Professor Roy Harrison OBE FRS

Professor Roy Harrison

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Queen Elizabeth II Birmingham Centenary Professor of Environmental Health

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston Campus
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Roy Harrison’s research interests lie in the field of environment and human health. His main specialism is in air pollution, from emissions through atmospheric chemical and physical transformations to exposure and effects on human health. Much of this work is designed to inform the development of policy.


B.Sc. (Class I Honours Chemistry), University of Birmingham (July 1969)

Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry), University of Birmingham (December 1972)

D.Sc. (Environmental Chemistry), University of Birmingham (1989)


Roy Harrison is Queen Elizabeth II Birmingham Centenary Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham, UK, and also Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. His research interests are in air pollution, especially airborne particulate matter.  He has also been heavily engaged at the science/policy interface as a member of several government technical advisory groups for the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in the U.K. including until recently membership of Defra’s Science Advisory Council.  He was a contributor to the World Health Organization Global Air Quality Guidelines and the Guidelines for Quality of Indoor Air. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 New Year Honours List and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017.  He is author of over 500 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and is listed by Web of Science as a Highly Cited Researcher.

Postgraduate supervision

Roy Harrison has carried out pioneering research in: airborne particle concentrations and numbers in the UK; characterisation of emission and impact of ultrafine particulate matter; measurement and modelling of exposure to air toxics and verification by biomarker; high time-resolution chemical fingerprinting of particulate emissions from the steel industry; and the relationship of ultrafine and fine particles in indoor and outdoor respiratory health. Professor Harrison's recent research projects include:

Artificial chemical ageing of ambient atmospheric aerosol
Novel compact after treatment systems for simultaneous reduction of diesel engine NOx, PM, CO and HC emissions
Use of chemical composition and molecular markers to infer the sources of airborne particulate matter
Understanding the fate of traffic-generated particles

Professor Harrison has successfully supervised at least 30 doctoral researchers working in his areas of interest.


Air Pollution;  Atmospheric Science;  Environmental Health;  Environmental Chemistry; Aerosol Science


Recent publications


Bousiotis, D, Pope, F, Beddows, D, Dall’Osto, M, Massling, A, Klenø Nøjgaard, J, Nordstrøm, C, Niemi, JV, Portin, H, Petäjä, T, Perez, N, Alastuey, A, Querol, X, Kouvarakis, G, Mihalopoulos, N, Vratolis, S, Eleftheriadis, K, Wiedensohler, A, Weinhold, K, Merkel, M, Tuch, T & Harrison, R 2021, 'A phenomenology of new particle formation (NPF) at 13 European sites', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 21, no. 15, pp. 11905-11925 .

Shi, Z, Song, C, Liu, B, Lu, G, Xu, J, VU, VT, Elliott, RJR, Li, W, Bloss, W & Harrison, R 2021, 'Abrupt but smaller than expected changes in surface air quality attributable to COVID-19 lockdowns', Science Advances, vol. 7, no. 3, eabd6696.

Xu, J, Srivastava, D, Wu, X, Hou, S, Vu, TV, Liu, D, Sun, Y, Vlachou, A, Moschos, V, Salazar, G, Szidat, S, Prevot, ASH, Fu, P, Harrison, RM & Shi, Z 2021, 'An evaluation of source apportionment of fine OC and PM2.5 by multiple methods: APHH-Beijing campaigns as a case study', Faraday Discussions, vol. 226, pp. 290-313.,

Kamara, AA & Harrison, RM 2021, 'Analysis of the air pollution climate of a central urban roadside supersite: London, Marylebone Road', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 258, 118479.

Wong, MY, Rathod, SD, Marino, R, Li, L, Howarth, RW, Alastuey, A, Alaimo, MG, Barraza, F, Carneiro, MC, Chellam, S, Chen, YC, Cohen, DD, Connelly, D, Dongarra, G, Gómez, D, Hand, J, Harrison, RM, Hopke, PK, Hueglin, C, Kuang, YW, Lambert, F, Liang, J, Losno, R, Maenhaut, W, Milando, C, Monteiro, MIC, Morera-Gómez, Y, Querol, X, Rodríguez, S, Smichowski, P, Varrica, D, Xiao, YH, Xu, Y & Mahowald, NM 2021, 'Anthropogenic perturbations to the atmospheric molybdenum cycle', Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 35, no. 2, e2020GB006787.

Bousiotis, D, Singh, A, Haugen, M, Beddows, DCS, Diez, S, Murphy, KL, Edwards, PM, Boies, A, Harrison, RM & Pope, FD 2021, 'Assessing the sources of particles at an urban background site using both regulatory instruments and low-cost sensors – a comparative study', Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 4139-4155.

