Martin Best

Areas of expertise

  • Land surface

  • Surface/ atmosphere coupling


  • Urban meteorology

Current activities

Martin is a science fellow and research manager leading the group working on land surface processes. He is based in Exeter with half of his team, the other half being based at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Wallingford. His responsibilities include the management of the Joint Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Research (JCHMR).

Martin leads the development of Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), a community land surface model. JULES provides a modelling capability for the UK research community for land surface research, while remaining intimately linked to the Met Office forecasting and climate models. This enables the community to contribute towards improved weather forecasting and climate change predictions.

Martin is also the lead on two international community experiments. The first is related to the benchmarking of land surface models and aims to identify the common development priorities for these models. The second is investigating the coupling between the land surface and the atmosphere in an attempt to understand what controls the sensitivity of this coupling in numerical models.

His other activities include contributing towards the analysis of results from the first urban model comparison project. This aims to improve our understanding of the important physical processes within urban environments and improve the way in which we represent them.

Career background

Martin joined the Met Office in 1992 after completing a BSc in Mathematics at the University of Nottingham. After spending a year working on atmospheric dispersion, he has worked on the development of the land surface for a wide range of applications, ranging from the prediction of pipe bursts in the soil through to climate change predictions.

He contributed to setting up the climate side of JCHMR in 2002 and took over the management of the land surface processes group in 2004. In between he spent six months in the commercial side of the Met Office working on business development in the energy sector.

Martin completed an MSc at the department of Meteorology at the University of Reading as part of his training within the Met Office.

External recognition

  • Martin served almost 10 years on GLASS, which forms part of GEWEX, co-chairing the panel for last four of these years.

  • Martin also served two terms on BUE, the AMS board for urban meteorology.