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 (July 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 past 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 600 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and is listed by Web of Science as a Highly Cited Researcher.

Postgraduate supervision

Research Students since 2015

Adams Alpha Kamara - In-depth multi-component study of air quality processes

Dewi Komalasari - Influence of Urban Green Space upon Air Pollutant Concentrations

Brian Stacey - Characterisation of air quality at a UK airport

James Brean - Source apportionment, spatial mapping and exposure assessment for ultrafine (nano) particles in the  atmosphere of Beijing. The influence of urban green space upon air pollutant concentrations

Dimitris Bousiotis - Properties of Particulate Air Pollutants

Ruixin Xu - Behaviour of Nanoparticles Emitted by Road Traffic

Van Tuan Vu - Human Exposure to Aerosol Contaminants in Modern Microenvironments

Eunhwa Jang - Source apportionment and reactivity of PAH

Zhe Tian - Source apportionment of airborne particulate matter associated with haze in megacities in China

Paul Sanderson - Ambient characterisation of nanoparticle exposures

Adobi Okam - Personal and indoor exposure to nanoparticles and its relationship with biological markers

Lami Karimatu Abdullahi - Measurement and modelling of exposure to air toxics and verification by biomarker

Adewale Taiwo - Source apportionment of air pollution

Jon Dredge - Aerosol contributions to speleothem chemistry

Ian Keyte - Sources and properties of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the UK atmosphere


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

Professor Harrison has been involved in a number of research projects (PDF 85KB)

Other activities

Keynote/Invited Papers (National)

2019:  Presentation, “Airborne Particulate Matter”, Air Quality, Past, Present and Future, Royal Society Discussion Meeting, 11-12 November 2019.  

2019:  Invited Speaker, “Air Pollution, Sources, Properties and Public Health Implications”, Lunar Society Meeting, October 2019. 

2019:  Invited Speaker, “Non-exhaust emissions of PM from road traffic”, Routes to Clean Air Conference, London, 16th-17th September 2019. 

2019:  Oral Presentation, “Measurement and Modelling of Physico-Chemical Properties and Atmospheric Behaviour of Automotive Diesel Particles”, Atmospheric Science Conference 2019: Weather, Climate and Air Quality, Birmingham, UK, 2nd-3rd July 2019. 

2019:  Invited Speaker, “Non-Exhaust Particles from Road Traffic”, City Atmospheric Pollution Meeting, Institute of Physics, London, 5th June 2019. 

2019:  Invited Speaker, “Evaluation of the efficacy of motor vehicle emission controls through atmospheric measurements”, 5th SIG Meeting in Particulate Matter Filtration in Automotive and Marine Applications, 25th February 2019, Birmingham. 

2018:  Invited Speaker, “Diesel Exhaust Aerosol: Atmospheric Processing from Tailpipe to Lungs”, Annual Aerosol Science Conference, The Aerosol Society, Birmingham, 8th November 2018. 

2018:  Invited Speaker, “Field Measurements and Data Analysis Approaches to Estimating Non-Exhaust Emissions from Road Traffic”, APRIL meeting of the Transport Group on Non-Exhaust Emissions, London, 30th October 2018. 

2018:  Guest Speaker, “Source Apportionment of Airborne Particulate Matter by receptor Modelling”, Defra Group Science and Analysis Conference Science for a Changing Future, London, 20th March 2018. 

2017:  Oral Presentation, “Measurement of Airborne Particulate Matter in the Vicinity of Heathrow Airport”, AAMG Conference, Monitoring Ambient Air 2017, The Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 13-14th December 2017. 

2017:  Invited Speaker, “Sources and trends in PM2.5, the good news and the bad”, Routes to Clean Air Conference, Birmingham, 24-25 October 2017. 

Keynote/Invited Papers (International)

2020:  Keynote Speaker, “Urban Air Quality: Current Threats and Opportunities”, 1st International Conference on Applications of Air Quality in Science and Engineering (ICAAQSE), Kuwait, 10-12 February 2020.  

