Dr James McLaughlin's Homepage

Welcome! I am a Reader (Associate Professor) in Solar Physics at Northumbria University. I am a member of the Solar Physics research group (alternatively here) and I am based within the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering.

I am primarily interested in magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), specifically in the behaviour of MHD waves in inhomogeneous media, with application to the solar atmosphere and astrophysical processes. Most of my time is spent on research, but I am also involved in undergraduate lecturing and public engagement activities.

I am an Ordinary Council Member of the UKSP Council which represents the UK Solar Physics community, see here for details.

Below are details of my career and research interests to date, along with my contact details and links to my publications.

List of Publications Successful Research Grants & Telescope Time Qualifications & Career History

June 2016 - present

Associate Professor   (Northumbria University)
Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Feb 2014 - May 2016

Reader   (Northumbria University)
Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences

Jan 2010 - Jan 2014

Senior Lecturer   (Northumbria University)
Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences

Jul 2007 - 2009

Research Fellow   (University of St Andrews)
Leverhulme Trust Grant, PI: Professor Ineke De Moortel

Jan - June 2007

Research Fellow   (University of St Andrews)
STFC Rolling Grant Grant

Jan - Dec 2006

Research Scientist   (Catholic University of America /
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

2002 - 2005

Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics)   (University of St Andrews)
Solar & Magnetospheric Theory Group
Supervisor: Professor Alan Hood
Thesis Internal Examiner: Professor Bernard Roberts
Thesis External Examiner: Professor Michael Ruderman
(Viva passed: 15 Dec 2005)

1998 - 2002

M.Sci. (JH) Mathematics and Physics
(Durham University)   First Class

Research Excellence Framework 2014

I was the Unit of Assessment lead for the B10 Mathematical Sciences REF2014 submission at Northumbria University. This role involved setting overall research strategy for the Unit, assessing and developing staff outputs and esteem factors, frequent discussions with Executive Dean, Associate Dean (Research), other UoA leads and University-level REF Advisory Group, dealing with confidential/sensitive documentation, and advising and supporting staff (including multiple Early Career Researchers) with regards to the strategic nature of the submission.

Research Visits & Conference Contributions

21 invited seminars/lectures - 32 contributed talks - 11 Poster presentations.
Full details can be found here.

Multi-satellite Joint Observing Programme

I have led a multi-spacecraft, multi-instrument, international observing campaign to investigate solar plumes, involving the collaboration of seven space-based instruments. The observing programme is entitled: “Multi-wavelength Observations of Oscillations in Polar Plumes”. The details can be found under:

Research Interests

In general, I am interested in:

  • MHD, with a particular interest in MHD wave theory and behaviour
  • Magnetic topology, with a particular interest in magnetic null points
  • Analysis and image processing of solar data / observations
  • Magnetic Reconnection, including Oscillatory Reconnection (time-dependent, wave-generating reconection)
  • Solar plumes
  • Phase mixing
  • Numerical methods and Computational MHD
  • Coronal heating
  • Impulsive excitation
Public Outreach

I have always found contributing to the public understanding of science an important and enjoyable part of my work.
Full details of my public outreach activities can be found here.

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Contact Details

Dr James McLaughlin
Room D213, Ellison Building
Department of Mathematics, Physics & Electrical Engineering
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8ST



Room EB D213
Phone: +44 (0)191 227 3667
Fax:     +44 (0)191 243 7630