Prof Eleri Pryse BSc, PhD (Wales)

Prof Eleri Pryse


Department of Physics

Contact Details


Educated in Aberystwyth and a former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig, Dr. Pryse graduated with a first-class degree in Physics from the University of Wales, going on to obtain her PhD in Ionospheric Physics for an investigation of small-scale irregularities in the ionosphere using radio signals from satellites. She was appointed a physics lecturer at Aberystwyth in 1989. She pioneered the application of tomographic methods for imaging the ionised atmosphere, and has used the technique extensively at polar and auroral regions to study signatures of space weather and fundamental plasma processes in the high-latitude atmosphere. She is married with a family, and has an interest in music.



My research has focused on the ionised atmosphere. Early studies used radio-wave scintillation to investigate small-scale plasma irregularities in the auroral and sub-auroral regions. More recently I applied tomography to image the ionosphere, and developed the technique from a theoretical idea to an experimental method for ionospheric investigations. The technique makes use of radio signals from satellites and yields images of the spatial distribution of the ionised atmosphere. The EISCAT incoherent scatter radar facility was used to verify the technique.

A tomography receiver-chain was deployed by the Solar System Physics group, Aberystwyth University for routine imaging of the high-latitude atmosphere with receivers at Ny Ålesund, Longyearbyen, Bjørnøya and Tromsø. This was suitably located to image the ionosphere over an extended latitudinal range spanning from the auroral zone into the polar cap. It could observe ionospheric footprints of space weather processes, and effects of magnetopause reconnection, auroral precipitation and plasma convection in the high-latitude region. The images complemented measurements by a wealth of instrumentation operated by the international scientific community in the auroral and polar regions including the EISCAT/ESR and CUTLASS radars, optical cameras and satellite particle detectors, and also physical and parameterised models of the ionised atmosphere. My ionospheric interest was extended to planetary environments, with particular interest in observations by the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft.

I currently work on a project to investigate the imaging of the so-called mid-latitude ionospheric trough.

Research Groups


Parker, J, Pryse, S, Jackson-Booth, N & Buckland, R 2018, 'Modelling the Main ionospheric trough using the Electron Density Assimilative Model (EDAM) with assimilated GPS TEC', Annales Geophysicae, vol. 36, pp. 125-138.
Wood, AG, Shahtahmassebi, G & Pryse, E 2015, 'Modelling large-scale structures in the high-latitude ionosphere using 15 years of data from the EISCAT Svalbard Radar', Geophysical Research Abstracts, vol. 17. <>
Wood, AG, Pryse, SE, Grande, M, Whittaker, IC, Coates, AJ, Husband, K, Baumjohann, W, Zhang, TL, Mazelle, C, Kallio, E, Fraenz, M, McKenna-Lawlor, S & Wurz, P 2012, 'The transterminator ion flow at Venus at solar minimum', Planetary and Space Science, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 341-346.
Wood, AG & Pryse, SE 2010, 'Seasonal influence on polar cap patches in the high-latitude nightside ionosphere', Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, vol. 115, no. A7, A07311, pp. A07311:1-A07311:9.
Pryse, SE, Whittick, EL, Aylward, AD, Middleton, HR, Brown, DS, Lester, M & Secan, JA 2009, 'Modelling the tongue-of-ionisation using CTIP with SuperDARN electric potential input: verification by radiotomography', Annales Geophysicae, vol. 27, pp. 1139-1152.
More publications on the Research Portal