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Professor Glenn Mcgregor

Principal (Research Leave 2023-24)

Principal (Research Leave 2023-24) of Ustinov College47232,47242
Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41870


I am Professor of Climatology in the Department of Geography, Durham University and Principal of Ustinov College, Durham University's sole postgraduate-only college. My qualifications include a BSc and MSc (1st Class) in Geography from the University of Auckland and a PhD in physical geography from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. My research interests in climatology cover synoptic climatology, biometeorology, hydroclimatology and climate and society as expanded on below. Complementing research and teaching activities in climatology are a number of current roles and responsibilities at national and international levels. These include Working Group II lead author for IPCC's upcoming 6th Assessment Report on Climate Change, membership of Public Health England's Health Protection Unit's Research Advisory Board, steering committee member for the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN), review editorships for the journals Weather and Climate Extremes and Anthropocene and editor for the Springer book series Biometeorology. In addition to current IPCC responsibilities, I was a lead author for the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events (SREX) and a contributing author to the IPCC 4th Assessment Report. Previous international leadership roles include the World Meteorological Organisation's Lead Expert for Climate and Health, Chief Editor of the International Journal of Climatology and President of the International Society of Biometeorology. Prior to joining Durham University, I held posts at the University of Auckland (Director of the School of Environment); King's College London (Professor of Physical Geography); University of Birmingham (Reader in Synoptic Climatology); Hong Kong Baptist University (lecturer); the University of Papua New Guinea (lecturer) and the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Japan (Monbusho post-doctoral research fellow).

Research Interests

Research interests fall into four areas namely synoptic climatology, biometeorology, hydroclimatology, and climate and society.

Synoptic Climatology: I am interested in the relationship between atmospheric circulation and surface environmental processes and the extent to which weather patterns, air mass types and modes of climate variability such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation might influence the intra-annual to inter-annual variability of a range of natural phenomena and human activities. This interest manifests most strongly in the fields of Biometeorology and Hydroclimatology.

Biometeorology: Biometeorology is the discipline concerned with understanding the relationship between atmospheric processes (e.g. solar radiation receipt, heating/cooling, precipitation) and living organisms. Within this broad field, I am particularly interested in the impacts of extreme heat and cold events (heat waves and cold waves) on human health (mortality and morbidity) and the extent to which short to medium term weather / climate forecasts can be used in heat and cold event and air pollution risk management.

Hydroclimatology: I define this field as concerned with understanding water resources in a climate context or in other words the impact of climate on the distribution of moisture in the atmosphere and across the earth's surface. Within hydroclimatology my specific interests are the link between climatic variability and river flow and the inter-annual variability and trend of atmospheric water vapour flux (the direction of and rate at which atmospheric moisture moves horizontally within the atmosphere). Both these areas of research interest bare implications for water resource planning in a climate risk management framework.

Climate and Society Interactions: Society is not only influenced by climate variability and change, but through a range of human activities, society can inadvertently alter climate processes. In this context I am interested in how we can manage climate risk through applying knowledge about society's response to climate variability and change and how society 'creates' climate at a range of scales.

Esteem Indicators

  • 2000: Emeritus Editor: International Journal of Climatology. Royal Meteorological Society / John Wiley & Sons:
  • 2000: President International Society of Biometeorology:
  • 2000: Biometeorology Book Series Editor for Springer:
  • 2000: Advisory Committee Australian Research Council Water Sensitive Cities Research Programme:
  • 2000: American Meteorological Society's Board on Environment and Health Member:
  • 2000: Advisory Board Shanghai Bureau of Meteorology Health Meteorology Research Laboratory. 2010 - present:
  • 2000: World Meteorological Organisation Open Panel of Commission for Climatology Experts (OPACE) Member:


Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article