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Professor Ted Shepherd appointed to Grantham Chair in Climate Science – University of Reading

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Professor Ted Shepherd appointed to Grantham Chair in Climate Science

Release Date 02 April 2012

Professor Ted Shepherd

The University of Reading is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Ted Shepherd to the Grantham Chair in Climate Science. Professor Shepherd will play a leading role in climate research in the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, the renowned international centre for the study of weather and climate, and in the University's Walker Institute for Climate System Research.

Professor Shepherd, currently based at the University of Toronto, is acknowledged to be one of the leading atmospheric scientists of his generation. His outstanding research record over the past 30 years encompasses atmospheric dynamics, climate dynamics and climate change, and he is particularly known for his research on the stratosphere, the atmosphere above 10 km.

Professor George Marston, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Reading, said: "We are delighted that we have recruited a scientist of Ted Shepherd's calibre to the Grantham Chair in Climate Science. We are already one of the leading international centres for weather and climate research. Professor Shepherd will provide a further boost for our research excellence, and new leadership in climate science at Reading and for the UK."

The Chair is supported through a generous donation by the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The appointment of Professor Shepherd is intended to develop the University's own climate research, as well as enhance the University's research collaborations with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the NERC national centres, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), large parts of which are based at the University of Reading. Professor Shepherd will be working particularly closely with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial, whose Director, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins FRS, also holds a Chair in Meteorology at the University of Reading. 

Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of the Grantham Foundation, said: "I am delighted that Ted Shepherd will be taking up this Chair at Reading. I am confident he will do great climate science at Reading and strengthen the links between Reading and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London. This will help us make a real difference in the response to the threat of climate change due to human activity".

Professor Shepherd has published over 150 papers in his career to date, attracting over 4000 citations. He has been made a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the Royal Society of Canada and the American Geophysical Union. Professor Shepherd has led an interdisciplinary university-Environment Canada collaboration focused on the development and use of a leading chemistry-climate model, which has provided the Canadian modelling contribution to the WMO/UNEP Ozone assessments. Since 2007, he has been co-Chair of the Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC) core project of the World Climate Research Programme.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Shepherd said: "I am tremendously excited about this opportunity at Reading. I spent part of my early research career in the UK and have always admired the UK's deep commitment to research excellence and the fact that UK society looks to scientists for their expertise concerning problems of societal importance.

"Over my career I have seen the Meteorology Department at Reading develop into a world-leading centre, which at the same time retains a strong sense of collegiality. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues there and elsewhere in the UK, in collaboration with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, to tackle key scientific challenges in the area of climate change."

The Department of Meteorology in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Reading plays a leading international role in the study of weather and climate in its own right as well as hosting major international centres, the University's Walker Institute for Climate System Research, and significant groups of scientists from the UK Met Office, including its Hadley Centre.

This appointment is one part of a large current investment in weather, climate and related areas of environmental science at Reading by external funders and the University. In particular, building on this recent funding by the Grantham Foundation and other funding by the UK Met Office and Willis Re, the University is investing in the creation of over 15 new academic posts over the next six months in Climate and Environmental Sciences in the Department of Meteorology and more broadly across the University, with the aim that Reading become the number one academic centre internationally for weather and climate research.

Professor Shepherd takes up his post at the University of Reading on 1 May 2012.


Further information from the University press office on +44(0) 118 378 7391 / 7388

Notes to editors:

An image of Professor Shepherd is available from the University of Reading press office.

The University of Reading is a global University ranked in the top 1% of universities world-wide (THE World University Rankings 2011). The University is ranked in the top 20 for the number of research awards it received from UK research councils for 2010/11. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university's research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.

The Grantham Foundation seeks to raise awareness of urgent environmental issues and supports individuals and organizations working to find solutions. Our grantmaking supports communication and collaboration in environmental protection, with an emphasis on climate change. The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment was founded in 1997 by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham. 

Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award is a scheme for outstanding scientists who would benefit from a five year salary enhancement to help recruit them to or retain them in the UK.  The scheme provides universities with additional support to enable them to recruit or retain respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential to the UK. It provides a salary enhancement which is paid by the university in addition to the basic salary. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine. The scheme is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Royal Society. 

The Walker Institute for Climate System Research at the University of Reading draws together a number of internationally renowned climate system research groups and centres with expertise across a wide range of core disciplines central to climate system science

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