Photo of Dr Michael Cotterell

Dr Michael Cotterell

Associate Research Fellow


Telephone: 01392 723624

Extension: (Streatham) 3624

I am a postdoctoral research associate with experience and interests in aerosol optical properties and physical chemistry, with a focus on instrument design for both laboratory and field-based measurements of light interactions with aerosol particles. My interests are in developing cavity ring-down and photoacoustic spectrometers for measuring aerosol-light interactions, either on an ensemble or single particle basis, using finite element modelling for thermoacoustic simulation and photoacoustic cell design, Mie theory calculations, aerosol refractive index modelling, radiative transfer computations and communicating my research with others.

Working with the Aerosol Observations Based Research Group at the Met Office, my research is focussed on developing photoacoustic and cavity ring-down instruments for quantifying light interaction with atmospheric aerosol particles. These instruments are designed to be operated on the UK BAe-146 research aircraft. In particular, I use finite element modelling to design and optimise aerosol photoacoustic cells for improved sensitivity and accuracy in aerosol absorption coefficient measurements. I am involved in coordinating the CLARIFY 2017 field campaign for studying biomass burning aerosol over the southeast Atlantic, operating from Ascension Island. More information regarding this campaign is available at my website:

My current research interests are in measurements of optical properties of laboratory-generated brown carbon aerosol and how these properties evolve with atmospherically-relevent processing such as photolytic and dark cloud cycling or exposure to ozone. My research is supported through a Royal Society of Chemistry/Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund Tom West award.