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School of Geography

Dr Andrew Russell, SFHEA, FRMetS


Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Director of the Environmental Change and Communities Research Centre

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6170
Room Number: Bancroft Building, City Centre 2.01
Twitter: @dr_andy_russell


Dr Russell's expertise covers two closely related topics:

  1. Understanding present day and future climate change risks to human and natural systems; and
  2. The analysis and development of effective policies and responses to manage those climate change risks.

He has recently held a British Academy Innovation Fellowship examining changing flood risk and effective flood risk management strategies and is part of the team leading a 5-year, £2m Wellcome Trust project examining extreme heat and pre-term birth in Zimbabwe.

Immediately before joining QMUL, Dr Russell was a civil servant working on UK climate policy in the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), international climate science in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and international biodiversity evidence in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Prior to his civil service career Dr Russell was a Senior Lecturer at Brunel University London where he led an interdisciplinary research group focussing on climate change impacts and directed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees on environmental science and climate change. Dr Russell is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).



  • GEG6233 Climate Change and Climate Policy


  • GEG4011 Introduction to Research Methods 
  • GEG5230 Climate Change in Practice
  • GEG6228 Future Coasts
  • GEG6231 Fragile Environments
  • GEG6099 Dissertation


Research Interests:

Climate change; climate policy; climate adaptation; flooding; coastal erosion

Dr Russell's research falls into two distinct, but closely related topics:

1. Analysis and modelling of global climate change impacts on physical, natural and human systems.

This topic builds on work that he developed over several years of applying innovative analysis techniques to important global climate issues. Dr Russell has published work on this theme in various contexts: environmental health in Kazakhstan, with a focus on climate change; air quality, climate and health in the UK; the influence of Arctic climate changes on mid-latitude weather; and climate change and agriculture.

2. Climate change resilience and decision making.

Dr Russell's work with the Committee on Climate Change, Defra and BEIS contributed to the development of the evidence base used to inform UK policy on important issues such as flood resilience, responding to coastal erosion, adaptation to international systemic climate risks and protecting biodiversity from climate change impacts.

Dr Russell's aim now is to bring these research strands together in a more holistic fashion and develop analyses that are both scientifically robust and relevant to society, whilst also being of use to decision makers working on climate change risks on different spatio-temporal scales.


Wellcome Trust: Extreme heat and preterm birth in rural Zimbabwe (Co-I; 2023-28)

ESRC LISS DTP CASE Studentship: A line in the sand - towards a new framework for sustainable coastal communities (PI;2023-26) with Policy Connect

Association of Commonwealth Universities: Future Climate Theme Lead for flooding and coastal change (PI; 2023-24)

British Academy Innovation Fellowship: Managing UK flood risk in a changing climate: what is the government trying to achieve with its policies and is there a better approach? (PI; 2022-23)

NCAS Air Quality and Health grant: A low-cost, high-resolution, adaptive air quality network for health analyses (PI; 2016-20)

British Council Institutional Links Newton Fund: A multi-dimensional environment-health risk analysis system for Kazakhstan (PI; 2015-17)

Royal Society Research Grant: Dynamical downscaling using WRF (PI; 2012-13)

NERC Standard Grant: Tropopause folding, stratospheric intrusions and deep convection (Co-I; 2010-14)


A complete list of my publications can be found on Google Scholar.

Recent highlights include:

Peer reviewed publications

Russell A. Sayers, P (2022) Assessing future flood risk and developing integrated flood risk management strategies: A case study from the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. Sustainability, 14, 13945.

Harwood N, Hall R, Di Capua, G, Tucker A, Russell A (2021) “Using Bayesian Networks to investigate the influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude North Atlantic circulation” Journal of Climate 34 2319-2335. 

Vitolo C, Scutari M, Ghalaieny M, Tucker A, Russell A (2018) “Modelling air pollution, climate and health data using Bayesian Networks: a case study of the English regions” Earth and Space Science 5 76-88.

Brown K, DiMauro M, Johns D, Holmes G, Thompson D, Russell A, Style D (2018) “Turning risk assessment and adaptation policy priorities into meaningful interventions and governance processes” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 376 20170303.

Russell A, Ghalaieny M, Gazdiyeva B, Zhumabayeva S, Kurmanbayeva A, Akhmetov K, Mukanov Y, McCann M, Ali M, Tucker A, Vitolo C, Althonayan A (2018) “The environment of Kazakhstan: an examination of current conditions and future needs” International Journal of Environmental Research 12 735-748.

Science and Policy Reports

Committee on Climate Change (2021) “Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report”

Committee on Climate Change (2019) “Progress in preparing for climate change – 2019 report to Parliament”

Committee on Climate Change (2018) “Managing the coast in a changing climate”


Dr Russell currently supervises for three PhD students:

  • Aakash Patel (2023-present) "Towards a new framework for sustainable coastal communities" (ESRC LISS DTP CASE Studentship with Policy Connect)
  • Johanna Rehbein (2023-present) "Air quality monitoring on the London Underground: Developing new understanding of particulate matter variability and supporting mitigation strategies" (NERC London DTP Studentship)
  • Ekuwa Adade (2021-present) “An investigation into the climate change impacts on human health in Ghana” (Ghana Scholarship Secretariat Studentship)

Dr Russell was also first supervisor for two students who have completed their PhDs:

  • Dr Nathanael Harwood (2016-2019) “Using Bayesian networks to investigate arctic change and midlatitude circulation” (NERC London DTP Studentship)
  • Dr Stanley Okom (2013-2018) “Impact of projected precipitation changes on sugar beet yield in the UK”

Dr Russell is very interested in speaking to students looking for PhD opportunities focussing on climate change science, impacts, adaptation and/or policy. We have a useful webpage on PhD Research in the School of Geography so please take a look and get in touch if you would like to discuss anything further.

Public Engagement

Dr Russell is an active STEM Ambassador and the 2013 winner of the Royal Meteorological Society's prize for public engagement. Do get in touch if you have any engagement or media queries.

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