Dr Tasha Aylett

Dr Tasha Aylett


After recieving my MChem from Sussex in 2014, I came to Leeds to work towards my PhD with Professor John Plane. My research focused on understanding the impacts of a cometary dust loading on the Earth’s atmosphere – specifically an encounter with Halley’s comet at a distance of 100,000 km. This work used the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) to assess the impacts on the chemistry and dynamics of the upper atmosphere, stratospheric sulfur and aerosol chemistry, and deposition of meteoric material. A complementary part of the project investigated the optical properties of meteoric smoke analogues using two different experimental systems – the Photochemical Aerosol Flow System (PAFS) and the Molecular Flow Ice Cell-Trapped Reactive Atmospheric Particle Spectrometer (MICE-TRAPS).

After a detour into the Student Education Service at the University of Leeds, I am now working as a Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry. In this role, I am using a global climate model to study the global occurrence frequency and magnitude of sporadic E layers (SpEs) - a phenomenon whereby thin, short-lived layers of metallic ions (e.g. Fe+ and e-) are produced in the upper atmosphere between 90 and 140 km. Due to the high density of ions, SpEs can cause changes in radio frequency (particularly VHF) propagation, and changes in atmospheric density affecting satellite drag. An additional project strand will explore climate change impacts on ionospheric composition i.e. the predicted changes in the D, E and lower F regions due to projected changes in greenhouse gases and recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer over the 21st century.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MChem Chemistry, University of Sussex
  • PhD Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Leeds