2019:  Oral Presentation “Evaluation and the Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures on General Air Quality and Road Traffic Pollution in Beijing”; “Measurement and Modelling of Physico-Chemical Properties and Atmospheric Behaviour of Automotive Diesel Particles” and “Health Effects of Airborne Particulate Matter”, 15th International Conference on Atmospheric Sciences and Applications to Air Quality, ASAAQ15, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28-30 October 2019. 

2019:  Keynote Speaker, “Global Trends, Sources and Speciation of Carbonaceous Particulate Matter”, Particulate Matter-Black Carbon-Climate Change Meeting, Istanbul, Turkey, 16-17 May 2019. 

2019:  Keynote Speaker, “??”, Environmental Analysis India Meeting, 25-26 April 2019, New Delhi, India.  

2018:  Keynote Speaker, “Behaviour of atmospheric aerosol in the coastal zone”, SOLAS-IGAC Workshop on Influence of Coastal Pollution on Marine Atmospheric Chemistry:  Effects on Climate and Human Health, Rome, 27-28 November 2018. 

2018:  Keynote Speaker, “Insights into the sources and processes affecting particulate matter in Beijing from the joint UK-China APHH programme”, American Geophysical Union JING 2018, Xi’an, China, 16-20 October 2018. 

2018:  Oral Presentation, “Studies of Semi-Volatile Hydrocarbons in Diesel Exhaust Particles and Ambient Air”, 11th International Conference on Air Quality – Science and Application, Barcelona, 12-16 March 2018. 

2017:  Oral Presentation “Studies of Semi-Volatile Hydrocarbons in Diesel Exhaust Particles and Ambient Air”, 15th Workhop on Air Quality in Urban and Regional Areas, Lille, France, 4-5 October 2017. 

2017:  Invited Speaker, “Measurement and modelling studies of nanoparticulate cerium oxide additive emissions from use in motor fuels”, Workshop on Engineered Nanomaterials in the Atmosphere, Duisburg, Germany, 28-29 November 2017. 

2016: Oral Presentation, “What Makes Urban Atmospheric Chemistry Different and Special?”, EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17-22 April 2016. 

2015:  Invited Speaker, “Emission of Particle-Associated and Vapour Phase Hydrocarbons from an Automotive Diesel Engine”, Workshop on “Air Quality in Urban and Regional Areas”, Aachen, 20-21 October 2015. 

2015:  Oral Presentation “Using Soft Ionisation GC×GC-ToF-MS to Characterise SVOC from Nanoparticles in Diesel Exhaust Emissions”, “Review of the efficiency of major air quality measures for road traffic in Europe”, European Aerosol Conference (EAC 2015), Milan, Italy, 6th-11th September 2015.

2015:  Keynote Speaker, “Sources and Processes Affecting Urban Aerosols with a Focus on Unregulated Sources and Nanoparticles”, 3rd Iberian Meeting on Aerosols Science and Technology, RICTA2015, Alicante, Spain, 29 June-1 July 2015. 

2015:  Keynote Speaker, “Ultrafine Particles in the Urban Atmosphere”, International Symposium on Ultrafine Particles – Air Quality and Climate, Brussels, 4-5 May 2015. 

2015:  Invited Participant, Workshop on “Receptor Modelling of Particulate Air Pollutants”, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India, 8th-9th January 2015.


Recent publications


Srivastava, D, Li, W, Tong, S, Shi, Z & Harrison, RM 2023, 'Characterization of products formed from the oxidation of toluene and m-xylene with varying NOx and OH exposure', Chemosphere.

Brean, J, Beddows, DCS, Harrison, RM, Song, C, Tunved, P, Ström, J, Krejci, R, Freud, E, Massling, A, Skov, H, Asmi, E, Lupi, A & Dall'osto, M 2023, 'Collective geographical ecoregions and precursor sources driving Arctic new particle formation', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 2183-2198.

Brean, J, Rowell, A, Beddows, D, Shi, Z & Harrison, R 2023, 'Estimates of Future New Particle Formation under Different Emission Scenarios in Beijing', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 57, no. 12, pp. 4741-4750.

Damayanti, S, Harrison, R, Pope, F & Beddows, D 2023, 'Limited impact of diesel particle filters on road traffic emissions of ultrafine particles', Environment International, vol. 174, 107888.

