Stipendiary Lecturer in Physics

Dr Greg Colyer

  • Planetary atmospheric dynamics and thermal physics
  • Tutorials allow me to address students' individual needs, and link appropriately to my own research.
  • Although planets tend to be cooler in polar than in equatorial regions, this contrast (due to the difference in solar heating) can be greatly reduced by several atmospheric effects.


Currently I am studying the interplay between radiative balance and atmospheric dynamics on giant planets such as Jupiter, having previously studied terrestrial planets including Venus. Jupiter and Venus both have atmospheres deeper than Earth’s, which allows room for potentially more complex circulations. For my doctoral thesis I worked on plasma turbulence in fusion devices, and I have a general interest in the relationship between small and large scales.


  • Tutoring 3rd-year undergraduate course on Fluids (B1)
  • Taught classes for 4th-year undergraduate/1st-year graduate course organized by AOPP (C5)


  • Atmospheric dynamics from a general perspective applicable to Earth, other solar-system planets and exoplanets.
  • Turbulence in geophysical fluids and fusion plasmas.
  • Energy transport in all of these contexts.
  • Combining theoretical study with some data analysis, and numerical modelling ranging from large Fortran codes on high-performance computers to simple Python scripts.

Selected Publications

G.J. Colyer and G.K. Vallis, J. Atmos. Sci. 76 (2019) 1397. Zonal-Mean Atmospheric Dynamics of Slowly Rotating Terrestrial Planets, (e-print

G.K. Vallis, G. Colyer, R. Geen, E. Gerber, M. Jucker, P. Maher, A. Paterson, M. Pietschnig, J. Penn and S.I. Thomson, Geosci. Model Dev. 11 (2018) 843. Isca, v1.0: a framework for the global modelling of the atmospheres of Earth and other planets at varying levels of complexity,

G.J. Colyer, A.A. Schekochihin, F.I. Parra, C.M. Roach, M.A. Barnes, Y.-c. Ghim and W. Dorland, Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 59 (2017) 055002. Collisionality scaling of the electron heat flux in ETG turbulence, (e-print

Greg Colyer