Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Mathew Heal

Personal Chair of Atmospheric Chemistry

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Professional Qualifications

Chartered Chemist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, C.Chem, FRSC



2018      Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry

              School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

2013      Reader in Environmental Chemistry

              School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

2002      Senior Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry

      School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

1994      Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry

      School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

1993–4  Post-Doctoral Research Associate

              (Gas-liquid interactions in the atmosphere)

              School of Chemistry, University of Leeds

1992      DPhil University of Oxford, Department of Physical Chemistry

1988      BA (MA 1992) University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences (1st Class)


Professional memberships

UK government Air Quality Expert Group

UK government Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants

NERC Peer Review College


Current Research Interests

Field and laboratory measurements of atmospheric trace species concentrations and fluxes. Urban air quality and the impact on health. 

My research group, in collaboration with many other colleagues, uses a combination of field measurements and modelling to investigate atmospheric composition, surface-atmosphere fluxes, and air pollution, and the impacts of these on the terrestrial environment and on human health. Current areas of research include:

  • Ambient particulate matter (PM) and NO2 measurement validation and inter-comparison, and the measurement and modelling of small-scale spatial and temporal variations in urban air pollution for estimating human exposure;
  • Characterization of airborne PM to determine its sources and atmospheric chemical evolution;
  • High-resolution modelling of atmospheric chemistry, with particular focus on ozone, particulate matter and reactive-N, to understand current and potential future impacts on atmospheric composition and on human health burdens;
  • Measurement of the concentrations and surface fluxes of trace gases from terrestrial systems such as wetlands, forests and bioenergy crops;


My research in a nutshell

My research interests span the measurement of atmospheric trace species and their terrestrial exchange, urban air pollution chemistry and its impact on health, and laboratory studies and modelling of tropospheric processes.



Lectures and tutorials in Data Handling and Statistics, Environmental & Atmospheric Chemistry and Chemical Thermodyanmics.


Administrative Roles

Formerly Chair of School of Chemistry Board of Examiners, Postgraduate Advisor and Degree Programme Organiser for Chemistry with Environmental & Sustainable Chemistry degrees.

Highlighted research outputs

  1. The sensitivities of emissions reductions for the mitigation of UK PM2.5

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Health burdens of surface ozone in the UK for a range of future scenarios

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (154) »

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