Beddows, DCS, Harrison, RM, Gonet, T, Maher, BA & Odling, N 2023, 'Measurement of road traffic brake and tyre dust emissions using both particle composition and size distribution data', Environmental Pollution.

Harrison, R & Alghamdi, MA 2023, 'Measurement of tyre dust particles in the atmosphere using chemical tracers', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 298, 119607.

Bousiotis, D, Alconcel, LS, Beddows, D, Harrison, R & Pope, F 2023, 'Monitoring and Apportioning Sources of Indoor Air Quality Using Low-Cost Particulate Matter Sensors', Environment International, vol. 174, 107907.

Matthaios, VN, Rooney, D, Harrison, RM, Koutrakis, P & Bloss, WJ 2023, 'NO2 levels inside vehicle cabins with pollen and activated carbon filters: A real world targeted intervention to estimate NO2 exposure reduction potential', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 860, 160395.

Tian, Y, Wang, X, Zhao, P, Shi, Z & Harrison, R 2023, 'PM2.5 source apportionment using organic marker-based chemical mass balance modeling: influence of inorganic markers and sensitivity to source profiles', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 294, 119477.

Trechera, P, Garcia-Marlès, M, Liu, X, Reche, C, Pérez, N, Savadkoohi, M, Beddows, D, Salma, I, Vörösmarty, M, Casans, A, Casquero-Vera, JA, Hueglin, C, Marchand, N, Chazeau, B, Gille, G, Kalkavouras, P, Mihalopoulos, N, Ondracek, J, Zikova, N, Niemi, JV, Manninen, HE, Green, DC, Tremper, AH, Norman, M, Vratolis, S, Eleftheriadis, K, Gómez-Moreno, FJ, Alonso-Blanco, E, Gerwig, H, Wiedensohler, A, Weinhold, K, Merkel, M, Bastian, S, Petit, JE, Favez, O, Crumeyrolle, S, Ferlay, N, Martins Dos Santos, S, Putaud, JP, Timonen, H, Lampilahti, J, Asbach, C, Wolf, C, Kaminski, H, Altug, H, Hoffmann, B, Rich, DQ, Pandolfi, M, Harrison, RM, Hopke, PK, Petäjä, T, Alastuey, A & Querol, X 2023, 'Phenomenology of ultrafine particle concentrations and size distribution across urban Europe', Environment International, vol. 172, 107744.

Alghamdi, MA, Hassan, SK, Al Sharif, MY, Khoder, MI & Harrison, R 2023, 'Pollution Characteristics and Human Health Risk of Potentially Toxic Elements Associated with Deposited Dust of Sporting Walkways During Physical Activity', Atmospheric Pollution Research, vol. 14, no. 1, 101649.

Quinteros, ME, Blanco, E, Sanabria, J, Rosas-Diaz, F, Blazquez, CA, Ayala, S, Cárdenas-R, JP, Stone, EA, Sybesma, K, Delgado-Saborit, JM, Harrison, RM & Ruiz-Rudolph, P 2023, 'Spatio-temporal distribution of particulate matter and wood-smoke tracers in Temuco, Chile: a city heavily impacted by residential wood-burning', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 294, 119529.

Camilleri, R, Stark, C, Vella, AJ, Harrison, RM & Aquilina, NJ 2023, 'Validation of an optimised microwave-assisted acid digestion method for trace and ultra-trace elements in indoor PM2.5 by ICP-MS analysis', Heliyon, vol. 9, no. 1, e12844.

Fussell, JC, Franklin, M, Green, DC, Gustafsson, M, Harrison, RM, Hicks, W, Kelly, FJ, Kishta, F, Miller, MR, Mudway, IS, Oroumiyeh, F, Selley, L, Wang, M & Zhu, Y 2022, 'A review of road traffic-derived non-exhaust particles: emissions, physicochemical characteristics, health risks, and mitigation measures', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 56, no. 11, pp. 6813-6835.

Conference contribution

Bousiotis, D, Alconcel, L-N, Harrison, RM, Beddows, DCS & Pope, F 2023, Monitoring and apportioning sources of outdoor and indoor air quality using low-cost particulate matter sensors. in EGU General Assembly 2023., EGU23-1011, European Geosciences Union, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24/04/23.

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