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Professor Mathew Heal

Dr Mathew Heal

Chair of Atmospheric Chemistry

Room 286

University of Edinburgh
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road

Research Interests

Measurement and modelling of atmospheric trace species concentrations and fluxes. Urban air quality and the impacts on health.

Research Overview

Our 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, and for application to epidemiological and toxicity studies;
  • High-resolution modelling of atmospheric chemistry, with particular focus on ozone and particulate matter, 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;
Environmental analysis and sampling equipment


  1. Carnell, E.J., Vieno, M., Vardoulakis, S., Beck, R., Heaviside, C., Tomlinson, S. J., Dragosits, U., Heal, M.R., Reis, S. (2019) Modelling public health improvements as a result of air pollution control policies in the UK over four decades - 1970 to 2010, Environmental Research Letters 14, 074001. doi.10.1088/1748-9326/ab1542.
  2. Walker, H. L., Heal, M. R., Braban, C. F., Ritchie, S., Conolly, C., Sanocka, A., Dragosits, U. and Twigg, M. M. (2019) Changing supersites: assessing the impact of the southern UK EMEP supersite relocation on measured atmospheric composition, Environmental Research Communications 1, 041001, doi:10.1088/2515-7620/ab1a6f, 2019.
  3. Ots, R., Heal, M. R., Young, D. E., et al.  (2018) Modelling carbonaceous aerosol from residential solid fuel burning with different assumptions for emissions, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18, 4497-4518.
  4. Ramsay, R., Di Marco, C.F., Heal, M.R., et al. (2018) Surface-atmosphere exchange of inorganic water-soluble gases and associated ions in bulk aerosol above agricultural grassland pre- and post-fertilisation, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18, 16953-16978.
  5. Malley, C.S., von Schneidemesser, E., Moller, S., Braban, C.F., Hicks, W.K., Heal, M. R. (2018) Analysis of the distributions of hourly NO2 concentrations contributing to annual average NO2 concentrations across the European monitoring network between 2000 and 2014, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18, 3563-3587.
  6. Lin, C., Masey, N., Wu, H. et al. (2017) Practical field calibration of portable monitors for mobile measurements of multiple air pollutants, Atmosphere 8, 231; doi:10.3390/atmos8120231.
  7. Wu, H., Reis, S., Lin, C., Heal, M.R. (2017) Effect of monitoring network design on land-use regression models for estimating residential NO2 concentration, Atmospheric Environment 149, 24-33.
  8. Lin, C., Feng, X., Heal, M.R. (2016) Temporal persistence of intra-urban spatial contrasts in ambient NO2, O3 and Ox in Edinburgh, UK, Atmospheric Pollution Research 7, 734-741.
  9. Vieno, M., Heal, M.R., Williams, M.L., et al. (2016) The sensitivities of emissions reductions for the mitigation of UK PM2.5, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16, 265-276.
  10. Morrison, E.C., Drewer, J., Heal, M.R. (2016) A comparison of isoprene and monoterpene emission rates from the perennial bioenergy crops short rotation coppice willow and Miscanthus and the annual arable crops wheat and oilseed rape, Global Change Biology: Bioenergy 8, 211-225.