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Mathematics and Statistics

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Mr Ned Williams



I am a postgraduate researcher within Exeter Climate Systems (XCS) and I have been at the University since starting my PhD in September 2020. My research focuses on tropical-extratropical teleconnections and I am supervised by Adam Scaife and James Screen.  My research project is funded as part of the NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership and I am working in conjuction with the Met Office.

During my PhD, I have investigated how capable climate models are at simulating teleconnections from the El Niño-Southern Oscillation to the North Pacific and North Atlantic. In 2023 my first paper on this topic, focusing on seasonal predictions from models within the C3S multi-system, was published in Geophysical Research Letters. I then investigated similar factors in HighResMIP models, with a focus on the importance of ocean resolution; this work has been accepted for publication in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorologal Society. The signal-to-noise paradox in climate predictions plays an important role in my PhD research.

I helped to organise the Royal Meteorological Society's 2022 Student and Early Career conference, and I am a co-chair of the organising committee for 2023. I am a member of the Royal Meteorological Society's Youth and Early Career special interest group. I spoke at Exeter Pint of Science in 2022 and helped to organise the 2023 event. In 2023, I helped to run a workshop for the British Science Festival, focused on linking simple rotating fluid experiments to climate modelling.

I was a finalist in the 2022 STEM for Britain competition, which allowed me to present my work in Parliament. I was also a finalist in the 2022 Institute of Physics 3 Minute Wonder contest, which involved a short form presentation in front of an expert panel and a non-expert audience at the Royal Institution. In 2021, I took part in a nationwide CMIP6 Hackathon which led to a continuing research project on the effect of climate change on arctic terns and a publication in Global Change Biology. In 2022, I was fortunate to attend a summer school on Tropical Oceans, ENSO and their teleconnections, which allowed me to expand my understanding of topics such as the internal ocean dynamics of ENSO and the South Asian Monsoon, as well as those which are an integral part of my PhD.

Prior to joining the University of Exeter, I obtained an MPhys Physics degree at the University of Southampton, with a final year project within the Space Environment Physics group.

I am keen to continue a research career in climate dynamics after my PhD, which is scheduled for completion in 2024.


Williams, N. C., A.A. Scaife, and J.A. Screen, 2024. Effect of Increased Ocean Resolution on Model Errors in ENSO and Its Teleconnections. Quarterly Journal of the Meteorological Society, DOI:10.1002/qj.4655

Williams, N.C., A.A. Scaife & J.A. Screen, 2023: Underpredicted ENSO teleconnections in seasonal forecastsGeophysical Research Letters, Volume 50, Issue 5, DOI:10.1029/2022GL101689

Morten, J., P. Buchanan, C. Egevang, I. Glissenaar, S. Maxwell, N. Parr, J.A. Screen, F. Vigfusdottir, N. Vogt-Vincent, D. Williams, N.C. Williams, M. Witt, W. Thurston, & L. Hawkes, 2023: Global warming and arctic terns: Estimating climate change impacts on the world's longest migrationGlobal Change Biology, Volume 29, Issue 19. DOI:10.1111/gcb.16891

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant responsibilities:

MTH1003 Mathematical Modelling (2022-23, 2023-24)

ECM1416 Computational Mathematics (2020-21)

MTH2004 Vector Calculus and Applications (2020-21)

MTH2005 Modelling: Theory and Practice (2020-21, 2021-22)

NSC1002 Mathematics and Computing (2021-22, 2022-23)

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