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Professor Glenn McGregor


BSc; MSc; PhD

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Principal of Ustinov College 47232,47242
Professor of Department of Geography321+44 (0) 191 33 41870
Professor of Catchments and Rivers321+44 (0) 191 33 41870
Professor of Hazards and Surface Change321+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

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

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Human impact:
  • Weather & climate:


Chapter in book

  • McGregor, Glenn (2017). Meteorological risk: extreme temperatures. In Science for disaster risk management 2017: knowing better and losing less. Poljanšek, K., Marin Ferrer, M., De Groeve, T. & Clark, I. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. 257-270.
  • Clark, H., Root, T., Andrew, N., Terblanche, J., Chiew, F., Salinger, J., Trevor Chinn, T., Church, J., Capon, S., Howden, M., Crimp, S., Bindi, M., Ferrise, R., Chapman, S.C., Lane, P.A., Cullen, B., Eckard, R.J., Bell, M., Rawnsley, R.P., Christie, K.M., Jones, G.V., Hobday, A., McGregor, G., McMichael, A.J., Schneider, S.H., Boston, J. & Sinclair, J. (2013). Living in a Warmer World. How a Changing Climate Will Affect Our Lives. In Jim Salinger CSIRO PUBLISHING.

Edited book

  • McGregor, G.R., Bessmoulin, P., Ebi, K. & Menne, B. (2015). Heatwaves and Health: Guidance on Warning-System Development. World Meteorological Organisation and World Health Organisation. WMOP.

Journal Article

  • Papadopoulos, A., Paschalidou, A.K., Kassomenos, P. & McGregor, G.R. (2013). Investigating the relationship of meteorological/climatological conditions and wildfires in Greece. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 112(1-2): 113-126.
  • McGregor, Glenn (2017). Hydroclimatology, modes of climatic variability and stream flow, lake and groundwater level variability. Progress in Physical Geography 41(4): 496-512.
  • Ning, L. & McGregor, G. (2017). Linking Inter-annual River Flow River Variability Across New Zealand to the Southern Annular Mode, 1979-2011. Hydrological Processes 31(12): 2261-2276.
  • Wolf, T. & McGregor, G.R. (2013). The development of a heat wave vulnerability index for London, United Kingdom. Weather and Climate Extremes 1: 59-68.
  • McGregor, G.R. (2015). Climatology in support of climate risk management: A progress report. Progress in Physical Geography 39(4): 536-553.
  • Psistaki, Kyriaki, Paschalidou, Anastasia K. & McGregor, Glenn (2020). Weather patterns and all-cause mortality in England, UK. International Journal of Biometeorology 64: 123-136.
  • McGregor, G.R. & Ebi, K. (2018). El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Health: An Overview for Climate and Health Researchers. Atmosphere 9(7): 282.
  • Wilson, D., Hannah, D. & McGregor, G.R. (2013). A large scale hydroclimatological perspective on western European river flow regimes. Hydrology Research 44(5): 1-26.
  • McGregor, G., R. (2019). Climate and Rivers. River Research and Applications 35(8): 1119-1140.
  • Dimitriou, K., McGregor, G.R., Kassomenos, P.A. & Paschalidou, A.K. (2016). Exploring Winter Mortality Variability in Five Regions of England Using Back Trajectory Analysis. Earth Interactions 20(1): 1-27.
  • Newton, B.W, Bonsal, B.R, Edwards, T.W.D, Prowse, T.D & McGregor, G.R (2019). Atmospheric drivers of winter above‐freezing temperatures and associated rainfall in western Canada. International Journal of Climatology 39(15): 5655-5671.
  • Lam, H.C.Y, Haines, A., McGregor, G, Chan, E.Y.Y. & Hajat, S. (2019). Time-Series Study of Associations between Rates of People Affected by Disasters and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Cycle. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(17): 3146.
  • Wolf, T., Chuang, W.-C. & McGregor, G.R. (2015). On the Science-Policy Bridge: Do Spatial Heat Vulnerability Assessment Studies Influence Policy? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12(10): 13321-13349.
  • Li, N., Bellon, G. & McGregor, G. (2017). Tropospheric moisture in the Southwest Pacific as revealed by homogenized radiosonde data: Climatology and decadal trend. International Journal of Climatology 37(3): 1341-1355.
  • Bartzokas, A., Lolis, C.J., Kassomenos, P.A. & McGregor, G.R. (2013). Climatic characteristics of summer human thermal discomfort in Athens and its connection to atmospheric circulation. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science 13(12): 3271-3279.
  • McGregor, G.R. (2012). Special issue: Universal Thermal Comfort Index (UTCI). International Journal of Biometeorology 56(3): 419-419.
  • David, R.E., McGregor, G.R. & Enfield, K.B. (2016). Humidity: A review and primer on atmospheric moisture and human health. Environmental Research 144(Part A): 106-116.
  • Gosling, S.N., McGregor, G.R. & Lowe, J.A. (2012). The benefits of quantifying climate model uncertainty in climate change impacts assessment: An example with heat-related mortality change estimates. Climatic Change 112(2): 217-231.
  • McGregor, G.R. & Vanos, J.K. (2018). Heat: A Primer for Public Health Researchers. Public Health 161: 138-146.
  • Russell, A. & McGregor G.R. (2010). Southern hemisphere atmospheric circulation: impacts on Antarctic climate and reconstructions from Antarctic ice core data. Climatic Change 99(1-2): 155-192.
  • Paschalidou, A.K., Kassomenos, P.A. & McGregor, G.R. (2017). Analysis of the synoptic winter mortality climatology in five regions of England: Searching for evidence of weather signals. Science of the Total Environment 598: 432-444.
  • Wolf, T., McGregor, G.R. & Analitis, A. (2014). Performance assessment of a heat vulnerability index for greater London, United Kingdom. Weather, Climate, and Society 6(1): 32-46.
  • McGregor, G.R. (2012). Human Biometeorology. Progress in Physical Geography 36(1): 93-109.
  • Papadopoulos, A., Paschalidou, A. K., Kassomenos, P. & McGregor, G.R. (2014). On the association between synoptic circulation and wildfires in the Eastern Mediterranean. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 115(3-4): 483-501.
  • Kingston, D.G., Hannah, D.M., Lawler, D.M. & McGregor, G.R. (2011). Regional classification, variability, and trends of northern North Atlantic river flow. Hydrological Processes 25(7): 1021-1033.