UCL Department of Geography


Eloise Marais

I lead the UCL Atmospheric Composition and Air Quality research group. We use complex models and observations from space-based and ground-based platforms to determine the influence of humans on air quality, atmospheric chemistry, ecosystems and human health. We also measure atmospheric composition over Central London, develop emissions inventories and derive new datasets from satellite observations. 

I serve on local and international expert panels including the UK Air Quality Experts Group, the GEOS-Chem Model Steering Committee, and the US Health Effects Institute Global Health Oversight Committee.

More about Dr Marais

I obtained my PhD from Harvard University in 2014 on an International Fulbright Science and Technology Scholarship supervised by Prof Daniel Jacob. My PhD was followed by postdoctoral research at Harvard, an independent research fellowship at the  University of Birmingham, and an Associate Professorship at the University of Leicester before joining UCL in 2020.

In August 2019, I was awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant to address persistent uncertainties in the atmospheric composition of the global upper troposphere. This portion of the atmosphere, though remote (8-12 km aloft), has an important and poorly understood influence on global air quality and climate. 

I am routinely invited to present my group’s research at high-profile international conferences, meetings, workshops, and academic institutes. This includes Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Peking, the Royal Society, and many more. Slides from talks by me and members of my group are on the Presentations page of our research group website.
My work has been cited 3880 times since 2012 and I have an h-index of 28. 


I teach on the following courses: 


To view Dr Marais's publications, please visit UCL Profiles:


Research Interests

Current research projects pursued by my research group under my supervision include:

  • Reactive nitrogen in the global upper troposphere, funded by the European Commission
  • The environmental influence of the rapid growth in the space industry, funded by the European Commission
  • Deleterious effects of the oil and gas industry in the US on human health, funded by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
  • Sources and public health effects of fine particles (PM2.5) in the UK, funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Dry deposition of oxygenated volatile organic compounds, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

International Leadership

I serve on the UK Air Quality Experts Group, the International GEOS-Chem Model Steering Committee, and the US Health Effects Institute Global Health Oversight Committee.

Popular Articles

Media Coverage

I have been interviewed and my research group’s publications covered by numerous high-profile media agencies. These include, but are not limited to, The Guardian, The Big Issue, BBC Radio’s Farming Today, BBC News, BBC’s The Climate Question, The New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine, Forbes, New Scientist, Reuters, The Times, Popular Science, Vox, Good Morning America, The Hill, The Week, NPR, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, Mashable, Sky News, Channel 4 News, CNBC, France 24, Le Monde, The Wall Street Journal, World Economic Forum, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Evening Standard, The Independent, CNBC, Boston Globe, Bloomberg., Huffington Post.

More details of media engagement by me and members of my group can be found on the Media Coverage page of our research group website.

Research Students

Current PhD research students

  • Nana Wei, Characterising reactive nitrogen in the global upper troposphere with NASA aircraft observations
  • Rebekah Horner, New observations of nitrogen oxides in the global atmosphere from satellite observations
  • Eleanor Smith, Impact of the remote atmosphere on local air pollution, climate, and harmful UV radiation

Current Postdoc students

  • Connor Barker, Dry deposition of oxygenated VOCs and the impact of megaconstellations in the atmosphere.
  • Karn Vohra, Health effects of exposure to air pollution from the oil and gas lifecycle in the US 
  • Gongda Lu, Software development for deriving new datasets from satellite observations

Past students

  • Alfred Bockarie, PhD student, now a lecturer at Njala University, Sierra Leone
  • Alok Pandey, postdoc, now a research fellow at the University of Leeds, UK
  • Jamie Kelly, postdoc, now at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA)
  • Kavitha Mottungan, now a research scientist at the UK National Physical Laboratory
  • Karn Vohra, PhD student, now a postdoc in my group
  • Gongda Lu, PhD student, now a software engineer in my group
  • Robert Ryan, postdoc, now a postdoc at the University of Melbourne, Australia

If you would like to explore opportunities to join our research group, please contact me at e.marais@ucl.ac.uk.

Research Grants, Prizes and Awards

Scholarships, fellowships and grants awarded to me since 2008 total £2.5 million.

  • Most downloaded Wiley-published paper in 2021, awarded 2023
  • UCL Research Capital Equipment Fund (£130,000), PI, awarded 2022 and 2023
  • ISI Web of Science Highly Cited and Hot Papers, awarded 2016 and 2021NERC Standard Grant (£160,000), co-I, 2021-2024.
  • SEI (£79,000), PI, 2021-2023
  • DEFRA (£200,000), PI, 2019-2022
  • European Research Council Starting Grant (£1.4 million), PI, 2019-2025
  • European Space Agency (ESA) (£40,000), co-I, 2019-2020
  • ESA Copernicus Masters Competition Finalist awarded 2018
  • NERC Researcher in Residence (£50,000), 2018-2023
  • Fulbright Scholar (£134,000), 2008-2011