Dr Michelle Cain


Research Groups


Dr Michelle Cain

Science and Policy Research Associate

Academic Profile

Michelle’s core expertise is in air pollution, greenhouse gases and climate science. Her focus as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge (2009-2017) was on the greenhouse gas methane and its sources in the UK and in the Arctic. She took part in conducting large field campaigns to the Arctic to measure methane in the atmosphere, linking these measurements back to sources such as remote wetlands.

In Cambridge, Michelle was the coordinator for the Cambridge Centre for Climate Science, a network of climate scientists in departments across the university and the British Antarctic Survey, responsible for a programme of activity to build the climate science community. Michelle also spent 18 months as a Natural Environment Research Council policy placement fellow at Defra (Department for environment, food and rural affairs), specialising in air quality.

Her PhD, from the University of Reading, combined measurements with modelling of long range transport of pollutants in the atmosphere from North America to Europe, and also in the West African Monsoon. Before embarking on her PhD, Michelle was a communications officer at the Institute of Physics, working on both media and public engagement. This put her in good stead for coordinating the outreach and knowledge exchange activities for two research projects in Cambridge.



Cain, M., Warwick, N. J., Fisher, R. E., Lowry, D., Lanoisellé, M., Nisbet, E. G., France, J., Pitt, J., O'Shea, S., Bower, K. N., Allen, G., Illingworth, S., Manning, A. J., Bauguitte, S., Pisso, I., Pyle, J. A. (2017). A cautionary tale: A study of a methane enhancement over the North Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(14), 7630–7645.

Ridley, D. A., Cain, M., Methven, J., & Arnold, S. R. (2017). Sensitivity of tropospheric ozone to chemical kinetic uncertainties in air masses influenced by anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions. Geophysical Research Letters.

Fisher, R. E., France, J. L., Lowry, D., Lanoisellé, M., Brownlow, R., Pyle, J. A., Cain, M., Warwick, N., Skiba, U. M., Drewer, J., Dinsmore, K. J., Leeson, S. R., Bauguitte, S., Wellpott, A., O'Shea, S., Allen, G., Gallagher, M. W., Pitt, J., Percival, C. J., Bower, K., George, C., Hayman, G. D., Aalto, T., Lohila, A., Aurela, M., Laurila, T., Crill, P. M., McCalley, C. K., Nisbet, E. G. (2017). Measurement of the 13C isotopic signature of methane emissions from Northern European wetlands. Global Biogeochemical Cycles.


Warwick, N. J., Cain, M. L., Fisher, R., France, J. L., Lowry, D., Michel, S. E., Nisbet, E. G., Vaughn, B. H., White, J. W. C., Pyle, J. A. (2016). Using d13C-CH4 and dD-CH4 to constrain Arctic methane emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(23), 14891–14908.

Pisso, I., Myhre, C. L., Platt, S. M., Eckhardt, S., Hermansen, O., Schmidbauer, N., Mienert J., Vadakkepuliyambatta, S., Bauguitte, S., Pitt, J., Allen, G., Bower, K. N., O'Shea, S., Gallagher, M. W., Percival, C. J., Pyle, J., Cain, M., Stohl, A. (2016). Constraints on oceanic methane emissions west of Svalbard from atmospheric in situ measurements and Lagrangian transport modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(23), 14,188-14,200.

France, J. L., Cain, M., Fisher, R. E., Lowry, D., Allen, G., O’Shea, S. J., Illingworth, S., Pyle, J., Warwick, N., Jones, B. T., Gallagher, M. W., Bower, K., Le Breton, M., Percival, C., Muller, J., Welpott, A., Bauguitte, S., George, C., Hayman, G. D., Manning, A. J., Lund Myhre, C., Lanoisellé M., Nisbet, E. G. (2016). Measurements of δ13C in CH4 and using particle dispersion modeling to characterize sources of Arctic methane within an air mass. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(23), 14,257-14,270.

Brownlow, R., Lowry, D., Thomas, R. M., Fisher, R. E., France, J. L., Cain, M., Richardson, T. S., Greatwood, C., Freer, J., Pyle, J. A., MacKenzie, A. R., Nisbet, E. G. (2016). Methane mole fraction and δ 13 C above and below the trade wind inversion at Ascension Island in air sampled by aerial robotics. Geophysical Research Letters.

