An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Laura Burgin

Areas of expertise

  • The production and use of climate information to guide decision making in developing countries
  • The impacts of weather and climate on the spread of animal diseases such as bluetongue and foot-and-mouth
  • Atmospheric dispersion of biological material such as fungal spores of plant diseases and crop pests
  • Dispersion modelling for emergency response applications

Publications by Dr Laura Burgin

Current activities

Laura is a senior applied climate scientist working in the Climate Information for International Development team within the Met Office Hadley Centre.

Laura also works on a number of research projects such as FRACTAL which is jointly funded by DFID and NERC and led by the University of Cape Town with partners across Africa and the UK. FRACTAL aims to use a transdisciplinary learning approach to advance knowledge of climate science and integrate this into accessible, timely, applicable and defensible climate information for use by decision-makers operating at the city scale in Southern Africa. A similar project Laura works on is Decentralised climate information services for decision making in western Kenya whose purpose is to develop and deliver demand-led and decentralised climate information services at the county level. Laura also participates in the MARIUS project which uses expertise across social and natural sciences with key stakeholder engagement to understand and predict future droughts and water scarcity in the UK.

In addition to her own research, Laura co-supervises a PhD student, Marcel Meyer, in the Department of Plant Sciences  at Cambridge University who is researching the spread of wheat rust diseases in East Africa. 

Career background

From October 2006 to April 2016 Laura worked as part of the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality Group. In this role she provided scientific support to the UK government, its agencies and other academic institutes during emergency situations such as volcanic eruptions, nuclear incidents and large fires.  Her particular research focus was on the spread of animal diseases such as bluetongue and foot-and-mouth using the Met Office's atmospheric dispersion model, NAME . This work was primarily in collaboration with the Pirbright Institute and funded by Defra. Laura also worked on a project with Meteorological Service Singapore to develop a forecast system for transboundary haze in Singapore.

Whilst working at the Met Office, Laura completed a PhD in 2011 in the School of Geography at the University of Exeter on the impacts of weather and climate change on the spread of bluetongue into the UK.

Prior to joining the Met Office in 2006, Laura completed a BSc in Geophysics at the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Applied Meteorology at the University of Reading.