Professional summary

Research Interests

  • Development and application of wet chemistry methods for the study of atmospheric composition of trace gases and aerosols
  • Application of micrometeorology to study surface-atmosphere exchange processes of trace gases and aerosols.
  • Development of flux measurement techniques for reactive N compounds including:
    • long-term low-cost flux method for reactive N compounds by COndition Time Average Gradient (COTAG)
    • Quantum Cascade lasers (QCLs) for the measurement of NH3 fluxes by eddy covariance.
    • application of wet chemistry methods for flux measurements by aerodynamic gradient method
  • Citizen science studies investigating personal exposure to air pollutants
  • Science communication to the general public

Organisational responsibilities:

Air quality lead at Auchencorth Moss Atmospheric Observatory (http://www.auchencorth.ceh.ac.uk/)

Current PhD students: 

Hannah Walker

Current projects:

Understanding UK airborne microplastic pollution: sources, pathways and fate (NERC, Co-I) Project led by Dr Stephanie Wright at Imperial College, London. Aims to key answer to key knowledge gaps on the levels and sources of airborne microplastic in the UK. 

Monitor for AeRosols and GAses - Fluxes of Inorganic and Organic compounds (MARGA-FIO) (NERC Capital, Co-I) Online Ion Chromotorgraphy flux system for a number of reactive gases and aerosols. 

TUPUMUE (Let's Breathe) (Newton Fund’s UK-Kenya Joint Partnership on Non-Communicable Diseases, MRC and the NSF Kenya, Co-I) - aims to generate new scientific knowledge about the early life course origins, burden, determinants, and prognostic significance of non-communicable lung disease in Kenya by studying the lung health of children and adolescents from two very different communities.

Integrated Research Observation System for Clean Air (OSCA) (NERC SPF, Co-I) - aims to develop scientific understanding in order to enable policy development, to reduce emissions, understand our changing atmosphere, and protect human health. I am specifically involved in carrying out NH3 studies within the urban environment.

UK Acidifing and Eutrophying Atmospheric Pollutants (UKEAP, EA). Project led by Dr Christine Braban. Lead the MARGA operations at Auchencorth Moss which provide real-time measurements of water soluble inorganic aerosols and reactive gases as part of the North UK EMEP supersite. (2012 -2021)

Recent projects:

Newton-Bhabha Virtual Centre on Nitrogen Efficiency of Whole-cropping Systems for improved performance and resilience in agriculture (NEWS India-UK) (BBSRC) -established to promote cooperation between India and the UK to develop innovative ways to improve agricultural nitrogen management, allowing increased and more resilient food production in India while also reducing nitrogen losses to the environment. Within in this project I am involved in NH3 flux measurements over rice paddies.

Sources of Nitrous Acid in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer (NERC, Co-I) - project led by Dr Bloss at the University of Birmingham. Aims to quantify the importance of natural ground surface and road traffic exhaust sources of HONO within the boundary layer environment, in order to improve our understanding of atmospheric chemical processing, air pollution and reactive nitrogen cycling. I am specifically involved in the development and measurement of HONO fluxes.

ACTRIS II (EU H2020) -  European Research Infrastructure for the observation of Aerosol, Clouds, and Trace gases. (2015-2019).

Taking forward the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution: Pilot to determine air quality drivers for Sub-Saharan Africa (AQD-Nairobi). Taking forward the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution: Pilot to determine air quality drivers for Sub-Saharan Africa (AQD-Nairobi) (NERC, PI) Project aims to assess the applicability of NERC developed low cost monitoring methods (DELTA and ALPHAs) for air quality integrated with mobile particulate matter (PM) sensors to develop air quality indicators in informal settlements in East Africa. 

Ammonia Metrology Project (European Metrology Research Programme). Aims to develop the metrological traceability for the measurement of ammonia in air from the level of primary gas mixtures and instrumental standards to the field level. Involved in the development of a tracable spectroscopic standard for NH3 and the validation of the applicability of NH3 measurement methods. (2014-2017)

ECLAIRE (EU FP7) Part of a team of scientists from CEH, led by Dr Eiko Nemitz. During 2012 we took part in intensive measurements of water soluble aerosols and trace gases in the Po Valley, Italy. In 2014, I was involved in carrying out similar intensive measurements as part of ECLAIRE but this time at the GAW Regional site, Auchencorth Moss, in south east Scotland. (2012 -2015)

Air Pollutant Deposition Processes (Defra) – Funding finished in 2014.  With my colleague Daniela Famulari, I was involved in studies of long-term flux measurements of trace gas species at a remote field site in Scotland.

CLEARFLO (NERC) I was part of a team of scientists, led by Dr Eiko Nemitz at CEH, that made atmospheric measurements as part of a NERC-funded intensive campaign in London during 2012. I worked with the GRAEGOR instrument, which provides real-time measurements of water-soluble aerosols and their gas precursors, which was deployed at a site in north Kensington during the intensive periods.

PEGASOS (EU FP7) – During 2012 I was involved in the operation of the MARGA instrument at San Petro Capiofume site, near Bologna, Italy and carried out the associated data analysis.

 

Brief CV

2012–present: Atmospheric Chemist in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects Science Area at UKCEH Edinburgh
2007–2012: Research Associate, University of Edinburgh (Visiting Scientist at CEH)
2006–2007: Research scientist at CEH Edinburgh
2002–2006: PhD University of Ulster / CEH Edinburgh: Application of Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) Absorption Spectroscopy for the Investigation of Surface/Atmosphere Exchange of Ammonia
2001–2002: Final year project at the Fisheries Research Services, Aberdeen: Environmental analysis of sediment collected between South East Fair Isle to the Inner Moray Firth.
1998–2002: 1st Class Hons Environmental Science, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Qualifications

2006 PhD, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK.

2002 Bsc (Hons) 1st Class Environmental Science, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

 

Publications