About the Air Quality Expert Group

AQEG is an expert committee of Defra and considers current knowledge on air pollution and provides advice on such things as the concentrations, emission sources and characteristics of air pollutants in the UK.

AQEG reports to Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser, Defra Ministers, Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland (the Government and devolved administrations).

Members of the group are drawn from those with a proven track record in the fields of air pollution research and practice.

Terms of reference

AQEG's function are to:

  • Provide advice to, and work collaboratively with: officials and key office holders in Defra and the Devolved Administrations; other delivery partners and public bodies; and EU and international technical expert groups;
  • Report to Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA): Chairs of expert committees will meet annually with the CSA; and will provide an annual summary of the work of the Committee to the Science Advisory Council (SAC) for Defra's Annual Report. In exception, matters can be escalated to Ministers;
  • Support the CSA as appropriate during emergencies;
  • Contribute to developing the air quality evidence base: analyse, interpret and synthesise evidence; provide judgements on quality and relevance; suggest priority areas for future work; and advise on Defra's implementation of the air quality evidence plan (or equivalent);
  • Give advice on current and future levels, trends, sources and characteristics of air pollutants in the UK;
  • Provide independent advice and operate in line with the Government's Principles for Scientific Advice and the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees (CoPSAC).

Expert Committee Members are independent appointments made through open competition, in line with OCPA guidelines on best practice for making public appointments. Members are expected to act in accord with the principles of public life.

Work programme

AQEG is currently working on the following topics at the request of Defra:

  • Air pollution exposure inequalities in the UK
  • Atmospheric ammonia in the UK

Upcoming AQEG meetings

  • Meeting 69: Thursday, 9 May 2024
  • Meeting 70: Tuesday, 16 July 2024
  • Meeting 71: Tuesday 15 October 2024
  • Meeting 72: Tuesday 10 December 2024
  • Meeting 73: Thursday, 20 February 2025



Professor Alastair Lewis, University of York, National Centre for Atmospheric Science


Professor Jo Barnes, UWE Bristol

Dr Sean Beevers, Imperial College London

Professor David Carslaw, Ricardo Energy & Environment and University of York

Dr Chris Dore, Aether Ltd

Dr Gary Fuller, Imperial College London

Professor Roy Harrison, University of Birmingham

Professor Mat Heal, University of Edinburgh

Dr Ben Marner, Air Quality Consultants Ltd

Dr Maria Val Martin, University of Sheffield

Dr Eiko Nemitz, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)

Ad-hoc Members:

Dr James Allan, University of Manchester and National Centre for Atmospheric Science

Professor Mathew Fisher, Imperial College London

Dr Sarah Moller, University of York, National Centre for Atmospheric Science

Professor Anil Namdeo, Northumbria University

Ex Officio Members:

Dr Richard Maggs, Bureau Veritas

Robert Stewart, Ricardo Energy & Environment

Paul Willis, Ricardo Energy & Environment

Dr Andrew Brown, National Physical Laboratory

More details about our members: