Group Leader and Professor of Quantitative Earth Observation

Email paul.palmer(at)ed(dot)ac(dot)uk

Google Meet paulipalmer



B.Sc., (Physics), University of Bristol, 1995
D.Phil., (Physics), University of Oxford, 1998

Academic Career
Professor (full and tenured), University of Edinburgh, 2009-
University Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, 2006-2009
University Research Fellow, University of Leeds, 2005-2006
Postdoc/Research Associate, Harvard University, 1999-2005

Awards and Prizes
Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award holder (2013-2018).
Zeldovich Medal, COSPAR and the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2010.
Philip Leverhulme Prize recipient, 2008.

Honorary Visiting Positions
Adjunct Professor, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland, 2021-
Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA, 2019- 
Visiting Scientist, Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l'environnement, Paris, 2018-
Visiting Scholar, University of Washington in Seattle, Summer 2014.

Visiting Researcher, Microsoft Research (2011-2012).
COSPAR Associate, 2010-.
Visiting Research Scientist, NCAR, USA, (2006-2009).  

Honorary Fellow, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, (2005-2006).  

Current and Recent Professional Activities
Principal Investigator and Centre Science DirectorNERC NCEO
Science teamJapanese GOSAT, NASA ACOS, NASA OCO-2, OCO-2, CNES, MicroCarb
Committee membership: UK representative on the Committee on Earth Observation Satellite (CEOS) Carbon Task Force; EU Task Force on Monitoring anthropogenic CO2 (11/16-); Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellows Panel (1/19-1/22).
Editorial Advisory BoardAtmospheric EnvironmentElementa, Environmental Research Communications


The Atmosphere: A Very Short Introduction,

Oxford University Press, March 2017, ISBN 9780198722038



Essential Maths for Geoscientists,

Wiley, May 2014, ISBN 9780470971949





University of Edinburgh

  • Earth's Atmospheric Composition (2014-- ). 
  • Earth Modelling and Prediction (2008--2014). Lectures now written as a book (Amazon, Wiley from May 2014).
  • Atmospheric radiative transfer, M.Sc. in Remote Sensing and Image Processing (2007-2008).
  • Contemporary issues in Earth Observation (guest lecture, 2008 and 2009).

Harvard University

  • Temporary/guest lecturer, Atmospheric Chemistry EPS 133 (2003, 2004).

University of Oxford

  • Graduate tutor, General Physics for Earth Sciences (1995-1996).


  • Tutor (regular), Mathematics and Physics, Greene's Tutorial College, Oxford (1996-1999).
  • Tutor (regular and Easter crammer),  Mathematics and Physics, Cherwell Tutorial College, Oxford (1996-1999).

PhD comics
Science Friday

Summary of my home life