Rivas, I, Vicens, L, Basagaña, X, Tobías, A, Katsouyanni, K, Walton, H, Hüglin, C, Alastuey, A, Kulmala, M, Harrison, RM, Pekkanen, J, Querol, X, Sunyer, J & Kelly, FJ 2021, 'Associations between sources of particle number and mortality in four European cities', Environment International, vol. 155, 106662.

Campbell, SJ, Wolfer, K, Utinger, B, Westwood, J, Zhang, Z, Bukowiecki, N, Steimer, SS, Vu, TV, Xu, J, Straw, N, Thomson, S, Elzein, A, Sun, Y, Liu, D, Li, L, Fu, P, Lewis, AC, Harrison, RM, Bloss, WJ, Loh, M, Miller, MR, Shi, Z & Kalberer, M 2021, 'Atmospheric conditions and composition that influence PM2.5 oxidative potential in Beijing, China', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 5549-5573.

Hama, S, Kumar, P, Alam, MS, Rooney, DJ, Bloss, WJ, Shi, Z, Harrison, RM, Crilley, LR, Khare, M & Gupta, SK 2021, 'Chemical source profiles of fine particles for five different sources in Delhi', Chemosphere, vol. 274, 129913.

Song, C, Dall’Osto, M, Lupi, A, Mazzola, M, Traversi, R, Becagli, S, Gilardoni, S, Vratolis, S, Espen Yttri, K, Beddows, D, Schmale, J, Brean, J, Kramawijaya, AG, Harrison, R & Shi, Z 2021, 'Differentiation of coarse-mode anthropogenic, marine and dust particles in the high Arctic islands of Svalbard', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 21, no. 14, pp. 11317–11335.

Vu, TV, Shi, Z & Harrison, RM 2021, 'Estimation of hygroscopic growth properties of source-related sub-micrometre particle types in a mixed urban aerosol', npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, vol. 4, no. 1, 21.

An, Z, Li, X, Shi, Z, Williams, BJ, Harrison, RM & Jiang, J 2021, 'Frontier review on comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography for measuring organic aerosol', Journal of Hazardous Materials Letters, vol. 2, 100013.


Rami Alfarra, M, Bloss, WJ, Chan, C, Chen, Y, Gani, S, Han, Y, Harrison, RM, Khan, MAH, Kim, S, Lee, J, Pfrang, C, Poschl, U, Shi, Z, Styring, P, Van Pinxteren, D, Wallington, TJ & Zhu, T 2021, 'General discussion: sources, sinks and mitigation methods; Evaluation of health impacts', Faraday Discussions, vol. 226, pp. 607-616.

Alam, MS, Bloss, W, Brean, J, Brimblecombe, P, Chan, C, Chen, Y, Coe, H, Fu, P, Gani, S, Hamilton, J, Harrison, R, Jiang, J, Kulmala, M, Lugon, L, McFiggans, G, Mehra, A, Milsom, A, Nelson, B, Pfrang, C, Sartelet, K, Shi, Z, Srivastava, D, Stewart, G, Styring, P, Su, H, Van Pinxteren, D, Velasco, E & Yu, JZ 2021, 'General discussion: Aerosol formation and growth; VOC sources and secondary organic aerosols', Faraday Discussions, vol. 226, pp. 479-501.

Working paper

Shi 时宗波, Z, Xu 徐婧莎, J, Harrison, R, Bloss, W, Allan, J, Barratt, B, Coe, H, Doherty, R, Fu 傅平青, P, Grimmond, S, Guan 关大博, D, Guo 郭新彪, X, Hamilton, J, He 贺克斌, K, Heard, D, Hewitt, N, Jones, R, Kalberer, M, Kelly, F, Lee, J, Lewis, A, Li 李杰, J, Loh, M, Miller, M, Monks, P, Netmitz, E, Palmer, P, Reeves, C, Shao 邵龙义, L, Sun 孙志伟, Z, Tao 陶澍, S, Tong 佟胜睿, S, Whalley, L, Wang 王新明, X, Wild, O, Wu 吴志军, Z, Xie 谢品华, P, Zhang 张强, Q, Zheng 郑玫, M & Zhu 朱彤, T 2021 'Atmospheric pollution and human health in a Chinese megacity (APHH-Beijing) programme: final report' University of Birmingham.

View all publications in research portal


Air pollution; environment and health; toxic chemicals

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air pollution; atmospheric chemistry; effects on health; traffic emissions