An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Susan Leadbetter

Areas of expertise

  • Dispersion for emergency response applications
  • Radiological dispersion modelling

My Publications - Leadbetter, S

Current activities

The main focus of Susan's work is on the application of the Met Office's Met Office Dispersion Model (NAME) to the accidental release of pollutants from events such as nuclear accidents and industrial fires. She assists in the development of operational emergency response computer systems which assist staff responding to events as well as providing scientific advice during the response to larger events such as the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March 2011 and the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in April / May 2010.

Recently Susan has been examining how the removal of material from the atmosphere by rainfall is represented within NAME by comparing measurements of the amount material from Fukushima deposited on the ground in Japan with NAME's predictions of deposited material.

Career background

Susan has worked in atmospheric dispersion since joining the Met Office in 2009. The initial focus of her research was volcanic ash dispersion modelling and she assisted in the development of a wind blown ash forecast for southern Iceland.

Before joining the Met Office, Susan worked as a postdoctoral research assistant at Duke University (USA) looking at the role of the North Atlantic ocean in European climate variability. Prior to that she worked at the University of Liverpool on the 36N project. This project involved an oceanographic cruise to examine changes in various physical and chemical properties of the mid-latitude North Atlantic.

Susan holds degree in mathematics and theoretical physics from the University of St Andrews and has completed a PhD on ocean heat content changes in the North Atlantic at the University of Liverpool.