Professional summary

Research Interests

I am a biogeochemist with focus on soil nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO), methane (CH4) and other trace gas fluxes in temperate, arctic and tropical agricultural and natural ecosystems. My work is predominately measurement based and focuses on the following topics:

  1. Understanding the environmental drivers and microbial processes leading to emissions of these pollutants to the atmosphere.
  2. Upscaling from the small plot to larger, policy relevant areas.
  3. Sustainable agricultural management options to reduce N losses to the atmosphere and waters without impacting yield.

Interests include:

  • Linking soil microbial derived NO, N2O, CH4 and CO2 fluxes with biogeochemical variables.
  • The role of NO and N2O in the regional and global nitrogen cycles. 
  • Mitigation options for NO, N2O and CH4 emissions from agricultural systems.
  • Improving IPCC emission factors for the agricultural and LULUCF sectors.
  • Scaling emissions from plot to field and region through measurements (eddy covariance) and simple models (emission factors).
  • The contribution of rivers to the catchment scale greenhouse gas balance (N2O, CH4, CO2).

Brief CV

Career details

  • 2017 -           Band 3  IMP, (Individual Merit Promotion), CEH Edinburgh
  • 2002 - 2017  Band 4  Principal Scientific Officer, CEH Edinburgh
  • 1998 - 2002  Band 5  Senior Scientific Officer, CEH Edinburgh
  • 1993 - 1998  Band 6  Higher Scientific Officer, CEH Edinburgh
  • 1989 - 1993  PDRA   Dept. of Soil Science, SAC & CEH, Edinburgh
  • 1988 - 1989  HSO     Nature Conservancy Council, Edinburgh
  • 1984 - 1988  PDRA   Dept. of Soil Science, Aberdeen University


Research experience

  • 36 years research experience in greenhouse gas research from terrestrial systems collaborating with universities and research institutes in the UK, other European countries, China, Malaysia, Botswana, Costa Rica. This collaboration is mainly funded by NERC, BBSRC, DEFRA and the EU, with a total income of £5 million to CEH and my contribution as PI, Co_PI, Co_I or WP lead.
  • Leader of the ‘Greenhouse Gas Interactions Group’ within the CEH Science Area ‘Biosphere Atmosphere Interactions’.
  • Supervisor/Co-supervisor of 15 PhD students to date, 5 registered at non-UK Universities.
  • Author/co-author of over 120 peer reviewed publications.
  • Member of the Editorial Team for Plant and Soil since 2007.
  • Visiting Professor at SRCU (Scotland’s Rural College) since 2014

Recent Research Projects:

  • NERC:  Strategic Highlights Topic: The Global Methane Budget (MOYA), 2016-2020. Co-I, leading on CH4 measurements in Botswana.
  • NERC:  Discovery: Sources of nitrous acid in the atmospheric boundary layer (SNABBL), 2015 – 2018. Co-I, leading laboratory investigations of HONO fluxes from soils.
  • NERC:  Human modified tropical forest program: Land-use Options for Maintaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem functions (LOMBOK), 2012- 2018. Co-PI, leading WP on GHG fluxes from oil pa; plantations and forests.
  • NERC:  Human modified tropical forest program top-up fund: Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and policy across a tropical forest modification gradient (Riparian), 2016-2019. Co-PI, leading GHG flux measurements in riparian areas.
  • NERC:  Arctic Program: Measurements and modelling of methane in the Arctic (MAMM), 2011-2015.Co-PI, Leading WP on ground based GHG flux measurements.
  • BBSRC: Newton-China: UK-China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAg), 2016 – 2020. Co-I, leading on CEH’s contribution to WP2 N fertiliser trials and N losses.
  • DEFRA: GHG-Platform Project: Measuring nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils (inveN2Ory) 2010-2015. Co-PI, leading WP5 ‘Uncertainty of N2O emissions’.
  • EU: Effect of Climate Change on Air Pollution and Response Strategies for European Ecosystems (ECLAIRE) 2011-2016. Contributing with nitric oxide flux measurements.
  • EU: The N cycle and its influence on the European GHG balance (NitroEurope IP) 2006 – 2010. Leading the WP on intensive measurements of N and C compounds from 13 ecosystems in Europe (Level 3 sites).


  • 1984 PhD Microbiology, University of Sheffield
  • 1980 BSc (Hons) Microbiology, University of Sheffield

Panels, committees and memberships

  • Member of the British Soil Science Society since ~ 1985
  • Member of the steering group of the Global Emissions Initiative (GEIA) since 2011
  • Member of the scientific committee of the Non-CO2 GHG conference series.