Neely III, Dr Ryan Reynolds

Associate Professor: Observational Atmospheric Science


University of Leeds

Fairbairn House

71-75 Clarendon Road




Ryan R. Neely III is a native of Asheboro, North Carolina. From an early age Neely knew he enjoyed exploring the natural world with technology. Thus, his academic career has always been a blend of physics, engineering, computer modelling, travelling, and working outdoors.

Neely began his formal exploration of atmospheric science at the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM) where he worked at the Duke Forest Free Air Carbon Experiment looking at the impact of elevated levels of CO2 on the primary production of pine trees. In 2005, he graduated from NCSSM and was awarded a Park Scholarship to attend North Carolina State University (NC State) to study Physics. While at NC State Neely began his first work in the use of electromagnetic radiation to explore the natural world through several undergraduate research projects involving the use of Raman spectroscopy.

Also during his time at NC State, Neely worked as a summer intern at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratorywithin the Global Monitoring Division in Boulder, Colorado as part of NOAA's Hollings Scholar program. During these summers Neely worked on a variety of topics but found his true passion through the use of lidar to explore clouds and aerosol.

In 2008, Neely graduated summa cum laude from NC State and moved to Boulder permanently to attend graduate school at the in the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Colorado NOAA/ESRL-CIRES Graduate Fellow. During his time in Boulder, Neely worked with scientists across the world as explored the variability of stratospheric aerosol with lidar and global climate models.

Most significantly, his graduate work involved construction of the "Cloud, Aerosol Polarisation and Backscatter Lidar" (CAPABL) and Neely's involvement in the Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS) project. This initial work in the use of polarisation to improve measure horizontally oriented ice crystals and improve the estimate of cloud phase led to Neely's current research in the use of polarised lidar and radar to investigate cloud microphysics.

After completing his M. Sci in 2010 and PhD in 2012, Neely moved across Boulder to work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the National Center for Atmosoheric Research's (NCAR) prestigious Advanced Study Program. During his time at NCAR, Neely was hosted by the Atmospheric Chemistry Division (Now known as ACOM). While there, Neely continued both his development of active remote sensing technology through his involvement with the ICECAPS project and the awarding of a grant to build a high resolution polarized Raman lidar (see below). Neely also used to state-of-the-art climate models to continue his exploration of volcanoes, stratospheric aerosol and climate variability.

In 2014, Neely moved to the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS) within the School of Earth and Environment (SEE) and National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Leeds as a Lecturer of Observational Atmospheric Science and Principal Investigator of the NCAS mobile X-band weather radar (NXPol).



Picture of Dr Ryan Reynolds Neely III