Kirsty's research focuses on the role that tiny particles of e.g. sea salt, sulfates or soot play in affecting both air quality and the climate. These particles, known as particulate matter or aerosol particles can affect the temperature of the Earth by both scattering and absorbing solar radiation. They also affect human health as some types of particulate matter can travel into the lungs, and are thought to increase the occurrence of heart disease and some cancers.
She completed her PhD at the University of Leeds, working with Professor Ken Carslaw on the development of the GLObal Model or Aerosol Processes (GLOMAP), a computer model that is used to simulate the transport and processing of these aerosol particles throughout the atmosphere.
She has also worked as a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany and the Met Office in Exeter, UK.