Harry Vallack
Senior Research Associate

Profile

Biography

Dr Harry Vallack has over 25 years experience working on various aspects of air pollution at scales ranging from local to global. This has included capacity building within non-OECD countries (including developing of suitable manuals/software) for the preparation of air pollutant emissions inventories, producing air pollution emission scenario projections for developing country regions, preparing the working paper for an international workshop on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and developing methodologies for monitoring nuisance dust. Harry has also worked with the Centre for Low Carbon Futures on a review of the low carbon technologies that key UK energy intensive sectors might use to help meet national emissions targets by 2050.

Key skills

Air pollutant emissions inventory compilation and capacity building; Development of tools for modelling air pollutant emissions and their impacts on health, crops and climate; Soil carbon dynamics. 

Career

  • BSc (Biology, University of Exeter)
  • MSc (Tropical forest ecology, University of Stirling
  • PhD (Plant/soil carbon dynamics, University of York)
  • 1977-78 Research assistant with the Tropical Forest Ecology Programme during the Royal Geographical Society's Mulu (Sarawak) Expedition.
  • 1979 Lecturer in ecology at the University of Maryland (European Division), Dunoon, Scotland. 
  • 1980 – 1981 Research Assistant at the University of Stirling. 
  • 1982 – 1988 Beijer Institute Centre for Resource Assessment and Management (BICRAM), University of York.
  • 1989 to present: Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), University of York.

Departmental roles

  • Coordinator of SEI York’s contributions to teaching and supervision within the Environment Dept
  • Convenor of the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Masters module in the Environment Department
  • SEI York’s Health & Safety Officer, Fire Marshal and trained First Aider.
  • Reducing Climate Risk (RCR) theme node for SEI York.

Research

Overview

Harry’s current research interests concern short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), global change ecology, soil carbon dynamics and capacity building for emissions inventory preparation in developing countries. In the process of this research, he has developed software tools to enable developing countries to compile air pollutant emission inventories. More recently he has helped develop a tool to help countries prioritise alternative SLCP mitigation strategies, going from emissions estimates through to likely impacts on human health crop production and climate.  

Projects

Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) project: Supporting National Planning for Action to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SNAP Initiative). Currently leading the development of the LEAP-IBC software tool to help countries prioritise action on SLCPs by producing emission scenarios and quantifying the health, crop yield and global temperature benefits from selected SLCP mitigation options.
SEI York staff: Harry Vallack, Johan Kuylenstierna, Chris Malley, Douglas Wang, (+Charlie Heaps, SEI Boston)
Partners: US-EPA, Daven Henze (Colorado University), The Molina Center for Strategic Studies in Energy and the Environment (California)

Defra BD5104: “Restoration of blanket bog vegetation for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and water regulation” http://peatland-es-uk.york.ac.uk/ (Funder Defra UK; £850k; Nov 2011 – March 2017). This catchment-scale project is acquiring experimental data from three UK sites to underpin the development and refinement of possible management techniques to address the dominance of heather (Calluna vulgaris) and facilitate the support of ‘active’ blanket bog vegetation (with peat-forming species, particularly Sphagnum spp.).
SEI York staff: Andreas Heinemeyer (PI); Harry Vallack (Co-investigator)
Partners: Yorkshire Peat Partnership, Natural England

Earth Observation & Modelling Agri-Tech to Understand Chinese Agricultural & Forest Fires in Relation to Management Practice & Climate Drivers. (STFC; £58k; July 2015 – March 2016). This project focuses on the two principal types of landscape scale burning that occur widely throughout parts of China (i) agricultural fires that burn in crop growing regions and which occur annually over very large areas, lit purposely to remove material from the land prior to harvest, and (ii) forest fires that occur in any one location very much less frequently than agricultural fires, but which can have significant impact on both forest ecology and forest resources, and which are generally also caused by human activities e.g. by fires spreading into forest from neighbouring agricultural lands. The project aims at further enhancing the use of Earth Observation, Remote Sensing and Simulation modelling in this area of Agri-Tech research and application, whilst also addressing ‘real-world’ issues in relation to Chinese agricultural, landuse and forestry practices.
SEI York staff: Lisa Emberson (PI); Harry Vallack, Chris Malley, Jon Ensor
Partners: Kings College London, Forest Research, University of Aberdeen, Swansea University, Kunming Institute of Botany.

Supervision

PhD Students (co-supervisor)

Andrianah Mbandi - Estimating atmospheric pollution emissions from transport in Nairobi, Kenya.

Olajide Olawoyin – Understanding trends in emissions and associated impacts in 3 West Africa countries – Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria

Anjar Priandoyo – Developing energy scenarios for Indonesia that will reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) and their impacts.

Jehad Al-Busaidi - The implications of applying a short-lived climate pollutant approach in Oman and the West Asia region

Publications

Harry Vallack

Harry Vallack

Telephone: 01904 322894

Email: harry.vallack@york.ac.uk