Ian Longley (NIWA)

Ian Longley

Principal Scientist, Programme Leader


Dr Ian Longley joined NIWA in 2007 and has led the “Impacts of Air Pollutants” research programme since 2012. He has a degree in Engineering and a PhD in Atmospheric Physics, both from the University of Manchester. His expertise covers exposure to emissions from road traffic and domestic heating, both outdoors and indoors, and citizen participation.


Research interests

  • Human exposure assessment;
  • airborne particles;
  • indoor-outdoor exchange;
  • residences;
  • air cleaning;
  • education;
  • public engagement & empowerment.



30 November 2022

Over the last 12 months, the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 ventilation programme, in collaboration with its advisory group of ventilation experts, have carried out a series of targeted studies which enhanced the understanding of the role of natural ventilation and informed our ventilation guidance to schools.



23 February 2022

Our complacency about indoor air contributed to our vulnerability to COVID-19, and we’ll continue to be vulnerable to COVID and other emerging threats until we re-think how we share our air.

Humans are social; we need to be with each other. That’s what made us vulnerable. Our first defences against COVID-19 were social distancing and lockdowns – highly effective against the spread of the virus, but damaging to our economies and punishing for our mental health, social support networks, family relationships and child development.

Now that Omicron is spreading and lockdowns are likely over, can we preserve the in-person experience without the risk? Science warns more variants and pathogens are surely coming, including those we have no vaccine for. Are masks enough? Can we do things better next time?

Can you recall those early, fearful days of the pandemic, not knowing when a vaccine would come, if ever? But all along there was a simple public health measure available for everyone: fresh air.


27 October 2021

In this blog, we discuss how to use carbon dioxide (CO2) measures as a proxy for estimating the level of ventilation in a building and to guide ventilation improvements in schools and workplaces.


22 June 2020

Infiltration of outdoor smoke into homes has become very topical recently, especially when bushfire smoke was blanketing parts of Australia, and public were being advised to stay indoors for some protection. A similar situation occurs in many southern Australian and New Zealand, towns and cities, where outdoor smoke levels frequently exceed air quality guidelines during cold calm winter nights.


1 December 2019

Bushfires, prescribed burns and residential wood burning are a significant source of fine particles affecting the health and well-being of many communities. Despite the lack of evidence, homes are perceived as a critical frontline of defence against episodic outdoor air pollution from smoke emissions.