UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

Dr Clare Heaviside

Dr Clare Heaviside

NERC Research Fellow

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Apr 2020

Research summary

Clare Heaviside is a NERC Independent Research Fellow (Associate Professor) in the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering. She is currently funded by her NERC fellowship (2018-2023), and will take up an academic appointment in 2023. Her fellowship investigates the impact of the urban heat island on health, using atmospheric modelling and health impact assessment.

She is also Principal Investigator on a Wellcome Trust Climate Change and Health Award (2020-2023). This project looks at the Health and Economic impacts of Reducing Overheating in Cities (HEROIC), for example, by using green infrastructure, in cities around the world.

Her research interests cover climate change impacts - particularly on health, urban climate and meteorology, the urban heat island, air pollution and heatwaves. Her research is often multi-disciplinary in nature, with application to the physical and environmental sciences as well as public health and policy.

Clare’s current research looks at the impacts of climate and environmental change, particularly in terms of health and in cities. She is interested in the additional heat burden of the urban heat island, whereby cities are a few degrees warmer than the countryside – since urban effects are often not well represented in global climate simulations – and the potential impact of urban interventions. She also links environmental and demographic factors to carry out exposure and health impact assessments for temperatures and air pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Recently, she has worked on international studies of projections of temperature related mortality under climate change scenarios, as well as extreme event attribution studies in terms of heatwave mortality.

Her work has been published in journals such as Nature Climate Change, Environment International, the Lancet Planetary Health, Environmental Research Letters, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and Environmental Health Perspectives. As well as academic journals, she has contributed to publications like the 2012 IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events and the national Climate Change Risk Assessments for the UK.


Dr Clare Heaviside joined the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering in April 2020 as a NERC Independent Research Fellow, with an academic appointment as Associate Professor in Climate Change, Health and Cities, to start at the end of the fellowship. Before joining UCL, Clare was based in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, where she began her fellowship (2018-2020).

After an Engineering degree from University of Sheffield, Clare studied for an MSc in Applied Meteorology at Reading University, followed by a PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics at Imperial College, London.

Aside from academia, Clare has over a decade of work experience in the private and public sectors, at the Health Protection Agency and Public Health England (Government Agencies) working on climate and air pollution research. Before starting her NERC fellowship, Clare was head of Climate Change at Public Health England, coordinating climate change research across the agency, advising the government on the health effects of climate change and providing scientific evidence to feed into national policy.