An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Alistair Sellar

Areas of expertise

  • Forecast and climate model evaluation

  • Scientific software and modelling system development

  • Ocean, sea-ice and atmosphere modelling

Publications by Alistair

Current activities

Alistair leads the scientific model development and evaluation of the UK Earth System Model (UKESM). This includes coordination of the scientific effort across the joint NERC-Met Office ESM Core Group, as well as line management of the Met Office scientists in the group.

The team works with the groups who develop each of the component models (e.g. Unified Model, NEMO, UKCA, JULES) to implement these in the fully coupled Earth system model. This involves evaluation of the performance of the component models and how they interact with the other components. The evaluation covers the performance with respect to present-day observations of large-scale climate, as well as performance of key physical processes which are likely to be of importance in a changing climate.

Alistair's personal research interests are in process-level evaluation, particularly in evaluating the realism of coupling between components of the model.

Career background

Alistair joined the joint NERC-Met Office ESM core group in 2013 as science manager. Prior to this he managed the development and evaluation of the ocean forecasting system Ocean models at the Met Office from 2010-2013. During 2008-2010, Alistair worked on climate model development and evaluation, focusing on the following aspects of atmospheric modelling:

  • Indian monsoon

  • Interactions between moist convection and large-scale circulation

  • Development of model assessment software

Before joining the Met Office, Alistair completed an MSc in Applied Mathematics at St Andrews University, followed by a PhD in fluid dynamics at the Department of Mathematics in the University of Bristol.