Priestley International Centre for Climate eBulletin

Delivering research to underpin robust and timely climate solutions

March 2017 Issue 9

First Priestley Centre Chairs announced
Three new high-level appointments are set to consolidate the reputation for world-leading climate research at the University of Leeds and open new routes to policymakers.

The Priestley International Centre for Climate welcomes Dr Jason Lowe, Head of Climate Services at the Met Office Hadley Centre, as the first Priestley Chair. Dr Lowe, who is also Deputy Director of the Hadley Centre, took up his professorial role on a part time basis on 10 March.

Jason Lowe will be joined in August by two full time Priestley Chairs, Dr Lea Berrang Ford and Dr James D Ford, both of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Lea Berrang Ford brings expertise in climate change and health while James Ford specialises in adaptation to climate change and its impact on vulnerable communities.

The three new professorial signings are the first dedicated senior academic leads to be recruited by the Priestley Centre.

Read the full press release here.
Dr Jason Lowe: “I hope to bring my broad experience across climate science, and my systems view. This will allow me to look at a wider range of climate issues and adapt techniques from one area of science to new questions."

This year, Earth Day falls on Saturday 22 April and the theme is Environmental and Climate Literacy. The University of Leeds is a world-leading centre for climate research and has huge potential to contribute to  this worldwide climate literacy programme. 

To that end, we are exploring the possibility of running climate teach-ins – short explanatory talks on climate change at which the audience can also ask questions of climate scientists – on campus and across  Leeds on Friday 21 April (to avoid clashes with the  March for Science, which is happening on Earth Day itself  in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol). The day will finish with a panel debate and we are also looking at how we can contribute virtually. 

A meeting to discuss this proposal will be held on Tuesday 14 March 1.00-2.00pm at the Baines Wing, Miall LT (2.34). Please come and share your ideas and tell us how you would like to get involved - lots of volunteers are needed! A follow up meeting will be held on Thursday 16 March 15.30-16.30 at School of Earth and Environment seminar rooms 8.119 a +b for those unable to make Tuesday’s meeting, and for further planning. 

If you would like to contribute and help organise the climate teach ins, please contact Communications Officer Kate Lock

Piers Sellers Prize for Exceptional PhD Research: nominations open

In 2016, the Priestley International Centre for Climate established two annual prizes in the name of the renowned climate scientist, astronaut and Leeds alumnus, Piers Sellers, to recognise exceptional research that furthers our understanding of climate change and how to address it. These prizes have been funded through generous donations to the Footsteps Fund by alumni and friends of the University of Leeds.

The prize for Exceptional PhD Research is designed to reward and encourage current PhD students from the University of Leeds (includes those who have passed their viva but are yet to attend their graduation ceremony) for undertaking excellent research to better understand and/or address climate change. The award provides £1500 to attend an international conference of their choice.

Nominations for the 2017 PhD prize are now open and can be made by University of Leeds staff and PhD students (self-nominations are accepted). They will be assessed by the judging panel, made up of the Priestley Centre Management Committee on the basis of high quality publications (not limited to peer-reviewed journal publications, and including those accepted but yet to be published), research outputs and / or impact resulting from the nominee’s PhD research.

The winner will be expected to attend the prize-giving in mid-June and deliver a short talk.

Please complete the nomination form and send it to no later than 17:00 Thursday 27th April 2017.

Read more about the prizes and Piers Sellers here.


Forthcoming events
Wednesday 15 March 16.15 -17.30, Clothworkers North G12:   Culture and Climate Change: experiments in engagement and impact. Speakers: Prof Joe Smith (Open University) and Dr Renata Tyszczuk (University of Sheffield)

Monday 20 March 14.00-15.00, Institute for Transport Studies (Room 1.11): Collaboration between public and private organisations as a key dimension of public transport governance - Swedish experiences of collaboration for functioning public transport systems. Speaker: Dr Robert Hrelja, VT1 and K2, Sweden

Wednesday 22 March 16.00-17.15, School of Earth and Environment (seminar room 8.119): How can environmental grassroots initiatives encourage low carbon behaviour?. Speaker: Dr Milena Buchs

Wednesday 22 March 19.00-20.00 (reception from 18.00) School of Earth and Environment (seminar room 8.119): RMetSoc Yorkshire Centre talk -  UK air pollution and the challenges ahead. Speaker: Dr Paul Manktelow (Aracdis)

Wednesday 22 March 19.00-20.00 (reception from 18.00) School of Earth and Environment (seminar room 8.119): RMetSoc Yorkshire Centre talk -  UK air pollution and the challenges ahead. Speaker: Dr Paul Manktelow (Aracdis)


Wednesday 29 March 13.00 - 14.00 Baines Wing (2.10)The Global Sustainable Development Goals challenge.  Speaker: Dr Viktoria Spaiser (UAF, School of Politics and International Studies)

Funding opportunities
ECORD Scholarships 2017
Deadline: 24th March
Application for sponsorship to allow outstanding 10 - 15 PhD students and early-career postdocs to attend one of the three 2017 ECORD Summer Schools including 14th Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology
Met Office Climate Science for Service Partnership (CSSP) China
The Met Office has a number of tenders open to expression of interest under the China CSSP
Improving the treatment of uncertainty in climate services
Generation of high resolution extreme temperature and flooding scenarios for Chinese cities
Development of large-scale indicators relevant to urban impacts
Scoping study for prototype Urban Climate Services in China (CSSP China)
If you would like to register an interest in any of these contracts please contact (as the University has limited logons)
NERC Open Directed Knowledge Exchange (KE) fellowships
Deadline: 27 April
Environmental risks to infrastructure innovation funding call
Max value: £200k             Duration: 3 – 18 months               
Deadline: 3 May (EOI) and 11 July (full proposal)
If you are interested in applying to this call please contact

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