UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics

Dr Jonathan Rae

Dr Jonathan Rae

Honorary Professor

Dept of Space & Climate Physics

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2020

Research summary

My research interests follow three main themes:

  • finding the plasma instability responsible for detonating the substorm,
  • understanding magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling at the Earth and at other planets, and
  • to understand and ultimately predict the energetic particle dynamics of the Van Allen Radiation Belts, a significant radiation hazard at Earth and at many other planets. 

To do this, I study electromagnetic waves and particle populations in Earth`s magnetosphere and ionosphere and develop novel analysis techniques to extract information from both ground-based and satellite missions. 

I am a member of the NASA THEMIS Science Team, Co-Investigator on the Canadian Space Agency Next Generation Fluxgate Magnetometer to be flown on the Norwegian ICI-4 sub-orbital rocket, and Co-Investigator on the Canadian Space Agency CARISMA ground magnetometer network.

Teaching summary


1st Year "Classical Mechanics"

4th Year/Graduate "Upper Atmospheric and Space Plasma Physics"

4th Year/Graduate "Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics"

Supervised or Co-Supervised:

3 secondary school students

15 undergraduate students

4 Masters student

5 PhD students


University of Leicester
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2001
University of Leicester
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1997


Durham, Co. Durham

GCSE Level: Houghton Kepier School, Tyne and Wear,
A-level: Durham Johnston Comprehensive School,
B. Sc.: University of Leicester
Ph. D.:University of Leicester

Worked as a senior Resarch Associate with Prof. Ian Mann, and sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta in Edmonton from 2001-2013.  Appointed Lecturer at UCL/MSSL on 1st April 2013 and Reader at UCL/MSSL on 1st October 2015.