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Photo of Dr Oliver Allanson

Dr Oliver Allanson

Senior Research Fellow / NERC Independent Research Fellow


I am a Physicist/Mathematician: Space plasma / Space weather physicist and a member of


I am also the current chair of MIST Council ( 

MIST is the community of Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial researchers working in the United Kingdom. We represent the interests of MIST scientists and hold meetings to showcase MIST science twice a year.


PhD projects for September 2022 entry -- if interested please get in touch (!


  • NERC Fellowship: The Importance of Nonlinear Physics in Radiation Belt Modelling
    The magnetic field and plasma surrounding the Earth are together known as a magnetosphere. The Earth's magnetosphere plays host to many highly energetic dynamics, ultimately driven by the solar wind. Electromagnetic waves propagate throughout the magnetosphere and can then go on to interact with charged particles within the plasma and change their velocity. These particles can be accelerated close to the speed of light via so-called 'resonant interactions'. The regions of the Earth's magnetosphere containing these energetic particles are known as the radiation belts.

    Satellite technologies underpin much of our modern society: navigation, communication, defense and Earth observation. Hundreds of operational satellites orbit the Earth and must traverse the hazardous radiation environment in the radiation belts. Highly energetic particles pose many operational and financial risks to orbiting spacecraft, including total loss. These risks, and other associated ground-based effects, have led to the inclusion of Space Weather in the UK Cabinet Office National Risk Register of Civil Emergences.

    Recent satellite observations have revealed that electromagnetic waves can have significantly higher amplitudes (i.e. carry more energy) than previously thought. This also means that they can energise plasma particles to higer energies much more rapidly than previously thought. Numerous Space Weather forecasting models exist around the world, but none of them include these effects. The British Antarctic Survey hosts one world leading model, which is to be licenced to the UK Met Office. The ultimate objective of this Fellowship is to improve forecasting accuracy of this operational model by understanding and including the effects high amplitude waves have on particle dynamics. This is crucial as society becomes more and more dependent on satellite technologies.


  • University of Exeter, Penryn/Cornwall Campus, England
    Senior Research Fellow/NERC Independent Research Fellow, 07/2021 - present
  • Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Senior Res. Assoc. -> Res. Fellow,  09/2020 - 07/2021
  • University of Reading, Reading, England
    PDRA & undergraduate Tutor, 06/2017 - 08/2020
  • University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
    PhD in Applied Mathematics & undergraduate Tutor, 10/2013 - 08/2017
  • University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
    Master of Advanced Study in App. Math. & Th. Physics (“Part III"), 10/2012 – 06/2013
  • University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
    Master of Physics in Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, 09/2008 – 06/2012