Professional summary

Research Interests

  • Development of new approaches for flux measurements of trace gases and aerosols
  • The use of odour as chemical signalling in animals and humans
  • Development of custom logging and post-processing routines for micrometeorological measurements of VOC and aerosols in LabVIEW and Igor Pro.
  • Error quantification and QA/QC treatment of eddy covariance data
  • Quantification of aerosol composition and emission factors through the use of factor analysis
  • Creating new, or optimizing existing emission model parameterisations based on eddy-covariance flux data
  • The use of the high resolution Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-AMS) for flux measurements of sub-micron aerosol chemical components
  • The use of PTR-MS and PTR-TOF for speciated VOC flux measurements
  • The extension of micrometeorological approaches for flux measurements in urban areas
  • The use of micrometeorological techniques for independent verification of emission inventories
  • The impact of land use change on atmospheric chemistry and climate

Research Grants

  • NERC APHH Programme (Co-I) £450 k - DelhiFlux 
  • NERC Discovery (CEH PI) £162 k - DOMINO - "Degradation of Odour signals by air pollution: chemical Mechanisms, plume dynamics and INsect-Orientation behaviour"
  • Royal Society (PI) £15 k - MORF- A grant to develop a disjunct eddy covariance system to measure OH reactivity fluxes.
  • NERC RP (Co-I) £157 k - AIRPoll-Beijing - Measuring particle number and chemically resolved sub micron aerosol fluxes above China's capital city Beijing in 2016 and 2017.

Current Studentships


Brief CV

2017 to date  Atmospheric Scientist (Band 5), Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange & Effects group, CEH, Edinburgh

2011 to 2017: Atmospheric Physicist/Chemist (Band 6), Reactive gases and Aerosols group, CEH, Edinburgh.

2010-2011: Post Doctoral Research Associate, Amherst College & Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. Working with PTR-TOF in isoprene oxidation chamber studies and developing software to allow for VOC flux measurements.

2008-2010: Post Doctoral Research Associate, Lancaster Environment Centre, UK. Working on the OP3 project, leading above-canopy flux measurements of VOCs from a South-East Asian tropical rainforest.

2004-2008: PhD in Environmental Science, Thesis: "Development and application of disjunct eddy covariance techniques for the measurement and interpretation of fluxes of volatile organic compounds from urban and rural canopies", Lancaster University/CEH.

2001-2004: BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University.

Latest News:

08/12/2020 Decoding the social volatilome

Our latest paper, led by Prof. Craig Roberts at the University of Stirling, is now available at Phil Trans B. We explore how online mass spectrometery in combination with multivariate statistical techniques might hold the key to decoding the social volatilome...


18/03/2018 Domino wind tunnel measurements complete

The DOMINO team have completed their investigation into the dynamics of floral odour plumes and their interaction with ozone and NOx. It was a challenging three weeks in the wind tunnel but the early results suggest all the hard work was worth it! The next stage will see the CEH team head out into the field to investigate the real-world effects of air pollution on pollinators with our colleagues from the University of Reading.


20/01/2017 Measurement of OH reactivity flux (MORF) instrument has been constructed.

Testing of MORF will continue through 2017...

25/11/2016 AIRPOLL-Beijing underway

Beijing experiences pollution episodes where the particulate matter can increase to levels may times greater than that deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. The visibility on these days can change dramatically.


07/2016  -  NERC Grant Success!

     - Our NERC discovery grant Led by Dr Robbie Girling at the University of Reading made it through the selection process. This grant will see CEH staff working with the new PTR-Qi-TOF instrument in a 20 m wind tunnel to see how common air pollutants such as ozone, Nox and diesel degrade floral VOC emissions and disrupt the foraging behaviour of pollinators such as bees and moths. The project kicks off in October 20 16 and will run for 39 months.

  • 08/2016 Next stop Beijing!

  All our Instruments are packed into Manchester's sea container ahead of the AIRPoll campaign - Next stop Beijing

Neil's confident he remembered to pack everything!