Nisbet, E. G., Dlugokencky, E. J., Manning, M. R., Lowry, D., Fisher, R. E., France, J. L., Michel, S. E., Miller, J. B., White, J. W. C., Vaughn, B., Bousquet, P., Pyle, J. A., Warwick, N. J., Cain, M., Brownlow, R., Zazzeri, G., Lanoisellé, M., Manning, A., C., Gloor, E., Worthy, D. E. J., Brunke, E.-G., Labuschagne, C., Wolff E. W., Ganesan, A. L. (2016). Rising atmospheric methane: 2007–2014 growth and isotopic shift. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30(9).

Myhre, C. L., Ferré, B., Platt, S. M., Silyakova, A., Hermansen, O., Allen, G., Pisso, I., Schmidbauer, N., Stohl, A., Pitt, J., Jansson, P., Greinert, J., Percival, C., Fjaeraa, A. M., O'Shea, S. J., Gallagher, M., Le Breton, M., Bower, K. N., Bauguitte, S. J. B., Dalsøren, S., Vadakkepuliyambatta, S., Fisher, R. E., Nisbet, E. G., Lowry, D., Myhre, G., Pyle, J. A., Cain, M., Mienert, J. (2016). Extensive release of methane from Arctic seabed west of Svalbard during summer 2014 does not influence the atmosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(9), 4624–4631.


Dore, A. J., Carslaw, D. C., Braban, C., Cain, M., Chemel, C., Conolly, C., Derwent, R. G., Griffiths, S. J., Hall, J., Hayman, G., Lawrence, S., Metcalfe, S. E., Redington, A., Simpson, D., Sutton, M. A., Sutton, P., Tang, Y. S., Vieno, M., Werner, M., Whyatt, J. D. (2015). Evaluation of the performance of different atmospheric chemical transport models and inter-comparison of nitrogen and sulphur deposition estimates for the UK. Atmospheric Environment.

Walker, H. M., Stone, D., Ingham, T., Vaughan, S., Cain, M., Jones, R. L., Kennedy, O., Mcleod, M., Ouyang ,B., Pyle, J., Bauguitte, S., Bandy, B., Forster, G., Evans, M. J., Hamilton, J. F., Hopkins, J. R., Lee, J. D., Lewis, A. C., Lidster, R. T., Punjabi, S., Morgan, W. T., Heard, D. E. (2015). Night-time measurements of HO x during the RONOCO project and analysis of the sources of HO 2. Atmos. Chem. Phys, 15, 8179–8200.


O’Shea, S. J., Allen, G., Gallagher, M. W., Bower, K., Illingworth, S. M., Muller, J. B. A., Jones, B. T., Percival, C., J., Bauguitte, S., Cain, M., Warwick, N., Quiquet, A., Skiba, U., Drewer, J., Dinsmore, K., Nisbet, E. G., Lowry, D., Fisher, R. E., France, J. L., Aurela, M., Lohila, A., Hayman, G., George, C., Clark, D. B., Manning, A. J., Friend, A. D., Pyle, J. (2014). Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes and their regional scalability for the European Arctic wetlands during the MAMM project in summer 2012. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 14(6), 8455–8494.


Pugh, T. a. M., Cain, M., Methven, J., Wild, O., Arnold, S. R., Real, E., Law, K. S., Emmerson, K. M., Owen, S. M., Pyle, J. A., Hewitt, C. N., MacKenzie, A. R. (2012). A Lagrangian model of air-mass photochemistry and mixing using a trajectory ensemble: the Cambridge Tropospheric Trajectory model of Chemistry And Transport (CiTTyCAT) version 4.2. Geoscientific Model Development, 5(1), 193–221.

Cain, M., Methven, J., & Highwood, E. J. (2012). Quantification of chemical and physical processes influencing ozone during long-range transport using a trajectory ensemble. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12(15), 7015–7039.


Real, E., Law, K. S., Schlager, H., Roiger, A., Huntrieser, H., Methven, J., Cain, M., Holloway, J., Neuman, J. A., Ryerson, T., Flocke, F., de Gouw, J., Atlas, E., Donnelly, S., Parrish, D. (2008). Lagrangian analysis of low altitude anthropogenic plume processing across the North Atlantic. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8, 7737–7754.