Mr Matt Brown

DPhil in Environmental Research
MMet (UG Masters in Meteorology)

I completed an MMet (equivalent to an MSci) in Meteorology and Climate at the University of Reading, graduating with First class honours.

My dissertation was looking at how uncertainty in measured rainfall translates to soil moisture in land surface models, to ultimately aid the rollout of weather index insurance to farmers in Africa. I spent some time over the subsequent summer working at Reading in the TAMSAT (Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite data) group on developing a drought prediction scheme for Africa using information on the state of the land surface. See below for posters and publications on my dissertation and subsequent work at Reading. A formal paper describing the method and applications of the drought prediction scheme is currently in the works.

Research interests

At Oxford I have shifted focus to the upper atmosphere, where I am investigating how the northern hemisphere polar vortex, a strong jet stream that surrounds the pole during winter, is affected by the wind pattern over the equator. This research may have implications for seasonal predictability, in particular the winters of Northern Europe.

More generally, my research interests include atmospheric/climate dynamics (i.e. how the atmosphere and climate system work), African rainfall and drought prediction. I am also known to dabble in a bit of storm-chasing over in the US.

Selected publications


Brown, M. J., E. Black, D. Asfaw, F. Otu-Larbi, Monitoring drought in Ghana using TAMSAT-ALERT: A new decision support system. Weather.

Asfaw, D., Black, E., Brown, M., Nicklin, K. J., Otu-Larbi, F., Pinnington, E., Challinor, A., Maidment, R., and Quaife, T. TAMSAT-ALERT v1: A new framework for agricultural decision support, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., in review, 2018. 

Black, E., E. Tarnavsky, R. Maidment, H. Greatrex, A. Mookerjee, T. Quaife, M. Brown. The use of remotely sensed rainfall for managing drought risk: a case study of weather index insurance in Zambia. Remote Sensing.


PhD: Brown, M. J., L. Gray, Climate Influences of the Upper Stratosphere. Wessex DTP Conference, 10-11th April 2017. Presented by M. J. Brown. 

Other postgrad work: Black, E., E. Tarnavsky, R. Maidment, H. Greatrex, T. Quaife, M. J. Brown, Managing drought risk in Africa. RMetS NCAS Conference, University of Manchester, 6th-8th July 2016. Presented by E.Black

Other postgrad work: Brown, M. J., E. Black, T. Quaife, F. Otu-Larbi, A new system for predicting agricultural drought. RMetS Student conference, University of Manchester, 4th-6th July 2016. Presented by M. J. Brown.

Undergrad work: Brown, M. J., E. Black, T. Quaife, Soil moisture uncertainty in models. JULES annual science meeting, Reading, June 2015