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Dr Fran Bragg

Dr Fran Bragg

Dr Fran Bragg
PhD, MSc, BSc, CEng MIMechE

Honorary Senior Research Associate

Area of research

Understanding the Climate of the Mid-Piacenzian Warm Period

Office 1.12nb
School of Geographical Sciences,
University Road, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 3318352


I am a palaeoclimate modeller with particular experience of the UK Meteorological Office Hadley Centre models HadCM3 and HadCM3L. I also have experience of vegetation reconstruction, both using the BIOME4 model and working with a pollen database. I have a range of numerical modelling experience from my previous career in aeronautical engineering. Although my own work is on the modelling side of palaeoclimate studies, I am keen to understand more of the nuances of the observational datasets we use and to develop methods to extract maximum benefit from both data and models together. I am currently working on a Past Earth Network ( project to develop an objective, statistically-based method for comparing model simulations with observations.


I gained my BSc(Hons) in Physics from the University of Bristol in 1987 undertaking a final year project entitled "Density and Crystallinity of Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate 3-Hydroxyvalerate) Copolymers". After graduation, I worked for 18 years for Rolls-Royce in Filton, Bristol as a compressor aerodynamicist, gaining Chartered Engineer status (CEng MIMechE) in 2001. I used CFD modelling to design cutting edge technology components for engines such as the Pegasus (Harrier jump jet) and LiftFan™ as well as supporting various other engines in the fleet and designing research compressors for next generation engines.

I returned to academia in 2007, completing an MSc in Earth System Science at the University of Bristol. For my dissertation I used a vegetation model, BIOME4, to examine vegetation assemblage changes in southern Africa between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene and compare these results with carbon isotope data from marine sediments. "Effects Of CO2 On Biome Distributions: Modelling Glacial-Interglacial Changes In The δ13C Of Ecosystems As Recorded In Leaf Waxes From Sediments Along The Western African Margin."

I am currently a PhD student using the Hadley Centre general circulation model to examine the climate of the Pliocene.


I have undertaken some teaching of Masters students in modelling of environmental systems and vegetation using Matlab.

Support for 2nd year undergraduate climate modelling project using MS Excel.

Support for 1st year undergraduate ocean carbon cycle modelling practical using web-based interface.

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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