University of Nottingham Malaysia
Faculty of Science
     
  
 

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Matthew Ashfold

Associate Professor and Head of School (UNM),

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Biography

I joined the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) in 2013, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017, and became Head of the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences in 2020. Since 2022 I have chaired UNM's Environmental Sustainability Committee which is responsible for overseeing related aspects of our Strategic Plan.

Before arriving at UNM I completed my PhD (2008-2012) and a short post-doctoral appointment (2012-2013) at the University of Cambridge. My undergraduate studies were at the University of Leeds (2003-2006) and before starting my PhD research I worked at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (2006-2008).

Teaching Summary

Within our BSc Environmental Science I currently convene, and teach all or much of, the following modules: Tutorials in Environmental Science, Global Environmental Change: Part 1 and Part 2, and… read more

Research Summary

I am interested in various aspects of atmospheric and climate science, often in the context of tropical Asia and Malaysia. My research mainly involves analysis of a combination of modelled and… read more

Selected Publications

Within our BSc Environmental Science I currently convene, and teach all or much of, the following modules: Tutorials in Environmental Science, Global Environmental Change: Part 1 and Part 2, and Environmental Modelling. I also teach parts of Global Environmental Processes and Environmental Data Analysis.

While at UNM I completed the PGCHE and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2022 I received a Lord Dearing Award for my role in enhancing the student learning experience.

I also convene the Nottingham Advantage Award module Climate Action in Malaysia which is open to all undergraduates at UNM. This module involves students in social learning and exposure to Bite-Size Climate Action - fun, flexible, and immersive online content designed to inspire Malaysian youth to act for the climate, which I developed with colleagues at Universiti Malaya. Some background on the importance of this project is explained in an interview with BFM.

Current Research

I am interested in various aspects of atmospheric and climate science, often in the context of tropical Asia and Malaysia. My research mainly involves analysis of a combination of modelled and observational datasets. Priorities include:

Interactions between climate change and air pollution. A grant from the Ministry of Education is supporting research on how climate change might modify the likelihood of meteorological conditions that promote poor air quality in Malaysia. Other current projects focus on options for coherently addressing climate and air pollution problems, including improving understanding of methane emissions in Malaysia (see recent review) and on new approaches to mitigating emissions, of both "haze" pollution and greenhouse gases, from Southeast Asian peatlands.

Transport of atmospheric pollution and impacts on air quality. Several studies have examined the ability of atmospheric models to simulate features of "haze" pollution and the resulting elevated PM2.5 concentrations in Malaysia (e.g. during haze episodes in 2015 and in 2019). A further focus has been pollution originating in East Asia and transported by so-called "cold surges" towards the tropics, resulting in important influences on Southeast Asian air quality and on the stratospheric ozone layer.

Interdisciplinary research on air pollution. Past collaborative studies have explored public views and responses to "haze" episodes and urban air pollution. A recent grant from the Toyota Foundation has supported collaboration and new data collection related to the haze - early results from this project are reported in a policy brief regarding government communications over haze, and in three blog posts focussed on Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Past research conducted during my PhD considered emissions of biogenic trace gases from the oceans in Southeast Asia and their subsequent transport towards the stratosphere where they can influence ozone layer chemistry.

Links to my Google Scholar, Publons and ORCID pages.

Faculty of Science

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Malaysia

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8018

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