Research Associate in Greenhouse Gas and Halocarbon Modelling

We are looking to recruit a post-doctoral research associate to examine global trends in ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases relevant to the Montreal Protocol.


Date posted

Jan. 27, 2023 9:15 am

Application deadline

Feb. 8, 2023 5:00 pm


University of Bristol


  • United Kingdom

Job description

The Montreal Protocol is a landmark international environmental agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. Using atmospheric observations, our team, in collaboration with international partners, have shown the remarkable impact of the Protocol on the environment: levels of ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as CFCs have declined substantially over the last two decades. These changes have started the process of ozone layer recovery and have been highly beneficial for climate. However, substantial challenges remain. Our data and analyses have shown the rapid growth of non-ozone depleting replacement compounds, the HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases. More concerning was the recent identification of a likely breach of the Protocol, which led to thousands of tonnes of emissions of banned CFCs (Montzka et al., Nature, 2018; Rigby et al., Nature, 2019).

To better understand the drivers of change and environmental impacts of substances relevant to the Montreal Protocol, NERC has recently funded the £5M UK-wide InHALE project (Investigating HALocarbon impacts on the global Environment), led by the University of Bristol’s Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group (ACRG). This post will form a central component of InHALE. The successful applicant will lead a set of projects that use atmospheric observations and models to quantify global halocarbon trends.

Montzka et al.: An unexpected and persistent increase in global emissions of ozone-depleting CFC-11, Nature, 557, 413–417,, 2018.

Rigby et al.: Increase in CFC-11 emissions from eastern China based on atmospheric observations, Nature, 569, 546–550,, 2019. 

What will you be doing? 

The postholder will work with international ODS and greenhouse gas monitoring networks, particularly AGAGE and NOAA, to interpret global measurement data using atmospheric models. They will have the opportunity to use and develop global models of varying complexity, and further examine regional emissions trends using high-resolution simulations and data. To combine the data and models, and estimate uncertainties, they will apply and develop Bayesian “inverse modelling” techniques.

You will work closely with a team of around 10 researchers in the ACRG studying greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances, with seven institutions across the UK through the InHALE project, and with international colleagues in the AGAGE and NOAA networks. 

You should apply if 

We are seeking an ambitious, self-motivated researcher who holds, or expects to obtain, a PhD in physical sciences, computing, mathematics, or similar fields. A high level of computational expertise is essential. Familiarity with Bayesian methods and or atmospheric science is desirable. Excellent communication and teamworking skills are essential.

The contract will initially be for a 2-year period and can likely be extended, if mutually agreeable. The post is available to start as soon as possible.

Additional information 

For informal enquiries, contact: Prof. Matt Rigby

For more details