Dr J Neil Cape on the Isle of Arran

Professor J Neil Cape

CEH Research Fellow

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
Penicuik
Midlothian
EH26 0QB
T: +44 (0)131 4454343
E–mail: Professor J Neil Cape
 

Research interests

Atmospheric chemistry

  • airborne organic nitrogen compounds
  • measurements of wet deposition – artefacts caused by sampling, storage and in analysis
  • fluxes of trace gases at the earth’s surface, especially oxygenated VOCs
  • temporal and spatial distribution of airborne mercury
  • sources and sinks of nitrous acid (HONO) in the environment

Effects of air pollutants on plants

  • leaf surface properties, and their response to air pollutants
  • plant responses to pollutant deposition that can be used for bioindication of pollutant exposure
  • effects of ozone and nitrogen oxides/oxyacids, on plants
  • effects of airborne VOCs (and OVOCs) on plants

The leaf surface as the interface between plants and the atmosphere

  • reactions that destroy ozone on vegetation surfaces
  • inorganic <–> organic nitrogen transformations on leaf surfaces
  • cation exchange processes involved in rainfall pH modification

Recent projects

  • Defra: "Ozone Umbrella" Programme – responsible for overall management of CEH and three university groups, and of a large-scale field facility, unique in the world, for study of the effects of ozone on species-rich grassland.
  • Defra: EMEP Supersite – responsible for overall management of ongoing monitoring of gases and particles at Auchencorth in providing UK contribution to EMEP.
  • Defra: Heavy Metals Monitoring in the UK – responsible for measurements of gaseous elemental mercury and mercury in precipitation at 10 sites across the UK, and of mercury speciation (elemental, "reactive" and particulate) continuously at one site.
  • Alberta: Flux measurements of gases in oil sands region
  • CEH/NERC-funded research in progress, in collaboration with the School of Chemistry, Edinburgh University:
  • Organic nitrogen in air and rain.
  • Emission and deposition of oxygenated VOCs using PTR-MS.

Memberships of professional organisations        

Member and Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry

Member, British Ecological Society

Member, European Geosciences Union

I have acted as Associate Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres) and Science of the Total Environment, and am a regular reviewer for Atmospheric Environment, Environmental Pollution, Environmental Science & Technology and the Journal of Environmental Monitoring.

I work in collaboration with several UK institutions, and have links with researchers throughout Europe, in Canada, the USA, Japan and China.

I have published on subjects from atmospheric chemistry to plant physiology, with over 180 papers published in peer–reviewed journals (h–index 31), and over 100 conference proceedings and contract reports.

Within CEH, I chair the Chemistry Advisory panel, and am a member of the Biogeochemistry Core College and the Environmental Information Data Centre Strategy Group.

 

Research Career

  • 2013 to date: CEH Research Fellow
  • 2005-2014: Honorary Professor of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh
  • 2004-2010: Head of Site, CEH (Edinburgh)
  • 2003-2004: Acting Site Director, CEH (Edinburgh)
  • 2000: Individual Merit Promotion (Band 3)
  • 2000: University of St Andrews; DSc
  • 1996: Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 1998-2005: Honorary fellow in chemistry, University of Edinburgh
  • 1992-1998: Honorary lecturer in chemistry, University of Edinburgh
  • 1980: Chartered Chemist, Member of Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 1979: Appointed HSO Environmental Chemist, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (now Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)
  • 1976–1979: PhD in Physical Chemistry – thesis: “Glass formation in the soft–sphere system”, University of Cambridge
  • 1974–1976: Assistant lecturer in chemistry, National University of Lesotho
  • 1970–1974: BSc (Hons) Chemistry, University of St Andrews

Selected publications

See also the NERC Open Research Archive.

Cape J.N., Sheppard L.J., Crossley A., van Dijk N. and Tang Y.S., 2010. Experimental field estimation of organic nitrogen formation in tree canopies. Environmental Pollution 158, 2926–2933.

Gonzalez Benitez, J.M.G., Cape, J.N. and Heal, M.R., 2010. Gaseous and particulate water–soluble organic and inorganic nitrogen in rural air in southern Scotland. Atmospheric Environment 44, 1506–1514.

Heal, M.R., Dickey, C.A., Heal, K.V., Stidson, R.T., Matucha, M. and Cape, J.N., 2010. The production and degradation of trichloroacetic acid in soil: Results from in situ soil column experiments. Chemosphere 79, 401–407.

Misztal, P.K., Owen, S.M., Guenther, A.B., Rasmussen, R., Geron, C., Harley, P., Phillips, G.J., Ryan, A., Edwards, D.P., Hewitt, C.N., Nemitz, E., Siong, J., Heal, M.R. and Cape, J.N., 2010. Large estragole fluxes from oil palms in Borneo. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10, 4343–4358.

Zhang, Y., Dore, A.J., Ma, L., Liu, X.J., Ma, W.Q., Cape, J.N. and Zhang, F.S., 2010. Agricultural ammonia emissions inventory and spatial distribution in the North China Plain. Environmental Pollution 158, 490–501.

Cape J. N. 2009. Plants as Accumulators of Atmospheric Emissions, in: Legge, A.H. (ed.), Air Quality and Ecological Impacts: Relating Sources to Effects, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 61–98.

