we work on merging records to estimate past changes and study new ways to observe them.


  • NERC
  • Royal Society
  • European Union


Articles In Journals