Professor Emily Black

TAMSAT Group Lead, Professor in Terrestrial Processes and Climate


Emily heads the TAMSAT group at the University of Reading. She is widely involved in the development of TAMSAT products and in their application in the management of weather-related risk. She has particular interests in the hydrological cycle, in land-atmosphere interactions and in African climate and rainfall monitoring. Emily focuses on user-driven science and knowledge exchange.


Dr Tristan Quaife

Associate Professor in Meteorology


The focus of Tristan's work is on the use of satellite data to constrain and evaluate land surface models, primarily for the terrestrial carbon cycle. In TAMSAT he works on the production of soil moisture estimates from TAMSAT rainfall data. He is an Investigator in the UK National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) where he leads on work looking at soil moisture in Africa.


Dr Ross Maidment

Earth Observation Scientist, TAMSAT Operations Lead


Ross is TAMSAT’s operational lead and is responsible for enhancing and maintaining the TAMSAT operational rainfall estimation system. Alongside operations, Ross’ primary research interests include the development and application of Earth observation data, especially in supporting climate services, and the agricultural and financial sectors in developing countries. Ross also has a keen interest in understanding recent climate variability and change across Africa. Ross is currently leading two international projects to develop and pilot a new rainfall dataset over West Africa.

Dr Matt Young

Postdoctoral Research Scientist


Matt is interested in the remote sensing of precipitation, specifically to understand rainfall processes and variability. Matt is currently working on the ACREW (Atmospheric hazard in developing Countries: Risk assessment and Early Warning) project, focusing on rainfall forecasting and early warning.

Dr Caroline Wainwright

Postdoctoral Research Scientist


Caroline is interested in precipitation over Africa, particularly in the seasonality of rainfall, its drivers, and how these are changing under future climate scenarios. She has also recently started work around rainfall extremes and how these are changing in wet and dry seasons.

Caroline is currently in three projects: 1) in the HyCristal project, Caroline is exploring recent changes in the long rains over East Africa and assessing model representation of precipitation seasonality in the region, 2) she is also working with Mars-Wrigley Confectionary to understand the impacts of climate change on cocoa cultivation, 3) as part of the SWIFT project, Caroline is supporting work to improve sub seasonal-to-seasonal forecasting and organises fortnightly weather chats.

Dr Vicky Boult

Postdoctoral Research Scientist


Vicky is interested in the application of TAMSAT-ALERT () forecasts to support anticipatory drought risk management in Africa’s agricultural and humanitarian sectors. To do so, Vicky works closely with key actors in drought risk management. Notably, she is currently supporting the Kenyan Red Cross and National Drought Management Authority in developing and evaluating TAMSAT-ALERT triggers for early action. Vicky also leads regular capacity building activities and has developed an online training course on TAMSAT-ALERT.

Dr Ewan Pinnington

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Ewan’s research aims to improve the prediction of hydrological and land surface variables using data assimilation techniques to combine models with observed data (from in-situ to satellite observations).

Ewan is currently involved in several projects: 1) as part of the Hydro-JULES project with UK CEH (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Ewan is working to improve soil parameters in the JULES model over the UK, utilising SMAP satellite observations of soil moisture within the LAVENDAR data assimilation framework, 2) in collaboration with Mars-Wrigley Confectionary, Ewan has used data provided by the Reading University Cocoa Group to develop an optimised model of photosynthesis that better represents cocoa, 3) Ewan is involved in a NCEO (National Centre for Earth Observation) official development project to improve estimates of soil moisture and crop indices in collaboration with the Ghanaian Space Science and Technology Institute.

Dr Simon Thomas

Postdoctoral Research Scientist


Simon's works on the Goatsat project which involves using TAMSAT rainfall data to produce high resolution data of Q0, a key parameter in parasite transmission between goats, for the whole of Africa. He is working on using clustering to deduce the weather patterns that influence where the highest transmission rates can be found. He also has interests in resource assessments of renewable energy generation, and also works on a project applying this research to Central America.

Dr Helen Greatrex

Assistant Professor, Penn State University


Since completing her PhD in 2015, Helen has continued to work closely with TAMSAT. Helen’s research focuses on the use of satellite rainfall data for decision making across agricultural, humanitarian, insurance and health sectors. She is currently utilising satellite data to better understand the influence of rainfall on the hydrocephalus disease in Somalia. Additionally, Helen uses spatial statistics to investigate how satellite rainfall validation error changes across space and decision type.

Jennifer Israelsson

PhD student

Jen’s research interests lie between statistics and tropical meteorology. She applies statistics, specifically extreme value statistics, to study the current behaviour of local scale rainfall over Ghana, considering different stages of the monsoon and rainfall intensity. Jen is part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth CDT program.

Amsalework Ejigu

PhD student


Current MSc project students:

Wee Leng Tan – Development of new methodologies for satellite-based rainfall estimation over Africa

Prince Appiah Kubi - Comparing rainfall extremes from satellite-retrieved rainfall estimates to rain gauge measurements

Sophie Harbord - Changes in seasonal rainfall over East/West Africa

Academic staff involved in TAMSAT projects:

Professor Richard Allan

Professor Steve Woolnough

Professor Ros Cornforth