Cape J.N., Hamilton R. andHeal M.R., 2009. Reactive uptake of ozone at simulated leaf surfaces: implications for 'non–stomatal' ozone deposition. Atmospheric Environment 43, 1116–1123

Cape J.N., van der Eerden L., Fangmeier A., Ayres J., Bareham S., Bobbink R., Branquinho C., Crittenden P., Cruz C., Dias T., Leith I.D., Martins–Loucao M.A., Pitcairn C., Sheppard L., Spranger T., Sutton M., van Dijk N. and Wolseley P., 2009. Critcal levels for ammonia, in: Sutton M.A., Reis S. and Baker S.M.H. (eds), Atmospheric ammonia: Detecting emission changes and environmental impacts. Results of an Expert Workshop under the Convention on Long–range Transboundary Air Pollution, Springer, pp. 375–382

Cape J.N., van der Eerden L.J., Sheppard L.J., Leith I.D. and Sutton M.A., 2009. Evidence for changing the critical level for ammonia. Environmental Pollution 157, 1033–1037

Cape J.N., van der Eerden L.J., Sheppard L.J., Leith I.D. and Sutton M.A., 2009. Reassessment of critical levels for atmospheric ammonia, in:Sutton M.A., Reis S., Baker S.M.H. (ed.), Atmospheric Ammonia: Detecting emission changes and environmental impacts. Results of an Expert Workshop under the Convention on Long–range Transboundary Air Pollution, Springer, pp. 15–40

Cape J.N., Van Dijk N. and Tang Y.S., 2009. Measurement of dry deposition to bulk precipitation collectors using a novel flushing sampler. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11, 353–358

Davison B., Taipale R., Langford B., Misztal P., Fares S., Matteucci G., Loreto F., Cape J.N., Rinne J. andHewitt C.N., 2009. Concentrations and fluxes of biogenic volatile organic compounds above a Mediterranean macchia ecosystem in Western Italy. Biogeosciences Discussions 6, 2183–2216

Davison, B., Taipale R., Langford B., Misztal P., Fares S., Matteucci G., Loreto F., Cape J.N., Rinne J. and Hewitt C.N., 2009. Concentrations and fluxes of biogenic volatile organic compounds above a Mediterranean macchia ecosystem in western Italy. Biogeosciences 6, 1655–1670

Fowler D., Pilegaard K., Sutton M.A., Ambus P., Raivonen M., Duyzer J., Simpson D., Fagerli H., Fuzzi S., Schjoerring J.K., Granier C., Neftel A., Isaksen I.S.A., Laj P., Maione M., Monks P.S., Burkhardt J., Daemmgen U., Neirynck J., Personne E., Wichink–Kruit R., Butterbach-Bahl K., Flechard C., Tuovinen J.P., Coyle M., Gerosa G., Loubet B., Altimir N., Gruenhage L., Ammann C., Cieslik S., Paoletti E., Mikkelsen T.N., Ro–Poulsen H., Cellier P., Cape J.N., Horváth L., Loreto F., Niinemets Ü., Palmer P.I., Rinne J., Misztal P., Nemitz E., Nilsson D., Pryor S., Gallagher M.W., Vesala T., Skiba U., Brüggemann N., Zechmeister–Boltenstern S., Williams J., O'Dowd C., Facchini M.C., de Leeuw G., Flossman A., Chaumerliac N. and Erisman J.W., 2009. Atmospheric composition change: Ecosystems–Atmosphere interactions. Atmospheric Environment 43, 5193–5267

González Benítez J.M., Cape J.N., Heal M.R., van Dijk N. and Díez A.V., 2009. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition in south–east Scotland: Quantification of the organic nitrogen fraction in wet, dry and bulk deposition. Atmospheric Environment 43, 4087–4094

Honour S.L., Bell J.N.B., Ashenden T.W., Cape J.N. and Power S.A., 2009. Responses of herbaceous plants to urban air pollution: Effects on growth, phenology and leaf surface characteristics. Environmental Pollution 157, 1279–1286

Quincey P., Butterfield D., Green D., Coyle M. and Cape J.N., 2009. An evaluation of measurement methods for organic, elemental and black carbon in ambient air monitoring sites. Atmospheric Environment 43, 5085–5091

Sheppard L.J., Leith I.D., Crossley A., van Dijk N., Cape J.N., Fowler D. and Sutton M.A., 2009. Long–term cumulative exposure exacerbates the effects of atmospheric ammonia on an ombrotrophic bog: implications for critical levels, in:Sutton M.A., Reis S., Baker S.M.H. (ed.), Atmospheric Ammonia: Detecting emission changes and environmental impacts. Results of an Expert Workshop under the Convention on Long–range Transboundary Air Pollution, Springer, pp. 49–58

Skiba U., Drewer J., Tang Y.S., van Dijk N., Helfter C., Nemitz E., Famulari D., Cape J.N., Jones S.K., Twigg M., Pihlatie M., Vesala T., Larsen K.S., Carter M.S., Ambus P., Ibrom A., Beier C., Hensen A., Frumau A., Erisman J.W., Brüggemann N., Gasche R., Butterbach–Bahl K., Neftel A., Spirig C., Horvath L., Freibauer A., Cellier P., Laville P., Loubet B., Magliulo E., Bertolini T., Seufert G., Andersson M., Manca G., Laurila T., Aurela M., Lohila A., Zechmeister–Boltenstern S., Kitzler B., Schaufler G., Siemens J., Kindler R., Flechard C. and Sutton M.A., 2009. Biosphere-atmosphere exchange of reactive nitrogen and greenhouse gases at the NitroEurope core flux measurement sites: Measurement strategy and first data sets. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 133, 139–149